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Project Compassion appeals support from Australians this Lenten season


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Caritas Australia on February 23 launched Project Compassion, an annual Lenten fundraising and awareness-raising appeal.

Project Compassion will run for six weeks during Lent. Money raised will help millions of people each year as part of Caritas Australia’s long-term development and emergency relief programs. 

Caritas Australia is appealing to all Australians to ‘Go Further Together’ to assist communities around the world. Caritas Australia is part of Caritas Internationalis, one of the largest charitable institutions in the world.

Last year Caritas Australia reached 1.52 million marginalised people worldwide, including in Australia because of the generosity of the Australian public. In 2019, more than 1,000 parishes and 1,300 schools helped to raise $10.7 million through Project Compassion. 

Caritas Australia is also assisting vulnerable communities in the Philippines to become architects of their own development, through a holistic development project which secures income, improves education and access to goods and services. 

Caritas Australia programs supporting the plight of the Indigenous Manide people in the Philippines are featured this year during Project Compassion in Shirley’s story. 

When Shirley joined the Caritas-supported program, it became the turning point in her life. The said program strengthens the capacity of indigenous people to lead lives of dignity, grow in self-esteem and attain sustainable livelihoods. This is made possible in partnership with the Socio Pastoral Action Centre Foundation Inc (SPACFI). Nearly 1200 Manide people have benefitted so far.

“We encourage everyone to support Project Compassion which is now in its 55th year so that we can continue to transform lives, strengthen the resilience of communities and contribute to peace and stability,” Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia said.

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Roberton is “humbled by the generosity of our supporters right across the Australian communities and the difference that makes in changing lives globally”. 

The new CEO of Caritas remembers personally giving as a child to a Project Compassion box. Even back then, she knew it had the power to change peoples’ lives.

The Philippines ’ 17 million indigenous people who continue to face discrimination, disadvantage and displacement from ancestral lands find the day-to-day living tough.

Limited education, employment and unequal access to healthcare mean that preventable diseases, such as tuberculosis and measles are common – and the maternal and newborn mortality rate is high. 

Adding to the challenges faced by the country’s most marginalised and vulnerable people are the over 20 typhoons that strike the Philippines each year.

According to Robertson, everyone is part of one global human family, supporting each other and particularly those most marginalised during difficult times. 

“This year, despite the challenges in our own country, we invite you to be part of the Project Compassion journey towards creating a more just world, at peace and free of poverty,” Robertson said. 

For those interested in donating to Project Compassion or to learn more about how to host a Pancake Tuesday, Fish Friday or Water Challenge visit Caritas Australia’s website, www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or call 1800 024 413.

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