A wrap up of Project Compassion 2017

4 May 2017   |   Project Compassion

Caritas Australia, the Catholic agency for international humanitarian relief and development and part of Caritas Internationalis, the second largest humanitarian network in the world, has just run its annual fundraising appeal, Project Compassion, all over the country. 

The Lenten fundraising appeal seeks to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity all over the world and this year takes as its theme, “Love your Neighbour.” Already this year, Australians have donated close to 5 million dollars.

CEO Paul O'Callaghan explained that investing in the existing skills and assets of communities, rather than emphasising what they might lack, is what makes Caritas Australia’s approach to development so unique.

“The development programs of Caritas Australia always promote and build on the existing skills and resources of people to help them improve access to food, clean water, education, healthcare and income, regardless of their religious, political or cultural beliefs,” Mr O'Callaghan said.

For Aloma in the Philippines, Caritas Australia has been an empowering force, enabling her to take a leadership role in environmental conservation—an initiative which is crucial to her entire community.

In 2009, when a major typhoon raged, Aloma and her small children cowered while their home fell to shreds around them. 

“My kids were traumatised with that experience, as well as me. We were lucky to survive,” Aloma said.

But through training from Caritas Australia’s partners, Aloma has prepared her community for new high risk scenarios. She’s encouraging villagers to practice disaster risk management and to value the natural environment.

“The greatest change in my life was to realise that the environment is very important, because we grow up cutting down all the trees around us, including the mangroves…and use [them] for firewood,” Aloma said. 

“Now, instead, we are planting the mangroves for our own protection. It is important to protect the environment. This will protect us, because we are in a coastal area, from a tsunami or eventual flooding.”

It’s not too late to help people like Aloma, facing challenges all over the world. Caritas Australia is working with marginalised and disadvantaged people in 29 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and with Australia’s First Peoples.

Visit www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion to make a donation today.

Also, why not re-visit this year's inspiring feature stories for Project Compassion, and learn about how lives have been changed through your support of Caritas Australia's development programs

Visit www.youtube.com/caritasaustralia and watch all six stories from this year's appeal.

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