Singapore (AsiaNews) – A newly founded humanitarian organization of the Catholic Church has already launched its first project: Emergency Aid for flood victims in Pakistan. Charis (Humanitarian Aid Relief Initiatives Caritas Singapore) is an umbrella organization that brings together all the humanitarian efforts of the Catholic Church abroad and was inaugurated on August 20 by Mgr. Nicholas Chia, Archbishop of the city.
"I think - said the archbishop - that as a Church of Singapore can do much more to help our neighbours in other countries. As Jesus said in the parable, let us go and do likewise as the good Samaritan "
Charis aims to respond to disasters and humanitarian needs, as a sign of the missionary commitment in society. It will collect funds, medical aid, volunteers for projects in the short term and long term.
The executive director of Charis, Stephen Phoon said that for the Pakistan relief efforts, Charis will send 50 thousand US dollars, 800 water filters and 10,000 blankets.
In the city-state, Charis hopes to be a point of reference and communication, to recruit and train volunteers to prepare them for humanitarian trips abroad. So far 14 Catholic organizations have joined.
Charis will take the place of the Archdiocesan Crisis Coordination Team, which was also operational abroad, but with much more limited purposes. Charis is part of Caritas Singapore. "Charis - said president Willie Cheng - is the International arm of Caritas Singapore, which is instead committed to the social mission here in Singapore." The name "Charis means "grace" in Greek. Its website: www.charis-singapore.org.