Project Compassion 2024

Caritas Australia thanks all our Ballarat Diocesan schools, parishes, families and individuals who generously gave to Project Compassion during Lent. Your generous donation and activity-based awareness raising have made a difference to those in need now and for all future generations.

Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraiser Project Compassion has succeeded this year thanks to the dedication and support of over 1,700 schools and 1,200 parishes nationwide.

Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia, said that they are always in awe of how schools and parishes unite to raise funds for Project Compassion – whether donning aprons to cook traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes or hitting the pavement for Caritas Ks, your efforts are truly inspiring.

“These activities are very in keeping with the spirit of Lent, as they allow us to reflect on the experiences of our brothers and sisters across the world, engage in almsgiving, and come together as a global community.”

 (Photo: St Thomas More Ballarat students completed an awareness-raising activity by putting themselves in the shoes of those who cart water for everyday necessities through whole-school participation in Caritas K’s)

Project Compassion website for parish resources

Once again, the theme for Project Compassion is For All Future Generations. This year, we bring you the stories of three resilient women from different corners of the world – all united in their dream of creating a better tomorrow for all future generations.

There is Memory from Malawi, who trained to become a carpenter to support her family. As well as Ronita, a mother-of-two living in a slum in the Philippines who went back to school for her children. And Leaia, who through hard work and determination is building a better life for herself and her five children.

Donate Today

You can donate through Project Compassion donation boxes and envelopes available from your parish, online or by calling 1800 024 413.

Donate to Project Compassion today

Thanks to all for your support of Project Compassion

If you still have your Project Compassion box or set of envelopes at home, please take them to Church or donate online or by calling 1800 024 413.  Make sure you enter “Diocese of Ballarat” when donating online.

Your generosity will empower the world’s most vulnerable communities to grow stronger and lift themselves out of poverty.  Together, we can help vulnerable communities face their challenges today and build a better tomorrow, for all future generations.

Thank You from Caritas Australia

Palm Sunday – March 24

This year, we shared with you the story of three inspiring women from across the globe, who overcame challenges to complete their education, access water and find secure employment. With the support of compassionate people like you, they are now forging a path to a better future for their families and their communities.

Ronita from the Philippines has now graduated high school and secured a job at a call centre. This job was only possible because of a certificate she gained from completing her studies.

Leaia and her family now have a water tank at their home in Samoa. She and her family now have a steady supply of clean drinking water. Next year, they will also have a toilet built, with the support of Caritas Samoa, which will further improve their health and living conditions.

Memory completed her vocational training course in carpentry and joinery. After completing a work contract at one of the largest electrical companies in Malawi, Memory now plans to return to her village and provide carpentry services to people in her community.

It’s through the generosity of people like you that we can continue to support people like Ronita, Leaia and Memory.

Download the reflection for Palm Sunday

Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 17:  Partnership in Action

The work of Caritas Australia is only possible with the dedication, passion and tenacity of our local partners who implement the programs. They are the heroes on the ground, working tirelessly behind-the-scenes every day to create a better future for their communities.
Caritas Australia partners with the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) to support communities living in urban slums in the Philippines. FCJ runs a number of programs that include house renovating, food processing, basic literacy skills, urban gardening, upcycling and income generating activities. They also have a clinic visited weekly by a doctor and community nurse.
Caritas Australia partners with Caritas Samoa to assist communities to have increased access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene to ensure human health and well-being by providing water tanks and sanitation facilities.  Caritas Australia partners with the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi through the A+ program. Since 2016, the A+ program has helped 7,397 families across Malawi improve their food security, access to basic water and sanitation, boost women’s income generation and strengthen child protection.

Download the reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 10:  Memory

Memory is 26 years old and lives in rural Malawi. As the eldest child in a low-income farming family, Memory had to take on many household chores and farming activities to support her parents. They struggled to pay for Memory’s school fees and school supplies, and Memory often had to walk to school barefooted.  With the support of Caritas Australia and its partner the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), Memory was able to enrol at a technical college where she learnt technical skills in carpentry. She undertook a three-year carpentry course, with CADECOM supporting part of her tuition and boarding fees.  Memory became the first female carpenter from her village. Today, she works as a carpenter at one of Malawi’s largest hydroelectric power stations. With the income from her job, she can provide financial support to her family and inspire other young women in her community so that they may have the opportunity to succeed in a male-dominated industry.

Read more about Memory and watch her story
Download the reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent – March 3:  Leaia

Samoa may be a country surrounded by water, but access to clean drinking water is scarce in some areas, with many families facing extreme hardship as a result.  Leaia lives with her five children, husband, brother and sister-in-law on the island of Upolu in Samoa. Not having access to a reliable source of clean water caused Leaia a lot of worry.  Their home is not connected to a piped water system, so they had to rely solely on rainwater collected in old fridges. When their water ran out, Leaia had to walk with her young children to collect water in buckets and containers from a neighbour down the street.  With the support of Caritas Australia’s local partner, Caritas Samoa, a water tank was installed at Leaia’s home. She and her family now have a steady supply of clean drinking water at home. Next year, they will also have a toilet built, with the support of Caritas Samoa, which will further improve their health and living conditions.  “We are very thankful and grateful for the water tank. It has helped us so much and made our daily life easier,” Leaia said.

Read more about Leaia and watch her story
Download the reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

Second Sunday of Lent – February 25:  Ronita

Ronita is 22. She lives with her husband and two children in a barangay (local district) in Quezon City, which is situated in Metro Manila in the Philippines.  Ronita left school when she became pregnant as a teenager. This could have had a life-long impact on her ability to find work and provide for her family but, thankfully, she heard about the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program run by the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), Caritas Australia’s local partners in the Philippines.  Through the FCJ, Ronita was able to re-enrol in her studies and continue learning in a safe and flexible environment – even with the arrival of her second child.  After completing her ALS classes, Ronita went on to earn her Grade 12 Senior High School Diploma. With her new diploma, Ronita has now secured a job at a call centre and is looking to a brighter future for her whole family.  “I have now graduated senior school and I am so proud of myself,” she said. “I feel hopeful for the future… Now it’s not impossible for me to achieve my dream… Thank you.”

Read more about Ronita and watch her story
Download the reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent

First Sunday of Lent – February 18

Meet Ronita from the Philippines. Ronita is a mother of two young boys living in a slum in Quezon City. She went back to school to finish her education so that she could earn income to support her children.

Meet Leaia from Samoa. Not having access to a reliable source of clean water was very difficult for Leaia and her family. But, with the support of Caritas Australia, a water tank was installed at their home, improving their health and living conditions.

Meet Memory from Malawi. Memory, the eldest daughter from a rural Malawian family, trained to become a carpenter and is now a trailblazer for future generations of women in her village.

Throughout Project Compassion, you will get to know the stories of Ronita, Leaia and Memory. Journey with them as they forge a path to a brighter future for all generations.

Download the reflection for the First Sunday of Lent

Ash Wednesday Reflection – February 14

Download the reflection for Ash Wednesday

Project Compassion Sunday – February 11

Project Compassion boxes and/or a set of donation envelopes are available from parishes, to support Caritas Australia this Lenten season and help support vulnerable people around the world, now and for all future generations. With your support, Caritas Australia has been able to support vulnerable communities around the world to tackle poverty, food security, education, water and sanitation and disaster risk reduction to build a better future for all.

Project Compassion Caritas 2024 Launch

Social Justice Leaders and supporters from the Central zone Secondary Colleges and Cathedral Parish Primary schools attended the 5.00pm Mass on Sunday, February 11, at St Patrick’s Cathedral to launch Project Compassion 2024 and be commissioned as Caritas Ambassadors.

Through partnering with Caritas Australia, the school communities are committed to being people of hope, bringing Jesus’ message of compassion, dignity and concern for the poor into the world today.

Bishop Paul Bird CSsR celebrated Mass and blessed the communities represented who generously offered themselves to promote this year’s PROJECT COMPASSION campaign to bring about a more just world for all future generations.

This year, the theme is ‘For All Future Generations’. The theme asks us to reflect on the great yes that Mary freely gave when the angel told her she was to become the mother of Jesus. The great prayer she shared with her cousin Elizabeth says, ‘all generations will call me blessed’. This Lent we too are encouraged to bless future generations with love and compassion from our own hearts.

Michael McGirr from Caritas Australia was guest speaker.

Bishop Paul's Homily for Launch of Project Compassion Mass
Caritas Australia launches Project Compassion 2024 - Media Release

Loreto College Ballarat

St Thomas More Primary School Alfredton

Project Compassion 2024 Launch Invitation

Download a copy of the launch invitation here

Project Compassion 2024 Prayer

Download a copy of the prayer here

Project Compassion Poster 2024

Download a copy of the poster here

Project Compassion 2024 Parish Resources

The Caritas website has a number of resources for parishes to promote Project Compassion 2024.  Resources include:

  • Parish Booklet;
  • Prayer (PowerPoint);
  • Short Films;
  • Bulletin Notes;
  • Weekly Reflection;
  • Prayers of the Faithful;
  • Fundraising Booklets;
  • Fundraising Activities;
  • Parish Talks;
  • Toolkit;
  • Photo Storybooks with Audio Description;
  • Posters;
  • Social Media Toolkit.