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Catholic Church builds homes for the displaced

More than a year ago, widespread violence swept the streets in Maniput State when the conflict between the Meitei and Kuki tribes broke out. After the conflict, more than 60.000 people are left homeless. The Catholic Church has now started a housing program to help the people displaced after the attacks.

In May 2023, violence broke out between the Meitei and Kuki tribes in Manipur state, India. The tragic events led to the deaths of more than 200 people and the destruction of thousands of homes and hundreds of religious buildings. The aftermath of the violence is still present since tens of thousands of people are without homes and fleeing from further violence.

The Archdiocese of Impal has now started a housing program to help the displaced members of the predominantly Christian Kuki tribe. The plan is to build 600 houses and raise at least US$6,000 per unit for this effort.

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Munbi, Singangat parish, Churachandpur district in the Indian state of Manipur, are being settled in newly built houses. They are victims of violence in Manipur,”

said Fr Varghese Velickakam, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Imphal. He also thanked the support of dioceses, congregations, CSOs, and individuals. The Conference of Diocesan Priests of India (CDPI) also launched a program calling on priests all over India to support the archdiocese’s effort. According to the initial plans, the housing project would be finished by February 2025.

However, the Archdiocese of Impal does not only offer homes for the displaced but also spiritual support to help those who suffered from the violence.

We are doing rehabilitation of houses, mainly for Catholics who are from St Joseph Parish Sugnu in Chandel District,”

explained Fr Velickakam. In that parish alone, more than 1,200 houses were destroyed during the violence. Most of those displaced stayed in Manipur state, but many sought shelter in the neighboring states of Mizoram, Nagaland, and Assam. Singangat parish, Churachandpur district, was also a favored destination for the displaced since it is home to the Christian Kuki-Zou community, where they are the majority.

Source: Asia News

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