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“We want to be better”: Caritas Internationalis adapts new work culture

Maria Amparo Alonso has been the temporary co-administrator of Caritas Internationalis for the past four months. When she began her work in November, Pope Francis had made changes to the Caritas confederation because some of its workers were experiencing burnout.

Alonso is now teaming up Italian Pier Francesco Pinelli, the current extraordinary commissioner, and Portuguese Jesuit Fr. Manuel Morujão. Together, they have one goal: to create a more inclusive work culture.

Co-administrator, Caritas Internationalis
Yes, there was an independent investigation where they found it was necessary to reinforce a group spirit, a feeling of teamwork, precisely because we want to be better and we want to provide better service to the confederation. We found it necessary to introduce improvements in that sense.

Caritas Internationalis has set up a process of continuous dialogue with its employees, coaching and counseling. They have emphasized that the changes are not due to any scandal, but rather the simple desire to put people first. 

Co-administrator, Caritas Internationalis
This renewal was an act of love for ourselves, not punishment. The work done by all the Caritas organizations around the world has never been called into question.

Alonso praises the organization's potential and believes that, if they are given the chance to innovate, they can go very far.

Co-administrator, Caritas Internationalis
We have a lot of creative potential here. Not only us, but we have a great team, which is very important to highlight. The people who work here are highly creative people with a lot of ideas and now is the time to put them on the table and start playing together.

They are now preparing for the General Assembly in May. Caritas members from 200 countries will travel to Rome, elect a new leadership, and set guidelines for the future. Some of the organization's priorities include the war in Ukraine, the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, the famine in the Horn of Africa, and the fight against forced displacement and human trafficking.