By Jack de Groot
“We work towards a brighter and more humane world so as to open doors into the future.” Papal message taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi, 35
These wise words from Pope Benedict XVI highlight how it is through a hope held firmly through love that Christians find courage to take action and bring hope to others.
Now in its 48th year, Project Compassion began in1966. Every year, Caritas Australia asks for your support and every year we witness faith in action when we receive your generous response.
In 2012, you helped us break records. We aimed for $10 million, but together we raised more than $10.7 million!
This was unprecedented and we were humbled to see this demonstration of almsgiving throughout the sacred Lenten period. We wholeheartedly thank the Australian community for its generosity.
One of this country’s largest humanitarian fundraisers, Project Compassion brings together thousands of Australians in solidarity with the world’s poor. In 2013, our message of hope remains as powerful as ever.
Through opening the doors of opportunity, the lives of young people, their families and communities are transformed.
This year, Project Compassion’s theme is based on the opening quote by the Holy Father, “Open doors into the future”.
As in previous years, this Lent, Caritas Australia will engage with the Catholic community through Project Compassion.
In 2013, we share and celebrate six powerful stories of children and young adults whose lives have been transformed through our integral human development work.
These stories demonstrate how your support enables marginalised and vulnerable people across the globe to live in dignity, grow in solidarity, experience justice, steer their own development, and contribute to changing the context of their community so the doors of opportunity continue to open.
Every day, Caritas Australia staff and volunteers work to open doors all over the world.
This leads to better health, better education, better nutrition and safer environments to live in, and these open doors lay the path to achieving our vision: A just and fair world. A world in balance. A world at peace and free of poverty. A world which the Church in Australia helps build. A world where all human beings can live in dignity and where communities are architects of their own development.
It is the hearts, minds, actions and generosity of the Australian community, who hold a key to our vision; the key to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
It is humbling, that even in times of personal hardship, such as we have just witnessed with the bushfires that ripped across the country, Australians are always prepared to open the doors to their hearts and express their faith through acts of charity.
Last year’s record-breaking Project Compassion total is a poignant and resonant example of your selflessness.
We as Australians know that just as we are gripped by natural disasters such as bushfires and floods, our brothers and sisters overseas suffer too.
It’s hard to give a precise answer as to why disasters at home often make us even more willing to give support to the international community.
Personal hardship not only encourages resilience, it also brings with it the opportunity to experience God’s grace, a moment to pause and reflect on the gift of life and the face of Christ.
Through personal reflection, we find renewed empathy and compassion for those whose troubles we have come closer to understanding.
Project Compassion is the lifeblood of Caritas Australia. Quite simply, without it, we could not do the work that we do.
Operating in over 30 countries, where millions of people face extreme hardship daily, our work is the ultimate expression of God’s love, only made possible with your love, compassion and generosity.
Your support for Project Compassion makes a difference. It educates and enables people to learn and have livelihoods, run businesses, grow healthy crops, attend school and build homes.
Your support opens doors, doors that are framed with hope and love, doors that lead to justice and human dignity.
To donate, support or fundraise for Project Compassion 2013 please visit our website at www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion.