Hararghie Catholic Secretariat (HCS)
Harar Catholic Secretariat (HCS) was set up in 1987. This was done mainly to swiftly respond to emergency needs of the local communities. Eventually, the healthy relationships with the communities and the local authorities have developed towards a mutual understanding and co-operation. This incident has paved ways for the Secretariat to become one of the most dynamic agencies in the region.
As the emergency interventions of the 1980s have further enhanced the partnership, the Apostolic Vicar of Harar revised the mission of the Secretariat defining the field of interventions and giving an operational frame as follows:
“Promotion of sustainable participatory socio-economic development and welfare oriented programs within the territory of the Apostolic Vicariate of Harar without any discrimination of creed, race, and behaviors”.
Accordingly, HCS has promoted and directly implemented economically feasible, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly interventions in different valuable multi-sectoral fields. Most of these interventions were focusing on improving : food security in the region, sustainable use of available resources, rural and urban education system, social and economic welfare of the marginalized rural and urban communities through the encouragement of CBOs and concept of diversified use of economic resources, promoting of better understanding of participatory development, promoting and developing environmental friendly natural resource management schemes (water, sanitation, income generation, environmental protection actions, promotion of forest and staple food genetic materials protection, etc.), promotion of community based self-managed micro-finance schemes believing that everyone has its own capacity to promote self-development in his/her own environment. HCS has made all the strides and efforts to empower the motive of participatory development by engaging itself more and more in the role of development facilitating agency.
Moreover, the Secretariat is involved at regional, national and international levels in promoting and advocating for the social welfare and recognition of the pastoralist and non-pastoralist socio-economic set up in the Eastern part of Ethiopia.
Because of the Government’s request of re-registration of the National Catholic Church and the new legal status obtained by Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS), as legal representative of the Episcopal Conference and Dioceses, with a registered constitution and clearly defined mandate, the different dioceses have been requested to re-organize themselves according to the ECS constitution and the directives of the Episcopal Conference, while maintaining their peculiarity of autonomy being the secretarial office.
Accordingly, a new structure was created at both national and diocesan levels with two main organizational functions. These functions are the Pastoral Activities Commission (PAC) and Social and Development Commission (SDCO) at National level of the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) and Pastoral Activities Commission Office of Harar (PACOH) and Social Development Commission Branch Office of Harar (SDCOH) at Apostolic Vicariate of Harar level. This process has brought the existence of two organizations under the secretariat of the Vicariate, with distinct activities that are pastoral and social.
In 2018, following the new memorandum of understanding signed between the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian Catholic Church HCS has developed a new organization in addition to the two already existing organizations. The newly founded organization is called Economic Development Agency (EDA) and its purpose is coordinating the resource of the Vicariate.