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  • Jessica Oata

Caritas PNG Conference Ends on a High Note

Boroko, Port Moresby: A two-week event for Diocesan Caritas Officers from various provinces within the country conducted by Caritas PNG in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s church partnership program ended on a high note on Friday 28th May.

The workshop was held at the Catholic Bishops Conference from May 17th to May 28th and was attended by participants from sixteen dioceses except Bereina, Lae and Rabaul.

According to the Director for Caritas PNG, Ms Mavis Tito, the need to train the Diocesan Caritas Officers on Disaster Management was identified by the officers in the last annual conference.

She told of how she felt blessed with a wonderful team that was committed and dedicated to the work of Caritas in the dioceses, despite the challenges. Participants of the two-week event shared similar sentiments of feeling empowered with new skills and knowledge to help them in their line of work.

In the course of the two-week event, the first week was spent on training on Disaster Management which involved facilitators from the University of Papua New Guinea and the National Disaster Centre while the second week was the annual Caritas Conference.

“This year’s annual conference was special because three manuals were put forth by the respective working groups for review and there was a lot of positive feedback,” said Caritas Australia representative Ms Charlotte Vada.

The three manuals were the Disaster Management Manual, the Integral Human Development (IHD) Manual and the Diocesan Caritas Officers Induction Manual.

The Disaster Management Manual provides simple, practical guidance on how to use the CPNG emergency response tools (needs assessment, situation reports, proposal templates, reporting, evaluation and audit). This manual is designed to help the Diocesan Caritas officers as a supporting mechanism to effectively use these tools. It can be used at the time of an emergency, but preferably it should also be used before an emergency, to support the organizational preparedness for a response.

The Integral Human Development (IHD) Manual is Caritas PNG's flagship program and the first National Goal and Directive Principle of the Preamble of the Constitution of Papua New Guinea. This manual is the first of its kind, written by Caritas officers as a guide and a resource material for a Community Development worker with basic minimum education of grade 10 or 12. The different topics covered in the manual are for the education of the ordinary people to become self-determined and self-reliant to shape a future and destiny of their own lives. The manual combines both reflection and action in a clear and simple way both for the facilitator and the participants. It aims to empower grassroots human development and development workers, and social justice workers in the village settings of PNG.

With the Diocesan Caritas Officers Induction Manual, it aims to provide a guide for new officers recruited, introduce working structures that exist both locally and internationally and enhance the awareness of the officers’ background knowledge on the vision and mission of CPNG.

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