The volunteering journey of Caritas India began with its first intervention itself. The state of Kerala holds the first volunteer-led campaign of Caritas India “Ashakirnam” – the cancer awareness campaign. The “Ashakirnam” campaign was launched in 2014 by Caritas India in response to the alarming situation of rise in cancer patients in Kerala. It began with a vision to engage maximum number of volunteers from different walks of life to works towards spreading the right awareness about cancer. Currently, the campaign proudly holds more than 25000 Caritas Samaritans actively working as part of the campaign. This volunteer-led campaign largely accounts for a cultural and behavioral change in the society, which would focus on the roots of cancer and work around prevention, building fences on many fronts.
The recent chain of volunteer training programs being held in different colleges of Kerala is aiming towards sensitizing the young adults towards the realities existing in the society. The training program began with an introduction session about the Key Strategic Pillars (KSP) focused on orienting the volunteers around the rationale behind the strategic plan of Caritas India and the approach of each strategic pillar.
The second part of the session was focused on devising strategies by volunteers to undertake the cancer awareness campaigns. Among the various proposed activities, the volunteers selected the village adoption model to implement the campaign. The volunteer groups would adopt villages and conduct street plays and flash mobs on the focused theme. The team would also be working around to create networks and linkages with the concerned authorities and hospitals along with putting efforts together to raise funds and mobilize resources. Each of the newly enrolled Caritas Samaritans have pledged 50hrs of volunteering, the same would be certified by the college authorities and Caritas India.
Caritas Samaritans are oriented to be prophetic in nature and bear the flag of reaching out to the maximum and most marginalized. Caritas India embarked this journey of volunteering in 2018 by calling out to the citizens of our country to join hands as volunteers. The training was designed to instill the spirit of volunteering and motivate them to initiate activities around their living areas for the good of our society. We at Caritas India truly believe that volunteers are people and teams committed to engage in favor of people in situations of vulnerability and social exclusion; they have compassion, at the root of their actions undertaken and is continuously engaged in developing these agents of change in every part of our nation.
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