Caritas is a socio-humanitarian organisation of Catholic Church, whose mission is protection and promotion of dignity of every human being, created in the image of God. The very word “Caritas” means effectual Christian love or in Latin “Deus caritas est” – “God is love” (1 John 4, 16).
Caritas, as humanitarian organisation, is founded on Gospel and Catholic social teaching, which was mainly influenced by spiritual, political and social frame of today’s Europe.
This organisation helps people regardless of theirs religious, national or any other affiliation, and mostly those who live in the margins of the society: the elderly, the lonely, the sick, people with disabilities etc.
Caritas Serbia has been present on socio-humanitarian plan for more than 20 years. Firstly, it started under name Caritas Yugoslavia, then Caritas Serbia and Montenegro and today is Caritas Serbia. It is a member of international confederation of Caritas Internacionalis, headquartered in Rome and Caritas Europe, headquartered in Brussels. Caritas Serbia has prepared, organized and realized different programs of helping people in need with the support of members of this network but other donors as well in the past period.
From its very beginning, Caritas Serbia distributed humanitarian aid in crisis, e.g. during embargo and conflicts in territory of former Yugoslavia, it helped refugees from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, internally displaced people from Kosovo and local residents who needed social security. It was estimated that over 2 million people were helped in different ways. For years, Caritas Serbia was helping actively during different emergencies, such as floods in Banat, the earthquake in Kraljevo and landslips in other territories in Serbia, and it organized fundraising campaign for emergencies abroad such as: earthquakes in Italy and Japan, typhoon in the Philippines, aid to monastery Hilandar which suffered fire and etc.
Programs of Caritas Serbia have been also directed towards providing help to the elderly and people with disabilities through modern supporting living care and day care centers. Furthermore, Caritas has been realizing projects regarding protection of rights of people with mental disabilities, programs of building peace and activities for the youth for years.
During 2014, Caritas Serbia was active in helping people from flooded territories in Serbia. Total worth of help that Caritas provided for people affected by the floods was over EUR 2 million, with support of international network of Caritas.