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Core Values 2017-09-16T14:46:39+00:00

ACO FOUNDATION’S CORE VALUES

1) Human Dignity.

The human person is a creature of God and God places the human creature at the centre and summit of the created order. Therefore, being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with God and the entire creation. The person represents the ultimate end of society, hence, the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person, since the order of things is to be subordinate to the order of persons, and not the other way around. Every political, economic, social, scientific and cultural programme must be inspired by the awareness of the primacy of each human being over society.

2) Common Good.

The principle of the common good, stems from the dignity, unity and equality of all people. The common good means achieving the conditions that make it possible for all to come to their full potential as persons and to become all that God intends them to be. Simply stated, it means “all for one, one for all”. The dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good.  Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life. To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it.  Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in  society: the common good.  It is the good of ‘all of us’, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society. The common good corresponds to the highest of human instincts, but it is a good that is very difficult to attain because it requires the constant ability and effort to seek the good of others as though it were one’s own good.

3) Subsidiarity.

The principle of subsidiarity means that every group or body in society must have the freedom and the means to do what it can best do for itself without its activity being taken over by a higher body or level of government. In other words: Don’t take over what others can do for themselves. It is a fundamental principle of social philosophy, fixed and unchangeable, that one should not withdraw from individuals and commit to the community what they can accomplish by their own. While government has a proper role in promoting the common good, wherever possible decisions should be made by those who are closest to the people who will be affected by them, consistent with the decisions being well made. Responsibility should be kept as close as possible to the grassroots.  The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role.

More encompassing groups or higher levels of government should only intervene to support smaller, more local groups in case of need, and where this is necessary in order to coordinate their activities for the common good. Subsidiarity is a form of assistance offered when individuals or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always to achieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility.  Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognising in the person a subject who is always  capable of giving something to others.

4) Solidarity.

Human beings are social by nature.  We can not survive without others and can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Solidarity is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. Solidarity helps us to see the ‘other’ – whether a person, people, or nation – not just as some kind of instrument, with a work capacity and physical strength to be exploited at low cost and then discarded when no longer useful, but as our neighbour, a helper. Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State. God has arranged the body so that each part may be equally concerned for all the others. If one part is hurt, all parts are hurt with it. We are all our brothers and sisters’ keepers. We are one family. This leads to choices that promote and protect the good of all.

5) Meaningful Participation/Equal Platform for Participation.

The characteristic implication of subsidiarity is participation,all people have a right to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of society. It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community. Conversely, it is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society. The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if they were non-members of the human race. To treat people this way is effectively to say they simply do not count as human beings.

6) Universal Destination of Material Goods.

God destined the earth and all it contains for all men and all peoples so that all created things would be shared fairly by all mankind under the guidance of justice tempered by charity. This principle is based on the fact that “the original source of all that is good is the very act of God, who created both the earth and man, and who gave the earth to man so that he might have dominion over it by his work and enjoy its fruits. God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone. This is the foundation of the universal destination of the earth’s goods. The principle of the universal destination of goods is an invitation to develop an economic vision inspired by moral values that permit people not to lose sight of the origin or purpose of these goods, so as to bring about a world of fairness and solidarity, in which the creation of wealth can take on a positive function.

7) Dignity of Human Work and Rights of Workers/Priority of Labour over Capital

By means of work, man governs the world with God; together with God he is its lord and accomplishes good things for himself and for others. Idleness is harmful to man’s being, whereas activity is good for his body and soul.

Human work has a twofold significance: objective and subjective. In the objective sense, it is the sum of activities, resources, instruments and technologies used by men and women to produce things, to exercise dominion over the earth. In the subjective sense, work is the activity of the human person as a dynamic being capable of performing a variety of actions that are part of the work process and that correspond to his personal vocation.

Work in the objective sense constitutes the contingent aspect of human activity, which constantly varies in its expressions according to the changing technological, cultural, social and political conditions. Work in the subjective sense, however, represents its stable dimension, since it does not depend on what people produce or on the type of activity they undertake, but only and exclusively on their dignity as human beings. This subjectivity gives to work its particular dignity, which does not allow that it be considered a simple commodity or an impersonal element of the apparatus for productivity. Cut off from its lesser or greater objective value, work is an essential expression of the person, it is an “actus personae”.

The subjective dimension of work must take precedence over the objective dimension, because it is the dimension of the person himself who engages in work, determining its quality and consummate value. If this awareness is lacking, or if one chooses not to recognize this truth, work loses its truest and most profound meaning. Human work not only proceeds from the person, but it is also essentially ordered to and has its final goal in the human person. Independently of its objective content, work must be oriented to the subject who performs it, because the end of work, any work whatsoever, always remains man. Work, because of its subjective or personal character, is superior to every other factor connected with productivity; this principle applies, in particular, with regard to capital. There must exist between work and capital a relationship of complementarity: the very logic inherent within the process of production shows that the two must mutually permeate one another and that there is an urgent need to create economic systems in which the opposition between capital and labour is overcome. Capital cannot stand without labour, nor labour without capital.

The relationship between labour and capital also finds expression when workers participate in ownership, management and profits. The new ways that work is organized, where knowledge is of greater account than the mere ownership of the means of production, concretely shows that work, because of its subjective character, entails the right to participate. Work is a fundamental right and a good for mankind, a useful good, worthy of man because it is an appropriate way for him to give expression to and enhance his human dignity. Work is needed to form and maintain a family, to have a right to property, to contribute to the common good of the human family.

The rights of workers, like all other rights, are based on the nature of the human person and on his transcendent dignity. Remuneration is the most important means for achieving justice in work relationships. The just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. They commit grave injustice who refuse to pay a just wage or who do not give it in due time and in proportion to the work done. A salary is the instrument that permits the labourer to gain access to the goods of the earth. Remuneration for labour is to be such that man may be furnished the means to cultivate worthily his own material, social, cultural, and spiritual life and that of his dependents, in view of the function and productiveness of each one, the conditions of the factory or workshop, and the common good.

8 Option for the Poor and most Vulnerable

The principle of the universal destination of goods requires that the poor, the marginalized and in all cases those whose living conditions interfere with their proper growth should be the focus of particular concern. Today, furthermore, given the worldwide dimension which the social question has assumed, this love of preference for the poor, and the decisions which it inspires in us, cannot but embrace the immense multitudes of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without health care and, above all, those without hope of a better future. A Moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring on.

9 Human Rights and Duties

The movement towards the identification and proclamation of human rights is one of the most significant attempts to respond effectively to the inescapable demands of human dignity. Human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

10 Promotion of Peace

Peace is a value and a universal duty founded on a rational and moral order of society that has its roots in God himself, the first source of being, the essential truth and the supreme good. Peace is not merely the absence of war, nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies. Rather it is founded on a correct understanding of the human person and requires the establishment of an order based on justice and charity. Peace is the fruit of justice and love which is dependent upon right order among human beings.

Peace is the fruit of justice, understood in the broad sense as the respect for the equilibrium of every dimension of the human person. Peace is threatened when man is not given all that is due to him as a human person, when his dignity is not respected and when civil life is not directed to the common good. The defence and promotion of human rights is essential for the building up of a peaceful society and the integral development of individuals, peoples and nations.

Peace is also the fruit of love. True and lasting peace is more a matter of love than of justice, because the function of justice is merely to do away with obstacles to peace: the injury done or the damage caused. Peace itself, however, is an act and results only from love. Peace is built up day after day in the pursuit of an order willed by God and can flourish only when all recognize that everyone is responsible for promoting it.

VISION

To create a conducive environment for life in East Africa by paying more attention to environmental sustainability

MISSION

To mainstream the principles of environmental sustainability at every stage of development and in each level of governance in East Africa for the common good

OBJECTIVES

1) To Secure a Clean and Healthy Environment; 2) To Promote Natural Resources Conservation; 3) To Foster Art as a Cultural tool to Shape Environmental Behaviour

MOTTO

Leave no one behind in the process of environmental sustainability

OUR KEY OBJECTIVES

Think Big. Act Bigger.