Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire has encouraged sporting and school communities around Australia to “Give 100%” during Caritas Australia’s major fundraising and awareness-raising campaign, Project Compassion.
On Tuesday, March 19 at 8:30am, Michael and the Wests Tigers NRL squad will urge others to take part in Project Compassion as he reconnects with Super Dube, whom Maguire met in Zimbabwe during an epic trip in October 2017 with Caritas Australia. Super works for Caritas Hwange in Zimbabwe and is now visiting schools and communities across Australia.
In the lead up to World Water Day on 22 March, Project Compassion is highlighting the need for access to clean water for all. Currently 600 million people around the world lack this human right and 2.3 billion people have no basic sanitation[i]. This March and through to Easter, tens of thousands of Australians, including students and community supporters will fundraise during Project Compassion to support humanitarian aid programs and drive change in impoverished communities.
Maguire, who tasted Premiership success in the NRL back in 2014, was able to see the work of Caritas Australia firsthand in Zimbabwe — a life-changing experience far removed from the world of NRL which has left a lasting impact. Maguire explains that his life and career has come full circle since that trip.
“Lives change when we all give 100%, whether it’s in sport or helping others globally,” he said.
“There are a lot of people across the world in extreme poverty who have experienced complete poverty – no water, no food. That can be very hard to comprehend in a country as lucky as ours. To be able to witness the impact of money raised through Project Compassion on peoples’ lives through Caritas’ work and programs was incredible.”
“I met people who have been through so much and see what they’ve achieved through their incredible strength could match any top-performing footy team, and this will stay with me for a long time,” said Maguire.
Caritas Australia’s Africa programs coordinator, Sister Ivy Khoury, accompanied Maguire on the epic journey from Victoria Falls to Harare, through Hwange, Bulawayo and Gweru. It started in villages which had no water, no food and few toilets. Caritas’ support through the Australian community and Australian government has helped communities receive water to grow food that has resulted in many people with thriving businesses and better sanitation.
Caritas Australia is part of one of the largest international aid and development networks in the world and works to empower vulnerable communities in 27 countries globally. Last year thanks to its supporters, Caritas reached over 1.85 million people directly through its emergency and development programs.