Project Compassion raises millions to combat global poverty

Thousands of generous supporters, including parishes and school students across Australia, have joined in solidarity with the world’s poor donating more than $10.8 million to Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign.

Caritas Australia is a part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world.

Held annually over the six weeks of Lent, Project Compassion raises both awareness and funds to eradicate poverty and promote justice across the world.

This year’s Project Compassion theme of “100% Hope” highlights the role that we all have to play in the solutions to the challenges facing our communities globally. Caritas Australia’s Head of Engagement and Sustainability, Richard Landels, thanked the Australian community for their support.

“By giving generously during Project Compassion, 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 54 years, Project Compassion has helped change the lives of millions people. The generosity of our supporters makes this possible. With this support, Caritas Australia is able to go wherever the challenges are greatest, giving a voice to the most vulnerable,” Mr Landels said.

In Sydney, Project Com­passion kicked off with a mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Tuesday March 5, at­tended by over 200 Catholic school teachers, students and parishioners, as well as Cari­tas Australia Lenten speaker, Super Dube, who is visiting Australia from Zimbabwe. Archbishop Anthony Fisher presided over the mass with the assistance of Bishop Terry Brady. In attendance was Mr Super Dube, Caritas Australia’s Lenten speaker and Diocesan Coordinator of Caritas Hwange, Zimbabwe.

Mr Dube also spoke at St Ursula’s College in Kings­grove, to students from across the Archdiocese of Sydney highlighting the sto­ry of Thandolwayo, a young girl from the community of Hwange, in Zimbabwe who Mr Dube saw transform and flourish as a result of Caritas Australia’s development pro­grams there.

“The dignity of the com­munity has been restored,” Mr Dube, Caritas Hwange’s Diocesan Coordinator, said.

“People no longer have to worry about collecting a ba­sic thing like water which is a human right. The project has certainly brought hope to the village.”

Money raised during Project Compassion goes towards Caritas Australia’s humanitarian and long-term development programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and with Australia’s First Peoples.

Last year, Caritas Australia reached over 2 million people directly.

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