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'Caritas' is a Latin word meaning 'Love + Compassion'. Find out more about how Caritas Australia enacts these terms in our international humanitarian work.
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The year 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of Caritas Australia's journey of love and compassion. Read more and watch videos outlining what we have achieved within our 50 years.
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Caritas Australia has over 100 long-term development projects across the globe.
Explore the Catholic Social Teaching principles and how they guide the work of Caritas Australia.
Professional development, Just Leadership days and free teaching resources to help embed social justice into your school curriculum and ethos.
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The SDGs are 17 Global Goals adopted by the United Nations to help end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice, and take action on climate change by 2030.
The Strengths Based Approach, also known as Asset Based Community Development, focuses on the strengths, capacities and assets of communities so that they may be architects of their own better futures.
Discover how we empower communities so they can help themselves out of poverty.
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Explore our current emergency aid appeals, disaster relief work and recent humanitarian responses.
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Working together to create a climate of justice, inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si'.
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In response to Pope Francis’ call to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate migrants and refugees, we are asking you to support the global Caritas campaign "Share the Journey".
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More countries and regions
March marked 5 years since the Syrian civil war began, described by the United Nations as the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. The numbers are staggering (an estimated 250,000 lives lost, 4 million Syrians fleeing their country, 12.2 million forced to leave their homes) and so the relief effort continues to be one of the most extensive in the world.
The plight of Syrian refugees is still as prevalent as ever in news headlines too, both here and across the world. In February, award-winning Australian musician Missy Higgins released ‘Oh Canada’, a tribute song for 3 year old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, who died in Turkey last year while his family were trying to flee the war.
Image captured from Missy Higgins' 'Oh Canada' video
Communities in Fiji were devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston in February. The category 5 storm is believed to be one of the strongest ever to hit the Southern Hemisphere, with an estimated 350,000 people impacted. The Fiji Government declared a nation-wide state of emergency immediately after the 20 February storm. Cyclone Winston also affected the Tongan islands of Vava’u and Ha’apai.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
Throughout the emergency response, the dedication and support of the Catholic Church and its supporting Caritas Oceania agencies have been recognised as vital in assisting those impacted by Cyclone Winston.
Through our relief effort and that of our partners, Caritas Australia has been able to assist those impacted by the storm by providing shelter kits and non-food items, food parcels and the replantation of destroyed crops.
Caritas Aoetearoa New Zealand
Caritas Australia’s major fundraiser Project Compassion celebrated 50 years during the six weeks of Lent this year. The theme of this year’s fundraiser was “Learning more, creating change” and featured stories of how the project has changed the lives of people in India, Laos and Papua New Guinea to name a few.
There was also incredible involvement in Project Compassion 2016 locally, from schools, parishes and churches all across the country. The theme really brought out some creative ideas – everything from pancake races to crazy sock days, cricket games to Darth Vader – all in the name of compassion.
One of the highlights of this year’s project was the visit from Martin Mazinga from Malawi. Martin is the Program Coordinator for CADECOM, Caritas Australia’s partner in the East Africa nation. He spent time in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Western Australia, speaking with school children and supporters of Caritas.
Last year’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal resulted in a large-scale emergency response, which continued well into the following 12 months after the disaster.
Catholic Relief Services
While the impact of the earthquake is still heavily felt, the incredible stories of resilience and solidarity from the people of Nepal appeared to take centre stage when the country marked the earthquake’s first anniversary in April. Caritas Australia have been working to reach people who are most vulnerable during natural disasters, including women, children and the elderly, like 103-year-old Thiramaya Garti Chetri. She lost her home in the earthquake, though a new home will be built for her through the Caritas recovery program.
Matthieu Alexandre/Caritas Internationalis
The long-term development that the Caritas Network has been implementing in Nepal has a focus on shelter, cash-for-work, restoring safe water supplies, hgiene and snitation facilities and safety with investment in building communities' resilience for future disasters.The relief effort has also seen incredible generosity from all over the world, including home soil, with Caritas Australia’s supporters incredibly donating $4.3 million to the appeal.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk (CSsR DD), Vice-chair of Caritas Australia, along with our CEO Paul O’Callaghan and several other Caritas Australia staff members took part in a global Caritas confederation event to mark the anniversary. Bishop Peter Stasiuk said of the people in Nepal, “We were treated as real friends and family. They sang songs, danced dances, wrote poems, and gave speeches of thanksgiving. It was very emotional for me; it was uplifting.”
The topic of Australian aid funding has featured heavily in the news so far in 2016. Prior to the disappointing budget announcement in May that saw the Liberal government cut Australian aid by $224 million, Caritas Australia, along with the wider Catholic community and coalition networks had urged Treasurer Scott Morrison to ‘Stop the Clock’ on the impending cuts. The discussion surrounding aid has maintained momentum in the weeks leading up to the July 2 election. Caritas Australia’s CEO Paul O’Callaghan has urged “leaders on both sides of politics to restore Australia's strong record of being a significant contributor to addressing global and regional poverty.”
It’s been a big six months for women in the world of social justice. There have been several highlights, including the Women for the World events. Held in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, guests listened to inspiring talks by Psyche Mae, who took part in a Caritas program in 2008 and is now a social worker.
Another highlight included Caritas Australia’s own Kylie Supramaniam. Kylie works in the agency’s International Programs team as Program Coordinator, India and she was honoured with the ‘Inspiring Woman Leader in International Development Working with Tribal Women’ award in February, by non-government organisation AT India. Fantastic work, Kylie!
Caritas Australia’s supporters have been as integral as ever in the first half of the year, with some even taking their support for our work that extra step – or cycle – further. In February, 14 of our supporters took part in the ‘Cycle for solidarity’ challenge in Cambodia. The group covered close to 400km across the country, raising awareness and funds (over $75,000!) for our projects there.
And our friend Matt Napier has taken on his own incredible challenge. The ‘Walk to a Better World’ campaign kicked off (literally) in early June, with Matt kicking a soccer ball and walking across Africa. Matt’s target is to walk 2,250 to raise awareness for the importance of reducing poverty through sustainable change. While his challenge will finish up in the second half of 2016 (lock 20 August in your calendars), Matt’s effort so far and all-round incredible determination is too inspiring not to mention!
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© Caritas Australia 2019
Caritas Australia is the international aid and development organisation of the Catholic Church in Australia. We are a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and the Church Agencies Network. We are endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient (ABN 90 970 605 069) with charity status. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.