Looking back at Project Compassion 2021 across Australia

We've been thrilled to see the level of community support for Project Compassion this year shown through community events. Take a look at some of the recent community events that have made a difference. 

Sabrina Stevens, Caritas Australia Youth Coordinator with Louise Campbell from the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry. Photo: Caritas Australia

In Maitland-Newcastle, our Youth Coordinator, Sabrina Stevens, visited schools and parishes to share the uplifting community development work which your support enables across the globe.

Sabrina met with Louise Campbell from the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM), discussing the lives, challenges and needs of First Australians in Newcastle.

“For me it is crucial to meet with the members of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in order to be able to respectfully introduce myself to the local people,” Sabrina says.

“Our session was made up of young adults from the Pastoral (community) Placement initiatives as well as young adults from the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Youth People (DCMYP).”

“In this session, I shared some of my background including the areas of youth ministry which I had been previously involved with and which included the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council.”

“It was really inspirational to meet youth leaders in community…”

A community profile

For Michael Moussa, a professional in the banking industry and the proud son of Lebanese migrants, the work of Caritas Australia strikes a personal chord.

"To me, Project Compassion means sacrifice, and sacrifice means love. Caritas is celebrating over 55 years of Project Compassion — what an incred­ible milestone. I think it’s just tremendous that we have organisations like Caritas who are able to help out in countries that need it the most.

Let’s face it, we’re not really able to do it here. We can give our resources and our money but we need those on the ‘frontlines.’ It’s not just about fighting world hunger but also about breaking the poverty cycle. Some of the initiatives that I was surprised about are education and infrastructure-building. These aren’t just basic educational skills, but tar­geted ones; how to make investments, to start a business and to yield more in your agricultural harvest – these help to break the poverty cycle.

One initiative that really appeals to me as a Ma­ronite Catholic is the Lebanon Appeal. As some of you might know, Lebanon is currently in the worst economic and political crisis that we’ve seen in our lifetime. I’m humbled that Caritas is there helping out and I feel that as Christians we have a duty to do the same.

Remember, that Christ said, 'What­ever you did to the least of these, you did to me!' I encourage you, especially during this Easter season, to give generously. We’re in Australia, we’re so blessed, so let’s spread the grace."

To me, Project Compassion means sacrifice, and sacrifice means love.

Michael Moussa, 29, Sydney

In Wangaratta, a town in North-East Victoria, local parishioners came together to learn about some of the most pressing social justice challenges in marginalised communities globally and how they could make a difference.

The group heard about the story of Oliva from Tanzania, a woman who had to overcome the challenges of a limited education which limited her ability to earn a livelihood, especially during the spread of COVID-19. With your support, Oliva has equipped herself with numeracy skills that have helped her to run a thriving small business.

Another story which inspired hearts was that of Lulu Mitshabu, Caritas Australia’s Africa Programs Coordinator who has worked with us for the past 20 years. She fled the Democratic Republic of Congo, living in Zambia, before moving to Australia. Lulu exemplifies the courage, resilience and determination of Caritas Australia’s program partners.

Keep the compassion alive!

There's still time to 'Be More' with Project Compassion. All over the country generous Australians are coming together to donate through community fundraising, parish and school initiatives.

With the end of Easter, may you find the peace and togetherness of friends and family, reflecting on the ways that your generosity is empowering marginalised people all over the world to lift themselves out of poverty. Please visit lent.caritas.org.au today.

Happy Easter from Caritas Australia!