A new solidarity system for Caritas Europa

A network is only as strong as its member organisations are. In Caritas Europa, we are well aware of this principle and we strive to always offer better tools to our members in order to strengthen their capacities. This is why we have designed a new solidarity system – ODSS: Organisational Development Solidarity System – that will be up and running from 2019 onwards.

Over the past year, we have been shaping the system in consultation with member organisations to meet their needs and fine-tuning all the details. Caritas Europa’s Executive Board finally approved the system in mid-March and in May we will present it to the Regional Conference.

The ODSS is a multilateral tool of solidarity for and by Caritas Europa member organisations in the framework of organisational development. This means that a member can both receive assistance to strengthen and develop its organisation and, at the same time, provide its expertise to other members. The assistance can take the form of either financial or technical support, aiming at ensuring the continuity of the member’s mission. Stronger and healthier Caritas organisations will be better able to serve the poor.

Solidarity among member organisations is and has always been an essential value of the Caritas network. As says Mons. Luc Van Looy, President of Caritas Europa, “I think solidarity is the official expression of something I would call brotherhood, sisterhood.

During the years, Caritas Europa has expressed this solidarity through various instruments that have supported the development of member organisations. Among them you will surely remember the European Solidarity Fund (ESF) and the Caritas Development Fund (CDF). Now a new, improved tool is making its entrance in order to replace the old ones: the Organisational Development Solidarity System (ODSS).

This solidarity system is a unique way of accompanying Caritas, of building something together. Because “a Caritas without an internal solidarity system is not a Caritas at all,” explains Zlatko Malić from Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To receive more information or to support the system, please contact gbianchini@caritas.eu.

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