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Brisbane supporters put their compassion into action

In 2016 thousands of schools, parishes and communities across Brisbane will participate in Project Compassion, one of Australia’s largest humanitarian fundraising and awareness campaigns.

This year marks 50 years of Project Compassion, Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency’s annual appeal, which thanks to supporters, schools and parishes across Australia raised a record-breaking $11.57 million last year. Supporters in the Archdiocese of Brisbane last year raised $1.2 million.

The Caritas Australia fundraiser runs through the six weeks of Lent and brings hundreds of thousands of Australians together in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable communities, to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

On Shrove Tuesday, February 9 at 10am, students and supporters will gather at St. Stephen’s Cathedral for the official launch of Project Compassion. The Most Reverend, Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane will hold a commissioning mass, and afterwards everyone will take part in activities such as pancake races.

Every year, Caritas Australia staff and our international partners take time to visit Australian schools and parishes to share their experiences with the Australian community. This year one of the stories highlighted during Project Compassion comes from Papua New Guinea (PNG), where generational poverty has led to many challenges, including inequality, alcohol abuse and violence.

Marie Mondu, Caritas Australia’s Program Quality and Support Coordinator in PNG, will speak at the Brisbane launch and also to schools and parishes about Caritas’ work with local partners to ensure programs embrace the most vulnerable women, children and men to build strong, inclusive, thriving communities throughout PNG.

Money raised during Project Compassion goes towards Caritas Australia’s humanitarian and long-term development programs in more than 40 countries across Asia, Africa, the Pacific and Latin America and with First Australian communities.

The theme for this year’s Project Compassion, “Learning more, creating change”, celebrates the power of learning, and the many ways in which Caritas Australia is working with local partners around the world to provide vital learning and renewed hope to those most marginalised.

Brisbane-based Caritas Regional Engagement Coordinator, Joseph Foley, thanked the local community for its long-standing and generous support for Project Compassion.

“We care for, love and partner with the world’s poorest communities,” said Mr Foley.

“Project Compassion has transformed millions of lives and every year since 1965 we have demonstrated our faith, our compassion and our generosity towards the most vulnerable members of our global family.”

During Lent, Australians are invited to support Project Compassion by direct donation, holding fundraising events or sharing the resources. To donate to Project Compassion, or for fundraising ideas visit www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.

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