All around the country, schools, parishes and communities have given generously to Caritas Australia through its Annual Lenten fundraising campaign, Project Compassion.
Caritas Australia is the Catholic Church’s aid and development agency and part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world. Through this year’s campaign over $6 million dollars has already been raised to support the needs of poor and marginalised communities all over the world.
Held annually over the six weeks of Lent, Project Compassion raises both awareness and funds to eradicate poverty and promote justice. This year’s Project Compassion theme of “100% Hope” highlighted the role that young people like Thandolwayo, who no longer has to walk long stretches every day in her native Zimbabwe just to procure enough water to drink, can play in the solutions to the challenges facing their societies.
Caritas Australia’s Head of Engagement and Sustainability, Richard Landels, thanked the Australian community for their support.
“By giving generously at Project Compassion time, the people of Australia are showing that when we sow seeds of Hope we reap the fruit of love and compassion,” Mr Landels said.
“For more than 50 years, Project Compassion has helped change the lives of millions of people. Yet it’s not too late to give, and by generously investing in our work you can give that last push which is needed to ensure that the most vulnerable are lifted up” Mr Landels said.
This campaign also told the story of students helping students. Some of the schools and parishes which have given most generously include St Pius, Adamstown in Newcastle, New South Wales, which raised $17,000 for the work of Caritas Australia through a ‘Caritas Ks’ event. At the event, 1000 students walked together in solidarity with the 663 million people, including young Thandolwayo, who must walk for water everyday
For Adam Frost, Ministry Coordinator at St Pius X High School Adamstown, the issue of water scarcity was one of the driving factors which informed the theme of the ‘Caritas Ks’ competition and a wider awareness of the work of Caritas at his school.
“This Lent, we developed greater solidarity with Thandolwayo, and others like her. We need to make changes to how much water we use at home and at school, as well as acting for change in places where clean water is so scarce,” Mr Frost said.
“She used to walk seven kilometres every day to get clean water. Caritas (the Catholic Aid and Development Organisation) was able to help Thandolwayo and her people in her village by installing a solar water filtration device, which brought clean water to the village.”
It’s not too late to give to Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion, which you can do online via https://www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion