11 Mar 2019

Coming from one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it is challenging to recognise the scale of extreme poverty in Australia’s region and around the world. An example of this is that about 600 million people lack access to clean water and the 2.3 billion people have no basic sanitation[i].

This March, tens of thousands of Australians including students and community supporters will take action in an effort to make a difference on this situation. They will be fundraising for Caritas Australia’s international programs as part of the agency’s main annual appeal, Project Compassion.

Project Compassion has been launched at schools and dioceses around Australia in areas such as Sydney, Perth and Victoria. International speakers Super Dube from Caritas Hwange (Zimbabwe) and Baskoro from Caritas Indonesia (Karina) have been present at these launches, thanking Australians for their generosity.

Project Compassion international speakers
Project Compassion international speakers: Baskoro (left) and Super Dube (right)
Photo credit: Caritas Australia 


Caritas Australia is the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church.

“The Caritas philosophy is to help marginalised communities become the architects of their own future and Project Compassion has enables us to achieve major change over 54 years,’ said Paul O’Callaghan, the CEO of Caritas Australia.

“We encourage everyone to support Project Compassion so that we continue to transform lives, strengthen the resilience of communities and contribute to peace and stability.”

Project Compassion’s 2019 theme of “Hope” centres on six stories that profile Caritas’ life-changing development work in communities across the globe. The stories come from Zimbabwe, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Australia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

A special focus during this year’s appeal will be on the consequences and the response of Caritas Australia to the current global water crisis.

“According to the United Nations, each year, more people die, the majority aged under 5, from diseases caused by dirty water than from all forms of violence, including war. A lack of clean water disrupts the education of girls and robs communities of income and food[ii],” said Paul O’Callaghan.

To donate to Project Compassion or to learn how to host a Pancake Tuesday, Fish Friday or Water Challenge visit Caritas Australia’s website, or call 1800 024 413.

Sydney Catholic Schools launch
Sydney Catholic Schools Project Compassion launch
Photo credit: Nicole Clements, Caritas Australia

Caritas media contact: Nicole Clements on 0408 869 833 or email OR

[i] World Health Organisation (WHO): Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Available here.

[ii] World Health Organisation (WHO): Water. Available here.

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