The Archdiocesan Social Welfare/Caritas Service

The Social Welfare/Caritas Coordination Service of the Archdiocese of Bamenda was created in May 2007 with the appointment of Benedicta Muffuh as the Archdiocesan Coordinator of the Service. The Service was charged with the promotion of the social welfare of the people and the better organization of the Charity of the Local Church of the Archdiocese according the Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est, of Pope Benedict XVI and the other relevant documents of the Magisterium.


The Job Description of the Social Welfare/Caritas Service includes mobilizing, animating and sensitizing the grassroots communities to develop in communitarian charity and also encouraging them to engage in income-generating activities that will uplift their standards of living, ensuring the development of the whole person and caring for the wellbeing of the poor and vulnerable.


From its creation to date, the coordinator of the service engaged in networking with the National office BASC/Caritas and the CODASC/Caritas of other dioceses. Formation of Social Welfare/Caritas Commissions at Parish, and Mission Station levels which began in 2007/2008 with the sensitisation of 51 priests in the then six deaneries of the Archdiocese has been bearing enormous fruits. Since then, Social Welfare/Caritas Commissions have been formed and trained in 30 parishes and 50 Mission Stations. The Coordinator relates with the following existing Social Welfare services in the Archdiocese run by the Religious:  The Njinikom orphanage, the Bamendankwe Deaf/Dumb School, 3 Treasure Centres, and St. Joseph’s Adult and Children’s Home (SAJOCAH), Bafut. The Service seeks out and organizes meetings with Street Children in the Mankon urban area.

With the socio-political insurgence in Anglophone Cameroon since 2016, and its consequent difficulties, CARITAS has defied all odds to reach out to the suffering masses, assisting them with health care, food, in collaboration with the World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies. On a monthly basis, the CARITAS reaches out to the various parishes of the Archdiocese to offer this assistance. CARITAS Bamenda has been working relentlessly to coordinate humanitarian activities in favour, especially of those persons and communities affected by the crisis. The body has also been drawing up records of homes destroyed, tracing and reuniting members of families that were displaced by the war, and counselling victims who had lost loved ones or had their homes, crops and property destroyed, providing food and medical care to the needy, besides several related humanitarian activities.


Of historical significance with regard to the civil conflict in Cameroon was the participation of CARITAS office in the United Nations’ Security Arria Formula in New York which took place on 13 May 2019. The subject with regard to Cameroon was the volatile and dehumanizing situation of the war in Anglophone Cameroon. Fr. Paul Njokikang, its Director at the time, participated in the session, and, in a moving presentation, recounted the deplorable situation – the killings, the destruction of homes, crops and property of civilians, as well as the precarious situation of the refugees, mincing no words as he named the agents/actors of the violence on the field.


As concerns the challenges faced by CARITAS in its operation, we have insecurity, insufficient funds to meet the needs of the thousands of displaced persons, kidnappings and abductions of personnel by the warring factions.