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Be More with Project Compassion
INSPIRATIONAL YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LEADING THE WAY TO END POVERTY, PROMOTE JUSTICE AND UPHOLD DIGNITY WITH CARITAS AUSTRALIA. OVER 1300 PARISHES AND 1700 SCHOOLS ARE INVOLVED IN CARITAS AUSTRALIA’S LENTEN CAMAIGN, PROJECT COMPASSION, EACH YEAR. DESPITE THE CHALLENGES OF THE CORONAVIRUS, CATHOLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE STEPPING UP AND STEPPING OUT IN SUPPORT OF POOR COMMUNITIES, GLOBALLY.
In 2021, the theme for Project Compassion is “Be More”, reminding us that though hope requires much courage, it also bears much fruit. The theme comes from the words of Saint Bishop Oscar Romero, a heroic advocate for justice in his native El Salvador, who famously said, “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.”
It also reminds us that our young people are our leaders, inheriting a world full of difficulties and injustice, but with the resilience, faith and resourcefulness to create a new and more just society. The support of Catholic schools and parishes is like the water which nourishes the seeds of hope we sow in communities globally. Through health care such as emergency hygiene kits to minimise the spread of coronavirus in congested communities in places like Bangladesh, ongoing livelihoods programs to build brighter futures in the Solomon Islands and education programs which inspire hope in Tanzania, we are creating a better tomorrow.
Twenty-two-year-old Jamila is one inspiring example of heroic change. A single mother, living in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, she fled the armed conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine State to save herself, her elderly mother and eightmonth old baby daughter. Having been abandoned by her husband, she faced life in the camp, caring for them on her own. Thanks to the generosity of Caritas Australia’s supporters and through our partnership with Caritas Bangladesh, Jamila had access to emergency food and shelter. Then, as her stay in the refugee camp stretched on, with no end in sight, she received lifesaving practical and emotional support through vocational training and trauma counselling.
This Lent, we show how the promise of a better tomorrow inspires communities all over the world including those who are most vulnerable. Hope is contagious: and your support of Caritas Australia this Easter season, especially of the five feature stories of this year’s campaign, show the courage and heroism of everyday people facing dire poverty. Your participation in Project Compassion can ensure that even more lives are transformed through emergency health and hygiene support, infrastructure and development projects.