“The official recognition of Caritas Kyrgyzstan within Caritas Internationalis means very much to us because it makes us feel part of a large family and offers us more opportunities to serve the most needy in our country. We started the affiliation process in 2015, participating in numerous workshops and training courses organized by Caritas Asia and giving impetus to forms of cooperation with bodies in other countries. In parallel, we have prepared all the necessary documents and sent them to the General Secretariat. The request was put to the vote and most of the members expressed themselves in our favor.”
This was reported to Fides News Agency by Sher Abdugapirov, deputy director of Caritas at the headquarters of Jalal-Abad, confirming the recent affiliation of the Kyrgyz organization within Caritas Internationalis.
The recognition, which took place in January 2019, was announced on May 24 in Rome during the XXI General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis. Abdugapirov explains: “The path of affiliation may seem simple, but it is the synthesis of long and hard work. Without the help of some people, it would have been impossible to complete this mission. We would like to thank Cardinal Tagle, Michel Roy and Aloysius John, respectively president, former and current secretary general, Archbishop Isao Kikuchi and Zar Gomez, who are the former president and the current regional coordinator of Caritas Asia. We will strive to repay the trust of all those who voted for our membership.
“We have big goals for the future. The first is to build a strong organizational structure: we will continue to work to increase our capacity and our potential, also improving management standards. The second is to provide better service to all people, especially the poor, to promote social justice and to protect our Earth.”
Caritas Kyrgyzstan owes its origins to the creation, in 2011, of the Non-Governmental Organization “Light of Love”. In Kyrgyzstan, there are currently three parishes in the cities of Bishkek, Jalal-Abad, and Talas, but many small communities are distributed in rural areas of the country. Local Catholics can count on the spiritual assistance of seven priests, a religious and five Franciscan nuns.