The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Questions students ask

Frequently asked questions about Caritas for students in Years 7-10.

What is Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand?

It is the Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development. People who work for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand work as agents for the New Zealand bishops. There is an office in Wellington and Auckland. Currently there are 16 staff who work for Caritas.

What does Caritas mean?

It translates from the Latin as ‘love into action’. This means Caritas works to make a real difference in the lives of people living with poverty and injustice.

What topics has Caritas spoken out on recently?

You can find out about our most recent work in our Newsroom. We also make submissions to Parliament on a wide range of social justice issues.                                                                                      

Where does Caritas draw its information from?

The Gospel values of faith, hope and love underpin everything we do. Catholic social teaching, Vatican documents, current news, government policies, New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ statements and Caritas Internationalis are some of our most important sources, as well as interviews and reports. We also learn from our development and justice partners both here and overseas.

Where does Caritas work?

In New Zealand and overseas. In New Zealand, we work mostly with the government, parishes, schools and other non-government organisations. You can learn more about our overseas work on our Where We Work page.

How much does Caritas receive in donations?

We typically receive between $4 million and $8 million each year from both government and private sources. We publish this information each year in our Annual Reports.

Where does the money come from?

From  people giving donations. Some money comes from the government to help our work overseas. Many schools raise money through different fund raising events.

What does Caritas do in schools?

Helps teachers and students to think about the challenges posed by poverty and injustice in the world. Staff working  for Caritas in schools make school visits and prepare resources. Caritas accepts donations from schools for our work with the poor and needy here and around the world.

Does Caritas sponsor children?

We do not make individual children available for sponsorship. Instead, we work with whole communities and with families to support parents’ in their responsibility to care for their children. We prefer to spend money in the place that needs it rather than spending a lot of money on advertising materials and specific information for the sponsor.

What does Caritas do that no other Catholic organisation does?

We try to make a difference long term for people who are suffering from poverty and injustice. Our work is community-based rather than individual-based. Caritas works for the good of the whole person so it is not just about food or schools or health centres. We support their community, cultural and spiritual life as well.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust