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Every year, Caritas Australia asks that you support Project Compassion, and every year we witness your faith in action when we receive your generous response. In fact, in 2012, you helped us break records; we aimed for $10 million but together we raised over $10.7 million!
“This is unprecedented and we are humbled to see this demonstration of almsgiving throughout the sacred Lenten period.?We wholeheartedly thank you for your generosity,” said Jack de Groot, CEO, Caritas Australia.
Project Compassion is one of the largest annual humanitarian fundraising campaigns in Australia; in 2013, we are again asking for your assistance. Funds raised in schools and parishes across Australia are used to:
- Protect the rights of women and children
- Educate people
- Create and protect livelihoods
- Train farmers in sustainable agriculture
- Build and rehabilitate boreholes so communities have access to clean water
- Build latrines (toilets) to improve sanitation and hygiene, and decrease waterborne diseases
- Improve the lives of those living with a disability
- Protect the environment
- Fund humanitarian emergency responses.
Hope for the Future
Since 2007, with your help, Caritas Australia has supported the development of the Matuba Children’s Centre in the village of Matuba in Mozambique, East Africa. The Centre provides education, food and life skills for local orphaned and vulnerable children, like Ditosa, 12 (main photo).
A few years ago, Ditosa’s parents died of AIDS-related illnesses, so Ditosa and her little sister, Fique, 7, are cared for by their grandmother and aunt who are both HIV positive and too weak to work.
Sadly, many children in this area have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. With a generation missing and many grandparents struggling to provide for grandchildren,
in 2007 the need for an orphaned and vulnerable children centre was identified. Caritas Chokwe coordinated the project and Caritas Australia supplied the funding.
Here, children learn computer skills and crafts, and receive extra help with their study. The Centre also provides children and family members with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to help manage HIV/AIDS.
There is a chicken house, where they learn how to raise chickens for food and to sell, and a work-shed where they learn carpentry and make wooden stools for sale. The Centre also has a vegetable garden where the children grow vegetables to eat and to sell.
In the kitchen, lunch is prepared every day by community volunteers. This is often the children’s only meal for the day. Hygiene is also an important aspect and to help with this, a toilet and shower block was installed. “I teach the children that they always must be clean,” said Elvira Mabundi, Centre Coordinator.
Ditosa’s favourite things to do at the Centre are carpentry and jewellery making, and?she appreciates the extra help she receives with schoolwork. “I like coming to the Centre because it helps me. I come to study and I get something I don’t get at school. What I enjoy most is making earrings and necklaces,” she said.
With your support, Matuba Children’s Centre opens doors for children and young people. Here, they find hope for the future and a safe place where they can grow.
“The love that I have for my own children is the love that I have for these children too,” said Elvira. “I know the Centre will help them in life. We teach them that, even if they don’t have parents, we are together with them … they are going to be the teachers of tomorrow.”
Your donation to Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion gives expression to the Gospel imperative to pursue justice and help those suffering from poverty and disadvantage in more than 30 countries around the world.
Please donate to Project Compassion by calling 1800 024 413 or visiting caritas.org.au/projectcompassion.