What is Project Compassion

​​The theme for the Project Compassion Lenten Appeal for 2018 is “A Just Future" (catchy theme, if I do say so myself). So, what does it mean to have a “Just Future"? It means having access to things we need such as food, water, education and medicine! It also means having access to opportunities and power to make your own choices (maybe not the choices I make like “I choose to eat that block of chocolate".)

Caritas have being bettering the lives of those less fortunate for 50 years (that's like forever ago….I'm just so very young I can't grasp it). This year our donations will be going to people around the world (specifically Nepal, Jordan, Cambodia, Philippines, Australia and Mozambique), who with Caritas's aid, can support their community in creating a better future.

Janaki, from Nepal
Janaki grew up in a family who were very poor and living in poverty. Her family couldn't afford to send her to school nor provide her with medicine when she was sick (I'm feeling bad now for the number of times I told Mum to buy me something….this was on the weekend.)

Janaki joined a youth club where she learnt to sew, then borrowed money to buy her own sewing machine! Two years later she started running her own business. She now has 11 sewing machines and teaches others to sew (I'm really feeling like an under achiever here…I literally complain all the time about saving money to buy an apple watch. No more! #newyearnewme).

With the help of Caritas, Janaki can continue to grow her business, so that she can continue to provide an education and means of support, to those in her community who are struggling! What a legend!! (Here I am, struggling to get out of bed in the morning to go for a walk, and she's over there in Nepal, empowering others, being a leader and enriching her community. I really need to get it together!).

Rattanak,  from Cambodia
week2re.jpgRattanak had it pretty tough as a youngster. He lost his ability to hear at a really young age, and consequently found it very difficult to communicate with others. He spent most of his childhood alone and unable to express himself (I clearly don’t have this proble​m!).

Rattanak decided enough was enough! He joined the Deaf Development Program, and learnt how to use sign language, to read and to write (let’s not forget that he is from a very poor area. That’s a massive achievement!). When he had finished his education he decided to train up, and become a barber! He now owns his own barber shop, and gives all the money he earns back to his family (Mum had better not read this! I felt I was doing a great service by buying her a coffee at Carindale last week. I am a terrible daughter!).

So there you have it! I love that Caritas don’t just throw donations at a charity, but give it to actual people, with a story, who are empowering and educating their communities (a bit like I do for you, my avid readers.)

Bayan from Jordan

Bayan had a rough beginning in life, when her country of birth, Syria became too dangerous to live in (to put it mildly) and she and her family travelled to for Jordan, where they remain refugees. She missed a substantial amount of schooling during this horrendous time and was frightened to attend. Eventually she attended the Caritas Education Program offered to her (see where I'm going with this?). At her new school she is receiving the support (educational and emotional) she needs! Additionally, she is receiving tutoring to catch up on everything she missed during her journey. After all, a just future starts with a safe place to learn….#amirright? (ZING. I brought it home in the end there didn't I?). 

So there you have it! Yet another worth recipient of the funds you so kindly donate to Project Compassion this year (hint hint…nudge nudge…drop those gold coins in the boxes).
Evangeline from Australia​
This week we are focusing on a worthy recipient, right here in AUSTRALIA (Yes you heard right!). Her name is Evangeline (featured to the right). Evangeline is no stranger to Project Compassion, as she was featured during the 2016 appeal when she worked as a Senior Arts Worker (I’m feeling another over achiever coming on here).

Evangeline has fought to provide her community with housing, jobs and access toangelina.jpg health services (seriously how good does she sound already? I read these stories and I seriously feel like I’m a lazy bones!). She also works to ensure that her community preserve and promote the traditions of her culture.

She started working in a Caritas supported Arts Centre called Djilpin, where she now works with young people, together with Elders, to teach and learn about Aboriginal culture through art, storytelling, dance and song (she had me at dance…and song). 

Evangeline has spent most of this years guiding tourists, coordinating cultural activities and helping community members practise and market their arts.

I love that this week, our recipient is right here in Australia. What a worthy cause too! It is so important to preserve our Indigenous culture so that future generations can continue the traditions! Go Evangeline (woop woop).

This week it's all about Ditosa!

She is a young girl from Mozambique, who one day would like to go to university and become a police officer! Ditosa was featured in the Project Compassion Appeal for 2013, when she and her family were struggling to find food, gain access to education and employment. Her parents sadly passed away from AIDS-related illnesses and she is now being brought up by her Aunty and Grandmother. To top it all off, her family home was destroyed and swashed away during a flood.

Through Project Compassion and Caritas Australia/Regional Chokwe, her family were supported to build a new house and provide transport, school resources and help so that Ditosa could attend school.
She graduated from high school this year and is very ambitious for the year ahead. Next step….Uni (is it bad that part of me is like….NO GIRL Uni is sahhhh boring?? #reallylovedit).

So here you have it!!! My last newsletter article for Term 1. I understand you're thinking to yourself, “What will I do with my Tuesday lunch/afternoon/evening read?" “How will I stay informed about all things Catholic?". Fear not! It will be a mere two weeks till I return!

On that note, have a very happy, holy and safe Easter break. Remind your little ones why we celebrate Easter, and why we have a public holiday for Good Friday (you even have permission to sing/watch Jesus Christ Superstar, or really punish them and make them read this article!).


St Bernard's Project Compassion Web Page

On that note, I have created a donations web page for St Bernard's! Our goal is $2000 (#dreambig) which I think we can do. Every donation will be recorded on the web site and on this lovely chart that I am promoting in this glorious photo taken by Davina (She had one directive….make me look amazing! Keep your comment to yourself. It's not about me…which is a first). The web page is below and should take you directly to the site.
Next time you're online shopping (#guilty) or browsing the internet, you could pop on over and put a little something in there! No donation is too small or too big! I will give you an update all the way through to Easter on how we are tracking! We can do this team!! Two-Thumbs up for Caritas!!!
Your friendly APRE