Saturday, 11 August 2012
Since its inception two years ago, the initiative has helped more than 900 families "escape poverty," an internal audit found. In order to reach its goal of growth and development, the Catholic agency encouraged the establishment of volunteer groups serving the poor and the vulnerable of society. "In the beginning, participants were shy, suffering from an inferiority complex and reticent to join fully the project," one Caritas member said. Now, attitudes have changed and "greater participation" in the agency's activities has become the norm.
Microcredit entails small loans to the poor, especially from ethnic minorities living in rural areas or mountain regions, which can serve as seed money for small businesses, mutual help and entrepreneurship. [It is one of the methods recommended in the encyclical Caritas in Veritate.]
Titled 'The poor can help each other out of poverty,' the project aims to help children from poor families go to school, whilst preserving minorities' traditional cultures. For Đà Lạt Christians, the Caritas project's success in sustainable development is a source of pride. A Caritas volunteer told AsiaNews that after initial difficulties, "step by step, I learnt watching the work of nuns and other social workers." "With God's help," he noted, it is possible to find the strength and courage to promote all sorts of initiatives. "I am just a catalyst," he added, "creating the conditions for others to benefit from the microcredit project."
Posted by Stratford Caldecott at 09:29