Catholic agencies hand out aid to Muslim groups

Indira Das-Gupta

The Caritas coalition of Catholic charities, of which Cafod is a member, has been distributing prayer kits in Banda Aceh to mark the Muslim festival of Eid.

The kits contain a prayer mat, a sarong for men to wear at mosque, and a mukena, which is worn by women to cover their heads and bodies when they pray.

After consultation with community leaders to find out what people needed, the 2,500 kits were distributed in the Meulaboh area of Aceh, one of the areas worst hit by the tsunami, to people living in camps.

Caritas staff also donated a bull and three goats to the local mosque in Geuceu Kompleks village. During Eid it is traditional for mosques to donate meat to poor people in the area.

Caritas team leader Pat Johns said: "Many people in Meulaboh and the surrounding area lost everything, and the loss of items that are important for their faith was particularly distressing.

"As a faith-based organisation, we recognise the importance of faith to many people."

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