Caritas Armenia was founded in 1995 by the Armenian Catholic Church.
Caritas Armenia, which has ‘Benevolent NGO status’, focuses its domestic efforts on social protection and care, community-based development programmes to improve the living and educational conditions, to improve public health to the most vulnerable social groups, migration and integration to implement sustainable reintegration measures for returnees and humanitarian and development activities.
Since the beginning of its work, Caritas Armenia has provided direct assistance to thousands of people in 125 communities of Armenia.
“Serve different vulnerable groups with love and compassion, respecting the dignity of each individual”: This is the mission which leads Armenian Caritas.
There are main five directions of the Armenian Caritas:
- Social protection and care: with special focus on the issues of children from disadvantaged families, children with disabilities and senior citizens living alone;
- Community and development: with special focus on the capacity building of rural communities, schools and women;
- Public Health: with special focus on development of primary health care system;
- Migration and integration: with special focus on the reintegration of returnees and prevention of illegal migration and trafficking;
- Emergency response and prevention.
Along with provision of basic needs, care and development activities for the targeted groups, Caritas Armenia also concentrates its efforts on the advocacy actions and state social policy revisions striving to assure more sustainable change.
Currently the organisation advocates for inclusive education, closure of boarding schools and special institutions for the orphans and children with disabilities, as well as integration of an alternative community based social service model, as successfully implemented by Caritas Armenia.
In 2012, Caritas Armenia in cooperation with Caritas Austria has launched a project for the construction of a new day care centre for people with multiple disabilities. The Disability Care Centre will be a unique construction in the whole of the Caucasus region in terms of its accessibility for the people with multiple disabilities. It will be an environment friendly building serving to 100 people with disabilities.
Among Caritas Armenia flagship projects, there is the homecare service model for the elderly and participatory approach in the community development initiatives.
Caritas Armenia main office is located in Gyumri, Armenia and has a management staff of approximately 25 people; there are another 150 staff members and 80 international and local volunteers involved in operations of the ten programmatic centres of the organisation.
Caritas Armenia continues to extend its services throughout Armenia and operates throughout the regions of Shirak, Lori, Gegharkunik, as well as Yerevan City.
Caritas Armenia is a member of the Caritas Internationalis confederation and Caritas Europe, an international Caritas network of over 160 members that provides emergency aid and support to countries all around the world.
Archbishop Raphael Minassyan
Mr Gagik Tarasyan