Catholic Social Services

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Catholic Social Services is a Roman Catholic social service organisation in Karachi, Pakistan.[1]

History[edit]

In 1962 the Archbishop of Karachi (later Cardinal) Joseph Cordeiro decided to form the Catholic Social Services (CSS), becoming its first Chairman and chose Cyril Mendes to be the Honorary Secretary. All Catholic groups doing Social work like the Marie Adelaide Centre, Lemmens Welfare Society, came under the umbrella of CSS and thus got a forum to share their experiences and resources. Later Cyril Mendes was elected the Chairman of CSS and continued to be Chairman from 1969 to 1979.[2]

CSS was registered with the Directorate Social Welfare, Government of Sindh as a voluntary social welfare organization in 1963.[3]

Post 1971 war work[edit]

Since 1971 CSS has been engaged in rehabilitation of Bihari refugees from Bangladesh in Bhutta Village. CSS also provided housing loan, technical training and schools to the refugees settled at Majid Colony, Landhi, Karachi.[3]

CSS successfully solicited donations from and worked with organizations such as Caritas Germany to send aid to Pakistan and was involved in many projects from opening medical clinics for vaccinations for the poor in Lalukhet, Nazimabad and rebuilding of homes damaged by the Indian Air force bombing in Keamari after the war.[2]

In the 1970s CSS also started the Socio Industrial Project) at Azam Basti for women’s employment. CSS also started a community development center at Essa Nagri.[3]

Progress during the 1980s[edit]

In the 1980s CSS started a training project and formed the Self Help Cooperative Societies for micro credit, thrift, and saving purposes. CSS also took active part in the formation of the Inter Aid Committee with the collaboration of the Church of Pakistan of Karachi Diocese and contributed substantial aid to the Afghan refugees.

In 1980s CSS also took an active part in the establishment of the Pakistan Voluntary Health and Nutrition Association.[3]

In 1981 a program for giving housing loans was started. Interest free loans were provided to households to be repaid within 3 years in monthly instalments. Between 1981 and 1992 loans were provided to 830 families. By 2004 this had increased to more than 2,000 families.[2]

Organisation and recent projects[edit]

In 1993 CSS had 50 members who each year elected a 9 member Executive Board. The organisation employed 9 staff, 2 in housing loans, 3 in community worker training and 4 for core support.[4]

In 2004 the Karachi archdiocese announced plans to expand the CSS programs to people who need them, regardless of their social and religious background. The agency intends to reach beyond Catholics by also offering home loans, improving basic health facilities and providing education services and income-generation and capacity building programs to other communities.[5]

In August 2008 the office shifted from a rented office in Saddar to its own premises in Azam Basti.

CSS is a member of Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions. It launched a new housing scheme (CSS EVA Project). ACCU was contacted and delegations were sent to attend ACCU Forums at Dacca in 2008, at Bangkok 2009 and S. Korea in 2010.[3]

References[edit]