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Food for Life
Thanks to the Australian Catholic community, in 2014, nearly $11 million was raised for Project Compassion which helps Caritas Australia partner with the world’s poorest communities. Your generous funds are helping us to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity in over 35 countries worldwide.
In 2015, Project Compassion focuses on the right to food, with year-round access to nutritious, affordable and sustainable food.
There is enough food produced in the world, yet over one billion people worldwide go hungry every day. And, as Pope Francis noted in 2013, around one-third of all food produced in our planet goes to waste.
“It is a well-known fact that current levels of production are sufficient, yet millions of people are still suffering and dying of starvation. This is truly scandalous,” said the Pontiff.
It is a crisis. There is enough food for everyone, yet one in eight people go hungry each day. This is exacerbated by financial speculation on food, diversion of food sources to energy production, food wastage, and difficulties of accessing markets. The right to food protects the right of all human beings to live in dignity, free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
With the generous support from communities across Australia, Caritas Australia is working with our worldwide partners to empower vulnerable people to establish sustainable food sources and develop income streams for life, such as access to markets to sell their produce.
Food for Life, the theme of this year’s Project Compassion campaign, aligns with the Caritas Internationalis global campaign, One Human Family; Food for All, which aims to end global hunger by 2025. This movement is focused on equality, dignity and justice for all – a world where every child, woman and man can have an equal share of the abundant world that God created.
By encouraging sustainable food production, where the needs of communities and their broader environment are considered, we’re ensuring a better future for communities around the world.
Eric and Ma’s story – growing food for life
In 2015, our Project Compassion feature people are Eric and Ma from Fiji. Comprised of over 300 islands, life in many rural Fijian communities can be isolated, and throughout the country, youth unemployment is high, nutritious food is in short supply, and life expectancy is much lower than in Australia.
Eric and Ma credit the Married Couples Course at the Tutu Rural Training Centre, which is supported by Caritas Australia, for changing the direction of their lives and helping them to raise a healthy, happy family and grow food for life.
The course empowered the couple to participate fully in making decisions about their future. “The program at Tutu has truly enriched us and opened a new pathway for us where we have been able to prosper safely in life,” says Eric.
The Centre, which was established by the Society of Mary on Taveuni in 1969, is one of Caritas Australia’s longest running partnerships and runs courses for people from the remote northern islands of Fiji to help build strong relationships, maintain healthy families and become successful farmers.
Over the last 25 years, Eric and Ma have worked hard to establish their farm. Now a sustainable source of food and income, it has helped them to raise and educate their six children, who are now raising families of their own.
Before Tutu, Eric worked hard on the farm, but his labour was unprofitable. After training at Tutu, most of the family’s daily food is now grown in their own fields, and it’s helping them to avoid the serious health problems many Fijians experience due to a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diets.
“I think we were blessed to be part of the program in Tutu. Tutu opened a new door for us. Without Tutu we wouldn’t be here where we are now,” says Eric. “And it’s only possible thanks to the wonderful people of Australia.”
Please donate to Project Compassion and support programs around the world that provide vulnerable people with the skills and opportunities to help establish sustainable food sources for life.