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.
You can donate through Project Compassion donation boxes and envelopes available from your parish, online or by calling 1800 024 413.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Ash Wednesday Reflection – February 14
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 2024 Launch Invitation
Project Compassion 2024 Prayer
Project Compassion Poster 2024
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;
- Photo Storybooks with Audio Description;
- Social Media Toolkit.