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at the F1 Italian
More than 35,000 Project Compassion
boxes have been distributed to parishes
and schools throughout South Australia for
the annual Lenten appeal.
Fifty years after the national appeal was
officially launched as Project Compassion,
it continues to be the major fundraising
campaign for international aid and
development agency Caritas Australia.
Last year South Australians raised a record
$673,000 while nationally the figure was
The idea of collection boxes to assist
neighbours in the Asia Pacific region was
raised by Australian bishops at a meeting
in Rome in November 1964 and during
Lent in 1965 the first national appeal raised
the equivalent of $90,000 for community
‘self-help’ projects in PNG, Vietnam and
Faced with the injustice of extreme
global poverty and motivated by the
Lenten tradition of almsgiving and Jesus’
compassion for the poor, in 1966 it was
recommended the appeal be called Project
Compassion. Since then it has grown
into one of Australia’s largest annual
“Lent is the time of year when we put our
faith into action through prayer, fasting and
almsgiving,” said Caritas Australia CEO,
“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
Every year, Project Compassion features
six stories about dignity, courage and
change – one for each week of Lent.
Mr O’Callaghan said the theme this year
is Learning More Creating Change, which
celebrates the power of learning, and the
ways in which Caritas Australia is working
with local partners around the world to
provide vital learning and renewed hope to
those most marginalised.
The first story is about Doney (pictured),
who lives in the East African nation Malawi,
one of the poorest countries in the world.
Thanks to an innovative savings and loans
program supported by Caritas Australia,
Doney is creating big changes in her life
and in her village.
The 2016 Project Compassion Appeal will
be launched in Adelaide at Ash Wednesday
Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on
February 10 at 12.10pm, followed by a
fish burger lunch in Mary MacKillop Plaza.
The school launch will be held at Tenison
Woods Catholic School Richmond on
Friday February 12.
South Australians are invited to support
Project Compassion by direct donation,
or by holding fundraising events. These
include Caritas Ks, where participants
raise money by walking, running, cycling
or swimming kilometres for compassion,
and Fish Fridays, where people eat small
fish meals and make a donation to Caritas
To donate to Project Compassion, or for
fundraising ideas visit www.caritas.org.
au/projectcompassion or phone
1800 024 413.
Lenten appeal creates change
By Jenny Brinkworth
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