Caritas Macau has launched a fundraising campaign to collect donations for the victims of the earthquake that devastated eastern Turkey and northern Syria last week. The Catholic aid agency opened bank accounts in five local banking institutions and will place donation boxes across the city. The initiative, Paul Pun told O Clarim, will run until May.
Paul Pun Chi Meng was earlier this month awarded the Medal of Merit in Philanthropy by the Government of Macau, an award that the Secretary-General of Caritas dedicated to Father Luís Ruíz and Mother Maria Góis, the pioneers of modern social work in Macau. Paul Pun spoke to O Clarim about the challenges Caritas has faced over the last few weeks, but claims the difficulties are already part of the past.
The 53rd edition of the Caritas Charity Bazaar raised an estimated 5-6 million patacas with fewer visitors, but with the same spirit of solidarity and mutual accountability. The amount will be used to fund the organization’s activities that are not financed by the government.
The number of local residents facing food insecurity will probably increase until the end of the year, Secretary-General of Caritas Paul Pun tells O Clarim. The Catholic relief organization was chosen by the Social Welfare Bureau to manage the only public food bank in Macau.
Since the government mandated the partial confinement of Macau’s population almost one month ago, Caritas has received around five hundred requests for immediate food assistance. Although non-resident workers facing hunger and food insecurity were responsible for most of the requests, the organization also lent a helping hand to local residents who lost their jobs during the Covid-19 downturn.
Caritas Macau was one of eight associations and organizations recruited by the government to help with the vaccination drive aimed at senior citizens. To boost vaccination rates, the Macau Foundation grants a 250 pataca voucher to residents over 65 who have already received two shots of the Covid-19 jab. The Secretary General of Caritas claims that money is not, however, the reason why an increasing number of elderly are choosing to get vaccinated.
Caritas Macau has the responsibility of a new short-term food assistance program devised by the government to aid unemployed Macau residents who have exhausted all other support modalities. Applications opened this week.
Caritas Macau will conduct two lectures to prepare its workers for a possible fresh outbreak of Covid-19.
Caritas Macau aims to better understand the needs of its Anglophone population with the help of a survey to be conducted until the end of June.
Earlier this month, Caritas Macau launched a fundraising campaign with the aim of supporting populations that were forcibly displaced by the conflict in Ukraine. The donations should strengthen Caritas’ response capacity in Ukraine and in neighboring countries. More than three million Ukrainian refugees have fled their home country.