OCDI – Caritas Togo (Organisation de la Charité pour un Développement Intégral), established by the Bishops’ Conference of Togo, is the charitable department of the Catholic Church in Togo. It gained government recognition in 1967, which was passed on when it changed its name (OCDI) in July 1988.
The purpose of OCDI is to organise Christian charity and help Christians embody the charity of Christ in their lives. Historically, the first Christian community quickly understood that effective practice of the virtue of charity required an organisation. Therefore, it appointed deacons to provide a daily distribution to widows. [Cf.: Acts 6:1-6].
The Catholic Church of Togo, while leaving everyone free to practise charity as they wish, proposes a coordination structure for charitable actions. This structure is the OCDI, which has a presence at national, diocesan (seven dioceses) and parochial level.
In fulfilling its mission, the OCDI aims for the integral development of everyone and all those who follow the evangelical values and social teaching of the Church. It works together with populations on their own self-realisation and in disaster situations.
Today, the OCDI is primarily engaged in the fields of healthcare, teaching, rural development, village water supplies and the promotion of women. Its main partners from the North are: Manos Unidas, Misereor, Missio, Caritas Germany, CCFD (a French development agency) and Secours Catholique (Caritas France).
In 2012 the OCDI celebrated its silver jubilee after 25 years of operations. It was an opportunity to take stock and review objectives. “All Christians are members of the OCDI, and therefore feel concerned about its actions”: “In our actions we are inspired by the way Jesus acted, and we don’t situate ourselves uniquely on the human plane”. Such conclusions were pledged for the coming years.
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