2017: The year that was

20 Dec 17

As we head into 2018 and reflect on the year that was, Caritas Australia would like to thank all of our donors and supporters for their contributions this year.

It is thanks to your generous donations and efforts that we have continued to serve vulnerable communities around the world, through our programs and emergency relief.

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Photo credit: Richard Wainwright, Caritas Australia

Photo credit: Richard Wainwright, Caritas Australia

Project Compassion

Project Compassion was another great success in 2017, with $11 million raised for our annual Lenten campaign. This year’s campaign focused on people and Caritas supported-programs in the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Australia, Vietnam and Fiji, in the theme of ‘Love your Neighbour’. Once again, we, along with the faces of Project Compassion, were humbled by your support and your creative and generous fundraising efforts.

East Africa food crisis

A major food crisis has gripped the East Africa region since early 2017, with 23 million people impacted by the emergency. This situation has been driven by large scale droughts, compounded by climate change, inflation and ongoing conflict in some of the affected countries. Since the crisis escalated, Caritas Australia, through the Caritas Internationalis network, has been working to support over half a million people across Kenya, Malawi, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Through your generous donations, Caritas Australia raised $3 million as part of our East Africa appeal.

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Photo: Timmy Trenchard, Caritas

Photo: Timmy Trenchard, Caritas

Community Climate Petition

Caritas Australia, along with a number of other faith-based agencies, took part in one of the nation's largest climate change petitions earlier this year. The Community Climate Petition called upon our Government to take a stronger stance on climate change, and united numerous Christian denominations, Muslims, Jews and many other faiths on the issue of climate justice. Thanks to our wonderful advocates and petitioners across Australia, almost 30,000 signatures have been collected across 110 Federal electorates, with close to 50 meetings held with MPs around the country.

Other key moments

  • In September, Pope Francis launched the Caritas campaign 'Share the Journey', which calls upon us all to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees. Learn more>

  • To promote the 2017 edition of the Caritas State of the Environment report in October, Kiribati climate activist Erietera Aram travelled around Sydney and Melbourne to speak of the climate change threat facing his homeland and other Pacific nations. Erietera then travelled to Germany to continuing lobbying at the United Nations Climate Conference. Read more>

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Photo: Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong

Photo: Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong

  • Through your donations, Caritas Australia, through the wider Caritas network, responded to a number of emergencies during the year, including the South Asia floods, Hurricane Irma and the earthquakes in Mexico. Towards the end of 2017, we joined a number of other aid agencies to respond to the growing Rohingya refugee crisis, with the support of the ABC and DFAT. Learn more>

  • There were a number of great fundraisers held throughout the year, including our annual Women for the World events, 'Trekking in Solidarity' in Nepal and another epic journey from our friend Matt Napier, who walked 1,850km across Namibia in June to raise funds for Caritas supported programs. Watch video>

  • NRL premiership winning coach Michael Maguire visited a number of Caritas supported programs in Zimbabwe during October, making the trip alongside our Africa Program Coordinator Sr. Ivy Khoury. The experience made a lasting impact on Maguire, who witnessed how empowered and resilient these communities have become. Watch video>

  • A Caritas Global Village featured at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December, with thousands of young people passing through the space to immerse themselves in the work of Caritas, with activities like virtual reality, Catholic Social Teaching Jenga, and a First Australians guided reflection. Read more>

Once again, we thank you for all of your support in 2017, and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2018!