Just Visiting preferential option for the poor

As an aid and development agency, Caritas Australia works to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people in our world. How these communities are identified can be a logistical, financial and cultural challenge. Priority must be considered within a broader context of the geography, local government networks, other non-government organisations, and even climate. Communities are identified through a comprehensive process in collaboration with on-the-ground partners, church and local networks.

When schools decide to partner directly with communities, applying the preference for the poor means it is important to consider what selection criteria has been applied. How will you determine which community to work with? How will it be determined if that community is the most need in that area? What other funding channels are available to the communities?

Film clip - Fundraising with the preferential option for the poor

Watch the following clip and discuss:

We fund children who often haven't had the opportunity to go to school


  • What challenged you about Kath’s comments regarding schools that have technology may not be the most vulnerable to poverty? How have you selected which school or community to partner with?
  • If the purpose of the partnership is to support an economically poorer community, how can
    you apply the preferential option for the poor?

As an aid and development agency, we must consider what programs and activities to prioritise. The same applies to communities that are requested to host groups, as these visits occur within the regular schedule of the community development project.

Film clip - The communities are our priority

Watch the following clip and discuss:

At the end of the day, the work in the field, the work in the communities is always going to be the number one priority.


  • What stood out to you from the discussion? Why?
  • What has impacted upon your thoughts or understandings of student immersions?
  • Kath states that Caritas Australia's priority will always be the partner community. What is your priority in a student immersion program? How can these priorities co-exist harmoniously?
  • How have you considered the scale and logistical implications of taking a group of students on an immersion?
  • Are you aware of how your visit fits in with other visits? How can you ensure that your immersion trip is not disruptive to the community?
  • What new idea can you take forward to shape your immersion?