UISG Establishes Catholic Care for Children International
The International Union of Superiors General (UISG) is launching a new project: Catholic Care for Children International (CCCI). This sister-led effort will help religious institutes, especially those with a charism of care for children, to provide children with the highest quality care possible. It aims to see every child growing up in a safe, loving family or family-like environment.
Online Launch Event
FRIDAY OCTOBER 2 FROM 3.00pm-4.30pm (Rome time) UISG-CCCI WILL LAUNCH THIS GLOBAL INITIATIVE (live streaming on youtube: English only)
CCCI Vision: To create a world where every child grows up in a safe, loving family or supportive community.
CCCI Mission: To help religious institutes with a charism of care to read the signs of the times and provide the best care possible for children and vulnerable persons, in particular: to reduce recourse to institutional care and to encourage family- and community-based care for children.
Catholic Care for Children International: history and mission
The beginnings of Catholic Care for Children International trace to a two-day workshop, “Sowing Hope for Children in Our Care,” which was held in conjunction with the 2019 UISG Triennial Assembly and co-hosted with GHR Foundation. Superiors and other stakeholders considered how to express a charism of care today, especially in light of what is known about the risks associated with residential care and the benefits of family- and community-based care for children. The workshop highlighted inspiring work already underway through the Sisters of St. Joseph in New York, Good Shepherd Sisters in Sri Lanka, and Cabrini Sisters in Swaziland, where each group of sisters is working to ensure a loving family for every child. Participants were also impressed with the national associations of religious in Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya, whose members are working to reduce recourse to institutional care and to promote family- and community-based care for children.
Reading the signs of the times, those who attended the “Sowing Hope for Children in Our Care” workshop encouraged UISG to expand the conversations so women religious across the globe could consider how to express a charism of care today in ways that honor a child’s right to family life. CCCI will be a means to do so.
The scope of this issue is immense. Every person’s existence begins in a family, the natural environment for the growth, wellbeing and protection of children. But an estimated 8 million children across the globe are separated from the love, nurture, and protection of family. Many are living in “orphanages,” although most have at least one living parent.
For sound development, a child needs to be nurtured and to develop a sense of belonging that only a family can fully provide. Pope Francis speaks to the importance of family life and the blessings it bestows on children: “Children, once born, begin to receive, along with nourishment and care, the spiritual gift of knowing with certainty that they are loved…In this way, they learn that the beauty of human relationships touches our soul, seeks our freedom, accepts the difference of others, recognizes and respects them as a partner in dialogue…Such is love, and it contains a spark of God’s love!”
Under the aegis of the International Union of Superiors General and with assistance from GHR Foundation, Catholic Care for Children International will support women religious in championing family- and community-based approaches to care for children. It is envisioned as a network of networks, working closely with and learning from Catholic Care for Children in Uganda, in Zambia and in Kenya. CCCI will provide opportunities to reflect on charism and learn from best practices. It will promote collaboration and robust safeguarding practices for children and vulnerable adults. It will convene leaders and others concerned with the wellbeing of children in Catholic care. CCCI will resource the Catholic Care for Children movement by developing and sharing needed resources.
For women religious, this is an important moment in time. Assuming responsibility for a child outside of family care is a profound moral responsibility. We must ensure that all in our care are safe and have every opportunity to flourish. In launching CCCI, UISG prayerfully embraces this obligation.
Watch here the experience of Gerri Anne McMakin
 The Association of Religious in Uganda is sponsor of Catholic Care for Children in Uganda (CCCU); the Zambia Association of Sisterhoods is sponsor of Catholic Care for Children in Zambia (CCCZ); the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya is sponsor of Catholic Care for Children in Kenya (CCCK).
 Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia, 172.