Who we are

From humble beginnings in 1897 Germany, Caritas, named after a Latin word meaning love and compassion, grew to become one of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies. The Catholic Agency for Aid and Development, Caritas began in Australia in 1964. And many people, then and now, feel that supporting Caritas is a great way to reach out to people in need.

Crowd of Indian women

Caritas means love and compassion

Together we can help the poorest of the poor live a life of dignity. We can help them become self-sufficient so they don’t need to rely on charity; we can help them go to school and learn better ways to farm using sustainable agriculture techniques; and we can help them support their family and community.

Helping the poorest of the poor

Every day, Caritas Australia and our local partners are supporting people in need around the world. We are assisting them to break free from the cycle of poverty, regardless of their ethnicity, political beliefs, gender or religion. Our work includes:

  • Responding to emergencies such as the food crisis in East Africa.
  • Implementing Disaster Risk Reduction strategies, particularly in the Pacific Islands, where villagers are experiencing rising sea levels.
  • Helping farmers with sustainable agricultural practices, such as the Farmer Field School in Nepal.
  • Building water catchments in regions like Ethiopia, so communities have access to fresh, clean water and are able to grow crops.
  • Providing access to education and workshops in regions of South-East Asia, so vulnerable people can learn new skills.
  • Training rural midwives in quality antenatal, delivery and postnatal care for women in rural areas.
  • Alleviating poverty in Indigenous Australia through projects such as the Tjanpi Desert Weavers which generate an income and provide sustainable development opportunities for women in rural communities.

We rely on people like you to care about your fellow human beings and the world around you. And we hope to make more people aware of the causes of injustice and poverty, and encourage them to take action too.

There are lots of ways to get involved in Caritas Australia. You can:


For nearly 50 years we’ve demonstrated our careful management of funds. You can be assured that you are supporting an efficient and effective organisation committed to good stewardship of the resources in our care. We strive to keep our administration and fundraising costs at or below 10% of our income every year.

A few dollars goes a long way

  • $2 could provide Indigenous plants to regenerate 10 square metres of deforested community land in Bolivia.
  • $10 could supply jerry cans for two families affected by natural disaster in Samoa
  • $50 could engage an Indigenous person in 5-day community tourism training in Bolivia
  • $100 could provide a bicycle for a field worker working with the disabled in Bangladesh
  • $200 could provide training packs for 10 ‘street boys’ to learn organic farming in Papua New Guinea

Remember you may be one person, but individuals can make life-giving decisions.