ITALY: Kenya’s Lucy Espila Elected Caritas Africa Regional Executive Secretary

By Paschal Norbert

ROME, MAY 12, 2023 (CISA)– Ms Lucy Espila has been elected as the first female Regional Executive Secretary of Caritas Africa.

Ms Espila was elected by delegates from the 46 member organizations of Caritas Africa meeting in Rome for the 10th Regional General Assembly from May 7 to 10, to discuss the future of Caritas in Africa and the efforts of mutual understanding and cooperation for common paths of development.

In her acceptance speech, the research, communication and advocacy specialist highlighted four significant approaches that are key to building resilient communities in Africa, which will also shape her four-year mandate in office until 2027.

“In strategic orientation one: we will endeavour to deepen our Pastoral Collaboration and Communication with SECAM, increase our engagements with the Regional Episcopal Conferences, and collaborate with like-minded actors. Under strategic orientation two: The Regional Executive Secretariat exists to provide services to its members, there is a position for membership support services, we want this role to be driven by the Zonal Coordinators and the members so that we are sure we are providing effective and reliable core services. Talk to us and share your ideas. We will also work very hard to roll out the investment opportunity in Addis Ababa in order to ensure organizational and financial resilience,” said Ms Espila.

For the third strategic orientation, she advanced that the goal and hope is to see the growth of Caritas Africa’s Regional Solidarity Fund.

She said, “We need to grow this kitty so that when we hear that there is an emergency, we are able to support it as we wait for the facilitation of Emergency appeals of Caritas Internationalis.”

“In Advocacy, we will count on your support to generate evidence and also to leverage the upcoming opportunity to deepen relations with the African Union,” she added.

Before she was elected regional secretary, Ms Espila worked as the Policy and Advocacy Officer of Caritas Africa. She was elected alongside former Caritas Internationalis Ecclesiastical Assistant, Msgr. Pierre Cibambo, who is the new president of Caritas Africa.

Founded in 1995, Caritas Africa is a charitable and development organization of the Catholic Church that brings together a total of 46 National Caritas in sub-Saharan Africa and the adjacent islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Its mission is to accompany the Church in Africa in the fulfilment of its ministry of charity and justice by helping the poor and the most excluded, responding to humanitarian emergencies, promoting the development and resilience of communities, and advocating for peace and respect for human rights.