Canberra Launch of Project Compassion | Tuesday 4 March

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Media Release, 3 March, 2014

On Tuesday, 4 March, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse will join Caritas supporters, ACT Senator Zed Seselja and the Minister and Consul General within the Philippines Embassy, Nina Cainglet for the launch of Project Compassion 2014.

Project Compassion is one of Australia’s largest humanitarian campaigns. Last year the appeal raised more than $11 million for Caritas Australia. Supporters across the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, which spans the southeast corner of New South Wales and the ACT, including many parishes and schools in the region contributed more than $330,000, towards this total.

The Canberra launch will kick off at 8am at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Barton, with pancakes and coffee, marking Shrove Tuesday and the start of Lent. Minister and Consul General Cainglet will share about the ongoing situation in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines where Caritas Australia is directly helping 95,000 families affected from the disaster.

Martina Kuibai, classroom teacher in the Solomon Islands will also be a guest speaker at the launch. Year-round, communities across the Pacific are threatened by natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides and cyclones. Martina is part of one of Caritas Australia’s disaster risk management projects that is empowering school teachers in at-risk communities in the Solomon Islands to help young children learn how to be safe during emergencies.

Caritas Australia CEO Paul O’Callaghan said every dollar raised and every person who participates in Project Compassion helps make a difference in the most vulnerable communities.

“This year, Caritas Australia celebrates 50 years of love, compassion and support for the world’s poorest communities,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“In regions like Canberra and Goulburn, the generosity of the Australian community has made an enormous difference to the most marginalised globally. Support for Project Compassion helps to change lives, build sustainable livelihoods, and provide healthcare, education and supportive, safe environments for all.”

This year, Project Compassion celebrates our shared desire to live a full and beautiful life. For six weeks during Lent, Caritas Australia asks us to walk alongside those whose lives are threatened by poverty, conflict and injustice, and urges us to uphold Jesus’ commitment to a life of abundance for everyone.

“We all desire to live a full and beautiful live. We desire it not just for ourselves, but for our own families and for each member of our global family,” Mr O’Callaghan said. “During Project Compassion, we can help to make that full life a reality for all and walk in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Since 1968 as a nationwide appeal, support for Project Compassion has been the backbone of Caritas Australia’s community development programs in 35 countries.

Caritas supporters fundraise in many ways. Some generously donate, while others raise money through Caritas Ks, asking friends and family to sponsor the kilometres they run, swim or walk over the six-week period or by hosting a Fish Friday event throughout Lent.

To donate to Project Compassion visit www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.

Media contact: Nicole Clements 0408 869 833 or nicolec@caritas.org.au.