Founded in 1946, Secours Catholique/ Caritas France is a service of the Catholic Church, a member of Caritas Internationalis Confederation and an approved public utility association. A non profit organisation as defined by the Law of July 1, 1901, itmanages an annual budget of 130MEuros and is supported by a network of some 65,000 volunteers for “bringing help either direct or indirect, moral or material aid wherever there is a need for it, with the exception of any distinctive national or confessional religious identity, irrespective of the philosophical or religious opinions of the beneficiaries.” (Extract of the statutes, art. 1)
The mission of Secours Catholique is to spread Christian Charity by creating a solid unity between everyone, whether in France or throughout the world. Secours Catholique considers that men, women and children living in situations of poverty play a major part in their own development. It makes a commitment to fight side by side with them against the causes of pover ty and exclusion, and promote the development of the human person in all its aspects. It seeks an active partnership with organisations that share its objectives in order to promote social justice in local, national and international policies. In accordance with Christianity, it invites each person to go and meet the poorest people, listen to them, support them and associate with them so that together we can build a fairer and more fraternal society.
Faithful to the spirit of our origins, Secours Catholique roots its action in Christian values and the key principles defined by the social teachings of the Church: Respect and dignity of the human person, justice, solidarity, fraternity, reconciliation, peace, the preferential option for the poor, the integral development of the human person, subsidiarity, the universal destination of goods, the indivisibility of rights.
Our action principles
The action of Secours Catholique finds all its meaning in a global vision of pover ty which aims at restoring the human person’s dignity and is part and parcel of sustainable development. To do so, six key principles guide this action, both in France and abroad:
- Promoting the place and words of people living in situations of poverty
- Making each person a main player of their own development
- Joining forces with people living in situations of poverty
- Acting for the development of the human person in all its aspects
- Acting on the causes of poverty and exclusion
- Arousing solidarity
The power of a network
The actions of Secours Catholique are implemented by a network of local teams of volunteers integrated into the diocesan delegations and suppor ted by the volunteers and employees of the national headquar ters. On an international level Secours Catholique acts in cooperation with its par tners of the Caritas Internationalis network. Key figures of Secours Catholique:
- 100 diocesan or departmental delegations
- 4,000 local teams
- 65,000 volunteers
- 974 employees
- 2,174 reception centres
- 3 centres: Cité Saint-Pierre in Lourdes, Maison d’Abraham in Jerusalem, Cedre in Paris
- 14 housing centres managed by the Association des Cités of Secours Catholique
- 162 Caritas Internationalis partners
- 600,000 donors.