The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Questions students ask (advanced)

Commonly asked questions about Caritas for teachers and Year 11-13 students.

What is Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand?

The  New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ agency to promote justice, peace and development. We are working for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief.

What does Caritas do in schools?

Helps teachers and students to think about the challenges posed by social justice, peace and development questions. We do this through visits, presentations, introducing visiting speakers, creating resources for lessons and assemblies, and publishing advocacy articles. We accept donations from schools which support our partnerships.

What does Caritas mean?

Our name translates from the Latin as ‘love in action’. This means Caritas works to make a real difference in the lives of people living with poverty and injustice. We are an agency that plays a role in challenging politicians and world leaders to prioritise international aid, and work together to provide global solutions to global problems.

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.

What sources or streams of information does Caritas draw from?

Gospel values and Catholic social teaching, Vatican documents, current news, government policies, New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ statements and the Caritas Internationalis network. We also learn from our development and justice partners both here and overseas.

Where does the money come from to support Caritas’ work?

Most of the funds for our work come from two main sources:

  • From donors (individuals, groups and organisations) – through donations and bequests.
  • From the Government – through grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Government funding comes from two main funding streams: the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) to support long-term development, and the Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF) to deal with emergencies.

How much does Caritas receive in donations each year?

Between donations from individuals, groups and organisations, as well as funding from the government, we typically receive between $4 million and $8 million each year. Our revenue and expense figures are published each year in our Annual Reports.

How is the money used?

We strive to ensure that 85 to 88 percent of our income is spent on our programmes for development, relief, education and advocacy. This compares favourably with similar organisations in New Zealand. Staff salary and administration costs come out of the money received. To work for a better world, we need to provide education, advocacy and information, as well as directly fund people in need.

What does Caritas do that no other Catholic organisation does?

We work with structures to bring about change through advocacy and development partnerships. Our work is community-based rather than individual-based, as we respond to need with both humanitarian relief and long-term development. The foundation of our work is Catholic social teaching, especially the central notion of integral human development.

Integral human development, as found in Catholic social teaching, promotes the good of every person and the whole person – in cultural, economic, political, social and spiritual spheres.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust