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Project Compassion to be launched on March 5th, 2003

Archbishop John Bathersby will launch Project Compassion on Ash Wednesday, 5th March at the 10am mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane.

Project Compassion was first held in 1966 and remains a major fundraising campaign for Caritas Australia, the Catholic agency for overseas aid and development.

Project Compassion takes place each year during the six weeks of Lent, a time that is used by Christians for reflection and ‘alms’ giving before Easter.

Sr Carmel Bennett, Caritas Australia’s Diocesan Director for Brisbane, said this year’s theme of ‘Freedom from Slavery’ was intended to focus on the countless millions of people around the world who are slaves of poverty and oppression.

“It is important for the Brisbane Community to come together at this time to respond compassionately to the needs of impoverished communities worldwide,” Sr Carmel said.

“Project Compassion provides opportunities for all Australians to support development projects in virtually every developing country in the world, helping poor communities to overcome poverty, illiteracy and poor health,” she said.

Last year Project Compassion raised over $6 million nationwide, confirming its place as one of Australia’s largest public fundraising campaigns for overseas aid, however, Caritas Australia is not content to rest on its laurels.

“The Brisbane area alone contributed over $550,000, which is a very sizeable amount, but I want to beat it this year,” Sr Carmel said.

People who donate can rest assured that their valuable contributions do reach those who are most in need.

An internal audit by Caritas Australia has shown that their administration / aid ratio is among the world’s best with 92% of all money raised during emergency appeals actually being sent to the intended country.

Donations to Project Compassion can be made by calling 1800 024 413, logging onto the website www.caritas.org.au or via post to Caritas Australia, 19 MacKenzie Street, North Sydney, 2060.

Released by the Catholic Communications Office

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