Pray - Caritas Australia

Report
Have you got the Project Compassion 2013 Lent
calendar poster on your classroom wall?
Each day has a specific action that you can take
linked to the Project Compassion stories. In this
PowerPoint, you can delve into these actions in
greater detail.
Join us as we use the calendar to Learn, Act
and Pray to open doors to a better future.
Tip- You could download and use the black and white poster to colour in each day
once you have completed the relevant Learn, Act and Pray sections.
10th February
Photo: Ursula Frayne Catholic College,
Victoria Park
Project Compassion Sunday
One of the many groups who made an outstanding contribution to
Project Compassion 2012 through organising a range of fundraising activities.
Reflect
Project Compassion is run by Caritas Australia through the six weeks of
Lent each year. It brings together thousands of Australians in solidarity with
the world's poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. It
is an extraordinary demonstration of the faith, love and generosity of caring
supporters, all in the name of justice and peace.
Project Compassion is the lifeblood of Caritas Australia; without it, we could
not do the vital work we do. In 2012, a record-breaking $10.7 million was
raised to help thousands of families with life-changing support. In 2013,
we're hoping you can help beat that record so even more communities can
benefit from sustainable aid and development.
10th February
Photo: Ursula Frayne Catholic College,
Victoria Park
Project Compassion Sunday
One of the many groups who made an outstanding contribution to
Project Compassion 2012 through organising a range of fundraising activities.
Pray
Give thanks for the many Caritas Australia partners around the world who,
every day, are making a difference in the lives of the world’s poor.
Act
Put your Project Compassion savings box somewhere prominent!
(Alternatively, you can fill up your box online!). See how your daily
collections will make a difference to communities like Ditosa's.
Photo: Michêle Alexander Design
11th February
Reflect - Origin of the word 'Lent'
Easter is the great feast day when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection after
his death on the cross. The season of Lent is the forty day period leading
up to Easter. The word Lent has been used since the fourth century to
translate the Latin term quadragesima (French carême, Italian quaresima,
Spanish cuaresma), meaning the "forty days". It reminds us of the forty
days which Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the beginning of his
public ministry.
We invite you to journey through Lent with Caritas Australia, to learn more
about the six people who are our ‘Faces of Project Compassion 2013’. Join
us in reflecting on their stories and praying and acting together, so that we
can open doors to better futures for many more people across the world.
Photo: Michêle Alexander Design
11th February
Pray
Father, we pray that during these next forty days you will help us grow
closer to you. Amen.
Act
Decide how you will help Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion
during Lent. Why not share with your friends what you’ve decided to
do?
12th February
Photo: St Patrick's Primary School
Shrove Tuesday
St Patrick's Primary School in Wangaratta launch Project Compassion 2012
with a Pancake Breakfast for the whole school community.
Reflect
Shrove Tuesday is the last day of what traditionally was called
"Shrovetide," the week preceding the beginning of Lent. Shrovetide was
the time to prepare spiritually for Lent. This often included fasting or eating
fewer ‘luxury’ items. For example, Pope St. Gregory (d. 604), writing to St.
Augustine of Canterbury, issued the following rule: "We abstain from [...]
meat, and from all things that come from [it], such as milk, cheese, and
eggs." This is why we unofficially call Shrove Tuesday ‘Pancake Tuesday’:
in preparing and eating pancakes, a family would be able to use up all their
eggs, milk, butter, and fat – which they would no longer eat until Easter.
Many schools and parishes across Australia launch Project Compassion
with a Pancake breakfast.
12th February
Photo: St Patrick's Primary School
Shrove Tuesday
St Patrick's Primary School in Wangaratta launch Project Compassion 2012
with a Pancake Breakfast for the whole school community.
Pray
Lord, we know that 'human beings live not on bread alone', and that we
need spiritual nourishment as well. Help us devote more time to meditating
on your Word throughout this Lenten period. Amen
Act
Make pancakes and hold a pancake flipping competition. Get
donations for every flip and add them to your box!
13th February
Photo: Erin Johnson
Ash Wednesday
A Sister and Mama Cacilda, Director of the Matuba Children’s Centre,
sit together during Mass in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
Today, over 1 billion Catholics around the globe will participate in Ash
Wednesday services, where ashes are blessed during Mass. The blessed
ashes are then used to make the sign of a cross on our foreheads, as a
sign of conversion, contrition, fasting and human mortality. The ashes are
made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies.
Reflect on how we are part of a global family.
13th February
Photo: Erin Johnson
Ash Wednesday
A Sister and Mama Cacilda, Director of the Matuba Children’s Centre,
sit together during Mass in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Pray for God's forgiveness.
Act
Who can I show God's mercy and love to during this Lenten season?
Photo: Holy Family Catholic Parish Primary
School, Ingleburn NSW
14th February
$1.25 Day at Holy Family Primary School, Ingleburn
Reflect
The World Bank defines ‘living under the poverty line’ as living on $1.25 or
less a day. Nearly 1.3 billion people are currently living under this
threshold. Caritas Australia is dedicated to working with the poorest of the
poor, to break the cycle of poverty. We work towards the creation of the
world that God desires: a just and compassionate world. Caritas works for
the freedom of those who are oppressed by injustice, bringing 'sight' to the
powerless and the powerful, and proclaiming to the poor the good news of
their human dignity. This work is undertaken principally through the lifegiving activities of aid and development. We could not do this work without
our supporters, who, through their fundraising and awareness-raising
activities, join with us in a just and compassionate partnership with
people living in poverty.
Photo: Holy Family Catholic Parish Primary
School, Ingleburn NSW
14th February
$1.25 Day at Holy Family Primary School, Ingleburn
Pray
Pray for all those who are struggling to survive, that they might know God's
love and compassion.
Act
Start a stray coin collection at home today (start by looking down the
back of the lounge!).
15th February
Photo: Erin Johnson
Fish Friday
Children who attend the Matuba Children’s Centre in Mozambique
enjoy their free lunchtime meal. This is often their only meal for the day
Reflect
Many Catholics around the world don't eat meat, either throughout Lent or
on Fridays. The general idea behind this is to 'live sacrifice' – the same
idea that is behind giving something up for Lent.
In many developing countries, fish is a luxury. It is also a source of
important proteins and nutrients. Are you thankful for the food on your
plate?
15th February
Photo: Erin Johnson
Fish Friday
Children who attend the Matuba Children’s Centre in Mozambique
enjoy their free lunchtime meal. This is often their only meal for the day
Pray
Give thanks for the food you eat today.
Act
Share a simple fish meal with family and friends.
Photo: Erin Johnson
16th February
Many children in Matuba, Mozambique have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDs
Reflect
UNICEF estimates that there are 210 million orphans in the world today.
Around 20% of these are children who have been orphaned as a result of
HIV/AIDS. In Mozambique, an estimated 11.5% of adults live with HIV and
there are approximately 670,000 children, aged 0-17, orphaned due to
AIDS (UN 2009). In Matuba, a rural village where Caritas works, the
proportion of people living with HIV is even higher.
Without the support and protection of parents, or the love of a family
environment, many struggle to survive. How important are friends and
families in your life?
Photo: Erin Johnson
16th February
Many children in Matuba, Mozambique have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDs
Pray
Give thanks for your support network; ask God to show you how you can
extend your support and compassion to someone today.
Act
Spend some quality time with a friend or family member today.
Ditosa’s Story
Photo: Erin Johnson
17th February
Ditosa, from Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
Twelve-year-old Ditosa lives in the village of Matuba, near Chokwe in
Mozambique. Ditosa’s parents died of AIDS some years ago. Now her
grandmother cares for Ditosa and her little sister, Fique. Watch Ditosa's
story, to find out how Caritas Australia is working with Caritas Chokwe and
the Matuba Children’s Centre, to enable children like Ditosa to gain key life
skills, as well as receive food, medicines and support.
Ditosa’s Story
Photo: Erin Johnson
17th February
Ditosa, from Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Lord, as we begin to delve into the Project Compassion stories, help us to
have an open mind and to see these people through your eyes. Show us
your compassion for each individual. Amen.
Act
Give thanks for your education when you prepare your school/work
bag for Monday.
Photo: Erin Johnson
Photo: Erin Johnson
18th February
Ditosa sits outside the tap Caritas helped install close to
her home in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
Clean water is a precious resource. Lack of access to water is also one of
the primary reasons why girls cannot go to school, since it can take an
average of 8 hours a day to collect water. Ditosa used to travel long
distances to collect water, but now has a tap 500 metres from her house
and it takes only 30 minutes to collect all the water the family needs for that
day. How far do you have to walk to get to your nearest tap?
Photo: Erin Johnson
18th February
Ditosa sits outside the tap Caritas helped install close to
her home in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Give thanks for the clean, running water that is so readily accessible to us.
Act
Start planning how you could walk Kilometres for Compassion.
Photo: Erin Johnson
19th February
A dirty pond in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
In Mozambique, there aren’t many medical facilities. Unclean water means
many people suffer from water-related diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea
and cholera. Half of all children don’t have enough to eat, which can lead to
growth problems. In Matuba, Mozambique, Caritas has worked with the
community to install water pumps. The water is used to irrigate the Centre’s
vegetable garden where the children grow maize, peanuts, manioc, sweet
potato, tomatoes and beans to eat and sell. There is also a toilet and
shower block, helping the children to stay healthier.
Photo: Erin Johnson
19th February
A dirty pond in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Give thanks for the role that the Children's Centre in Matuba is playing in
improving the community's health, through providing medicines and
medical support.
Act
Say 'thank you' to your GP or pharmacist for the great work they do!
Photo: Erin Johnson
20th February
School children ready for class in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
Secondary-school students in Matuba, whose school is 10km away, find it
hard to pay for their school transport. For a family living on or near the
poverty line, paying for things like school uniforms, pens/pencils and
exercise books can be the difference between a child being able to go to
school or not. In Mozambique, 69% of the population live below the poverty
line and four out of five people live on less than $2 per day. The Caritasfunded Matuba Children’s Centre project enables the children to raise
chickens and grow maize and vegetables, which are then sold. The money
is used to buy food, medicines, school uniforms, and to pay the school
transport fees.
Photo: Erin Johnson
20th February
School children ready for class in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Lord, thank you for teachers the world over. Give them fresh inspiration
and love for what they do today. Amen.
Act
Give 10c for every km you travel to school/work.
Photo: Erin Johnson
21st February
Community-run veggie patch in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
Across Mozambique, lots of people (80%) are farmers. It is hard to get a
good harvest when there are droughts, or cyclones and flooding, like in
2008. The global food crisis and high fuel costs are also a problem.
In Matuba, the community uses the water from the Caritas-installed pump
to irrigate the Centre’s vegetable garden where the children grow maize,
peanuts, manioc, sweet potato, tomatoes and beans to eat and sell. Watch
this video to learn more.
Photo: Erin Johnson
21st February
Community-run veggie patch in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Creator God, we thank you today for our daily bread, and all who work to
bring your harvest home. We pray for the farmers whose harvest is poor.
Help those who are working with those farmers, and help us to be
generous in our support. Amen.
Act
Start a veggie patch and use the veggies in your meals.
Photo: Erin Johnson
22nd February
Children from Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
"Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the
orphan, plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:17)
In Mozambique, an estimated 11.5% of adults live with HIV and there are
approximately 670,000 children, aged 0-17, orphaned due to AIDS (UN
2009). In Matuba, the proportion of people living with HIV is even higher.
With a generation missing and many grandparents struggling to provide for
grandchildren, in 2007 the local community asked Caritas Chokwe to help
them to build Matuba Children’s Centre for orphaned and vulnerable
children. The project was funded by Caritas Australia.
Photo: Erin Johnson
22nd February
Children from Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Pray for all those who have, or are affected by, HIV/AIDS today.
Act
Learn more about HIV/AIDS.
Photo: Sandhurst Diocese
23rd February
Wodonga Caritas Café
Reflect
“Wonder is the desire for knowledge.” St. Thomas Aquinas
Find a cookbook with recipes from around the world, and learn something
new about a different type of cuisine!
Pray
Lord, thank you for the abundance of different cultures, and for all the
diversity they bring to the world. Help us to see you in every individual, and
to celebrate our differences. Amen.
Act
Choose something from the Caritas Café booklet to make and sell
for Project Compassion.
Photo: Sandhurst Diocese
23rd February
Wodonga Caritas Café
Pray
Lord, thank you for the abundance of different cultures, and for all the
diversity they bring to the world. Help us to see you in every individual, and
to celebrate our differences. Amen.
Act
Choose something from the Caritas Café booklet to make and sell
for Project Compassion.
Raymundo’s Story
Photo: Richard Wainwright
24th February
Raymundo from Potosi, Bolivia
Reflect
Raymundo lives in Potosi, Bolivia. He comes from a very poor family, and
had to go to work from the age of eight, to help bring in some money. He
got involved in the wrong crowd, but then joined the Caritas-funded Centro
Creativo Artistico program, “educar es fiesta” (Education is Celebration).
There, he discovered a passion and a talent for street performance. Watch
his journey to becoming 'Coco the Clown', and how Centro Creativo
Artistico “educar es fiesta” is helping children like Raymundo move from
being exploited as child labourers, to opening doors to a better future.
Raymundo’s Story
Photo: Richard Wainwright
24th February
Raymundo from Potosi, Bolivia
Pray
Pray for the estimated 306 million child labourers in the world today, that
they might find hope and a better future.
Act
Share your talent with someone else today to make them smile!
Photo: Richard Wainwright
25th February
Edson Quezada, director of Centro Creativo Artistico
“educar es fiesta” (Education is Celebration)
Reflect
"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are
some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the
other." Douglas H. Everett
Edson Quezada had a dream of setting up a circus run by children and
young people – a place where they would not be exploited but valued, and
a place where they could learn reading and writing, and how to work
together and build a brighter future. This became a reality, and today 250
young people are involved in Centro Creativo Artistico “educar es fiesta”
(Education is Celebration), a Caritas Australia partner.
Photo: Richard Wainwright
25th February
Edson Quezada, director of Centro Creativo Artistico
“educar es fiesta” (Education is Celebration)
Pray
Pray that there will be many Edsons across the world, who have the
courage, faith and enthusiasm to turn their dreams into reality, to help
others.
Act
Set up a Caritas Café stall. Give the profits to Project Compassion.
Photo: Richard Wainwright
26th February
Raymundo (aka Coco the Clown) overlooking Cochabamba, Bolivia
Reflect
Before becoming Coco the Clown, Raymundo found work washing cars for
visitors to a cemetery and carrying water for the women cleaning
gravestones:
"I used to earn 20 Bolivianos ($3) for ten hours work. Sometimes I used to
receive 50c for cleaning a car, which was a good day."
It was a hard life and he and his friends fell into the wrong crowd.
Raymundo was earning money and giving it to his family but was spending
more and more time with his gang. This is a pattern repeated all over the
country. Thousands of children work to help support their families and are
often exploited, and forced into gangs involved in crime or taking drugs.
Photo: Richard Wainwright
26th February
Raymundo (aka Coco the Clown) overlooking Cochabamba, Bolivia
Pray
Pray for all the children in Bolivia currently caught up in gangs.
Act
Hold a carwash for Project Compassion.
Photo: Richard Wainwright
27th February
Edson and Raymundo with some of the young people who attend
the Centro Creativo Artistico’s “educar es fiesta” program
Reflect
Amongst other things, Centro Creativo Artistico "educar es fiesta" is
increasing children's awareness of their rights. This provides a path out of
exploitation and towards empowerment. Do we listen to what children say,
and take them seriously?
Photo: Richard Wainwright
27th February
Edson and Raymundo with some of the young people who attend
the Centro Creativo Artistico’s “educar es fiesta” program
Pray
Lord, thank you for all those who are working tirelessly and standing up for
children’s rights. We give thanks that you are a God who calls the little
children to you and who can hear the voiceless; help us hear your call to
do the same. Amen.
Act
What can you find out about children's rights?
Photo: Richard Wainwright
28th February
Families at a Centro Creativo Artistico performance, Bolivia
Reflect
Bolivia is Latin America’s poorest nation, with nearly two-thirds of the
population living in poverty and 42% living on less than $2 a day. One of
the greatest problems is inequality: the wealthiest 20% of the population
earn over 50% of its assets, while the poorest 20% have just 4%. Programs
like Centro Creativo Artistico’s “educar es fiesta” are working to change
that: young people like Raymundo, who went on to study at university,
often then go back to work with the communities they come from to
encourage more young people to break free from the cycle of poverty. As
the final part of his qualification, Raymundo is doing a year’s social service
at the project, teaching circus skills to other children.
Photo: Richard Wainwright
28th February
Families at a Centro Creativo Artistico performance, Bolivia
Pray
Lord, we recognise that we live in a world where there are enough
resources to go around, but that many are poorly distributed. Help us to
see how we are a part of the global chain, and to make positive actions
every day to help those at the bottom of it. Amen.
Act
Place $2 in your box today, or donate online.
1st March
Photo: Caritas Australia
World Day of Prayer
Reflect
The theme for the World Day of Prayer 2013 is “I Was a Stranger and You
Welcomed Me,” based on the Gospel text of Matthew 25. Have you ever
been welcomed in, despite being a ‘stranger’? Have you ever done the
same for someone else?
Around the world today, there are more than 370 million Indigenous
Peoples living in some 90 countries. Their contribution to the global
community should not be undervalued: they are custodians of some of the
world’s most biologically diverse territories; they are responsible for a great
deal of the world’s cultural and linguistic diversity; their traditional
knowledge is an invaluable resource in many sectors, such as
medicine and agriculture.
1st March
Photo: Caritas Australia
World Day of Prayer
Reflect (continued)
Despite their invaluable contribution to the human family, many Indigenous
Peoples are treated like strangers and are not welcomed by their own
countries or by the global community; they are amongst the most
marginalised and disadvantaged. For example, although Indigenous
Peoples make up roughly 5% of the global population, they constitute up to
15% of the world’s poor, and over a third of the world’s 900 million
extremely poor rural population. The majority are living within Australia’s
own region, Asia.
1st March
Photo: Caritas Australia
World Day of Prayer
Reflect (continued)
Caritas supporters are joining together to seek solutions to these
challenges, calling on our government to improve Australia’s foreign aid
program and policies as they relate to Indigenous Peoples, and to promote
respect for and compliance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples.
Together, we are also seeking transformational change in communities and
businesses, promoting positive engagement with Indigenous-led initiatives
and organisations, and encouraging best practice concerning private sector
operations on Indigenous territories around the world.
1st March
Photo: Caritas Australia
World Day of Prayer
Pray
Pray for Indigenous communities based on the theme for this year's World
Day of Prayer.
Act
Check out Caritas Australia's Walk As One campaign, and follow the
journey of two Indigenous Australians who travel to Bolivia, where
they meet the Yuricaré people.
Photo: Richard Wainwright
2nd March
Young people play together at the Centro Creativo Artistico
“educar es fiesta” project in Potosi, Bolivia
Reflect
"Live in harmony with one another; do not be proud, but associate
with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are." Romans 12:16
Is there anyone you are not living in harmony with today?
Pray
Pray for peace where there is conflict – in your life, in your community, and
in our world.
Act
Mark 'Harmony Day' (21 March) in your diary and plan a special
Project Compassion activity for it.
Salma’s Story
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
3rd March
Salma with her baby, Maya, in Fulbaria, Bangladesh
Reflect
Up to 85% of Bangladeshi women will give birth at home without the
assistance of a trained birthing attendant. Few have the knowledge to
ensure the protection of their own health or the health of their children.
Since 2008, Caritas Australia has been working in partnership with Caritas
Bangladesh to deliver the Safe Motherhood Program. The program trains
rural midwives like Pronoti to provide quality antenatal, delivery and
postnatal care for women in rural areas. Find out how Pronoti made a
difference to Salma's life.
Salma’s Story
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
3rd March
Salma with her baby, Maya, in Fulbaria, Bangladesh
Pray
Give thanks for midwives and medical staff, and pray that God will give
them strength in difficult moments.
Act
Find out three facts about Bangladesh to share with your family.
4th March
Photo: REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman
Climate Week begins
Floods in Bangladesh
Reflect
Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including tornadoes,
storm surges, droughts, earthquakes and on average 1-2 major cyclones
every year. These natural disasters, amongst other things, have severely
disrupted Bangladesh's economic and social development. Climate change
is now increasing the frequency and intensity of these disasters; in
particular, Bangladesh is at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels.
Act
Find out why climate change is a social justice issue.
4th March
Photo: REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman
Climate Week begins
Floods in Bangladesh
Pray
God of Creation, help us to reconnect with the majesty of your creation.
God of Love, help us to be good stewards, caring for all creation with selfsacrificing and nurturing love.
God of Compassion, help us to put people before profit and 'being' before
'having'.
God of Justice, empower us to work together as one global community, to
find creative and just solutions to protect those most vulnerable in our
world, and all of creation for future generations. Move us into action for
climate justice and to restore your creation. Amen.
5th March
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
International Year of Water
Cooperation
Salma sits and talks with women and children from the village
(Fulbaria, Bangladesh) outside her house to do her cooking
Reflect
Clean water is essential for healthy mothers and babies. Over the past
century, unclean water, poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices have
claimed more lives than anything else - even wars. Today, 783 million
people do not have access to clean water, while 2.5 billion people don't
have proper sanitation facilities.
5th March
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
International Year of Water
Cooperation
Salma sits and talks with women and children from the village
(Fulbaria, Bangladesh) outside her house to do her cooking
Pray
Thank you, Lord, for your creation and for one of its most precious
resources - water. Help us to use it responsibly. We thank you for those
who are working to bring cleaner water to those who cannot access it.
Amen.
Act
Give 10c for every glass of water you drink today.
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
6th March
Women from Fulbaria, Bangladesh, have received life-saving pre-natal
treatment and advice from Caritas-trained midwives like Pronoti
Reflect
The average life expectancy in Bangladesh is 69 years, but the maternal
mortality rate is 340 per 100,000 births (as opposed to 8.4 for Australia).
Trained by Caritas Bangladesh’s Safe Motherhood Project (SMP), which is
supported by Caritas Australia, community midwives like Pronoti have the
knowledge and practical skills to conduct comprehensive antenatal and
postnatal care, as well as carry out normal deliveries at home. Emphasis is
given to recognising the danger signs, so that timely referral to hospital is
possible.
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
6th March
Women from Fulbaria, Bangladesh, have received life-saving pre-natal
treatment and advice from Caritas-trained midwives like Pronoti
Pray
Lord, thank you for your gift of life. Help us to be thankful for every new day
that you accord us. Amen.
Act
Put 10c in your box (physical or virtual!) for every year of your life.
7th March
Photo: Erin Johnson
World Book Day
Ditosa from Matuba, Mozambique enjoys reading and appreciates the
extra homework help she receives from the Caritas-funded Matuba Children’s Centre
Reflect
The United Nations defines illiteracy as the inability to read and write a
simple message in any language. Since 1990, when 16.6% of 15-24 yearolds were illiterate, rates have dropped to 10.4% (UN 2012).
This is still 124,036,559 too many!
7th March
Photo: Erin Johnson
World Book Day
Ditosa from Matuba, Mozambique enjoys reading and appreciates the
extra homework help she receives from the Caritas-funded Matuba Children’s Centre
Pray
Thank you, God, that we can read this sentence. We pray for teachers and
pupils everywhere; that teachers be able to impart knowledge and
encourage enthusiasm for learning, and that children and young people
appreciate their education. Amen.
Act
Go to your local/school library. Find and read a book on any of the
six countries featured in Project Compassion.
8th March
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
International Women’s Day
Salma receives a post-natal visit from Pronoti, one of the Caritas-trained
midwives through the Safe Motherhood Project in Bangladesh
Reflect
"Children are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
Psalm 127:3
500,000 women die during childbirth every year. Research has shown that increasing female
education levels can bring about significant improvements in maternal and child health, as
well as infant survival rates. This, in turn, can lead to sustainable growth and development, as
women play an important role in the family and in community development. Women are more
likely to spend their earnings on the health and wellbeing of their family by providing food,
medicine and education. Community-trained midwives, who are part of the Caritas-funded
Safe Motherhood Project in Bangladesh, are able to share important knowledge with women
in rural villages: they lead community discussions on topics such as good nutrition, danger
signs in pregnancy and delivery, and the importance of breastfeeding: “People are
sharing what they have learned and their experiences with other members of their local
community, so lots of good changes are occurring.”
8th March
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
International Women’s Day
Salma receives a post-natal visit from Pronoti, one of the Caritas-trained
midwives through the Safe Motherhood Project in Bangladesh
Pray
Pray for all expectant mothers, that they will have the medical care and
attention they need.
Act
Make a card for an important woman in your life – to say how much
you love her, how she inspires you, or just a simple thank you.
Photo: St Joseph's Nundah
9th March
St Joseph's School, Nundah, Queensland walk for justice
Reflect
"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord
require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk
humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8
Pray
Lord God, help us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with
you. Amen.
Act
How can you "do justice"?
Vannak’s Story
Photo: Philong Sovan
10th March
Vannak working in the Caritas-funded Youth Empowerment
Project’s veggie garden in Andong, Cambodia
Reflect
When he was 15, Vannak's parents were both unwell and borrowed money
to feed the family. Their illness made them unable to repay the loan, so
Vannak left school and found work to help support his family. He was
getting in with the wrong crowd, when some of his friends told him about
the Youth Empowerment Project. Vannak has learned how to be a silk
screen printer, and is also back at school. Watch his story here.
Vannak’s Story
Photo: Philong Sovan
10th March
Vannak working in the Caritas-funded Youth Empowerment
Project’s veggie garden in Andong, Cambodia
Pray
Pray for young people, that they will have good role models who inspire
them and show them their worth.
Act
Discover what percentage of Cambodians live on less than $2 a day.
Photo: Philong Sovan
11th March
Vannak (Andong, Cambodia)
Reflect
"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for
your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."
Jeremiah 29:11
Vannak describes his life whilst he was working on the streets as: "like a
raft that was floating in the river without a direction." Caritas Australia and
the Youth Empowerment Project are working together to give young people
like Vannak hope for the future.
Photo: Philong Sovan
11th March
Vannak (Andong, Cambodia)
Pray
Give thanks that God has a plan for your life. Does this give you hope for
the future?
Act
Set a goal, and work out what steps you need to take to achieve it.
Make sure to set a date by which you’d like to achieve it, and then
work towards it!
Photo: Philong Sovan
12th March
Vannak demonstrates part of the silk screen printing process
Reflect
Vannak is now a talented silk screen printer, thanks to the skills he learned
at the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) run by Caritas Australia’s partner,
Youth for Peace. He can earn up to $10 per order.
The skills we learn not only increase our knowledge and abilities, but
improve our self-esteem. What new skill have you learned recently, or what
new skill would you like to learn?
Photo: Philong Sovan
12th March
Vannak demonstrates part of the silk screen printing process
Pray
Thank you Lord for the diversity of talent that exists. Help us to encourage
creativity in others and spot potential where it needs developing. Amen.
Act
Make a drawing/painting and auction it off to the highest bidder, with
the profits going to Project Compassion. Can you get more than
Vannak's $10?!
Photo: Philong Sovan
13th March
Vannak walking through the streets of Andong, Cambodia
Reflect
Andong is a community of 8,000 people who were forcibly evicted from
their homes in Phnom Penh in 2006 to make their land available for a
property developer. This is a situation that is repeated the world over; other
examples include 'land grabs', where authorities disregard the land rights
of vulnerable communities.
Pray
Pray for individuals who have been forcibly evicted from their land and/or
homes.
Act
Learn about different ways you can influence society and stand up
against injustice.
Photo: Philong Sovan
14th March
Andong, Cambodia
Reflect
Access to safe and secure housing is one of the most basic human rights,
and yet it is denied to many millions of people. In addition, 220 million
people do not have access to basic healthcare and nearly half of all people
in the developing world suffer from health issues associated with
contaminated water and poor sanitation. This is a situation played out in
Andong, where there is little access to safe housing, clean water, sanitation
or healthcare. Since their parents are unable to pay for their education, few
young people complete high school. Many end up in with the wrong crowd.
This is why organisations like Caritas Australia’s partner Youth for Peace
are so important: since it was founded in 1999, Youth for Peace has helped
more than 50,000 young people in and around Phnom Penh through a
wide range of activities.
Photo: Philong Sovan
14th March
Andong, Cambodia
Pray
Pray for the 100,000+ homeless Australians today, and all those around the
globe who do not have a safe place to live.
Act
Place 50c in your Project Compassion box for every one of the
following you have: safe housing, clean water, access to healthcare.
Photo: Philong Sovan
15th March
Vannak shares his passion for reading and learning with other
young people who attend the Youth Empowerment Project in Andong, Cambodia
Reflect
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to
change the world." Nelson Mandela
Every day, 132 million children and young people are unable to attend
school because of poverty, poor health and conflict. Yet, education is a
major key to releasing people from poverty. Vannak says that he had no
hope for the future before he became involved in the Youth Empowerment
Project, but that his experience there has changed his outlook on life and
given him a new appreciation of the value of education.
Photo: Philong Sovan
15th March
Vannak shares his passion for reading and learning with other
young people who attend the Youth Empowerment Project in Andong, Cambodia
Pray
Thank God for teachers who inspire(d) you.
Act
Is education/learning as valuable to you as it is to Vannak? What
could you do to value it more?
Photo: Philong Sovan
16th March
Vannak shares his passion for silk screen printing with other young people
who attend the Youth Empowerment Project in Andong, Cambodia
Reflect
Read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Is Vannak your neighbour? How
can you show mercy and compassion to those around the world living in
difficult situations?
Luke 10: 25-37: Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to
him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him,
‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my
neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped
him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw
him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other
side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and
bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and
took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii,* gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I
come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man
who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do
likewise.’
Photo: Philong Sovan
16th March
Vannak shares his passion for silk screen printing with other young people
who attend the Youth Empowerment Project in Andong, Cambodia
Pray
Lord, help me to 'go and do likewise' today. Amen.
Act
Rewrite the Parable of the Good Samaritan using Vannak's story.
Bernard’s Story
Photo: Rob Macoll
17th March
Bernard with his daughter, in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia
Reflect
When Bernard was one year old, his father left the family. Bernard bottled
up his feelings whilst he was growing up, but then, in 1998, Bernard’s
mother died. He could no longer cope, and became very sick. One day he
ended up in hospital. At this point, a friend told Bernard about Caritas
Australia’s partner, Red Dust Healing and how they could help him.
Bernard was invited to spend a few days with Red Dust Healing. There, he
learned how to express his feelings and work through problems in a
healthy way. Watch Bernard’s story here.
Bernard’s Story
Photo: Rob Macoll
17th March
Bernard with his daughter, in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia
Pray
Light a candle for someone you know who needs healing.
Act
Share a hug or a smile with someone today!
Photo: Rob Macoll
18th March
Bernard (Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia)
Reflect
Bernard learned how to deal with his problems using the image of a tree:
"You can poison (the roots of a tree) with anger, resentment and jealousy
and all of those negative things that will harm the tree... Good nutrients are
love, respect, belonging, sacrifice, morals, shelter, nurturing and sharing.
They are the things that make your life work and they let you have good
relationships. Now I just keep going back to that. I just build them into my
life."
Look at Psalm 102 (see next slide). How did the psalmist un-bottle his
feelings?
Psalm 102 A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me on the day of my distress. Incline your ear to
me; answer me speedily on the day when I call.
3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass; I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.
7 I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a
curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger; for you have lifted me up and thrown
me aside.
11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever; your name endures to all
generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favour it;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the
earth your glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory.
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.
18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn
may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at
the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to
die;
21 so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion, and his praise in
Jerusalem,
22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
23 He has broken my strength in mid-course; he has shortened my days.
24 ‘O my God,’ I say, ‘do not take me away at the mid-point of my life,
you whose years endure throughout all generations.’
25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work
of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be
established in your presence.
Photo: Rob Macoll
18th March
Bernard (Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia)
Pray
Talk to God today about something that is bothering you.
Act
Keep an eye out for those who look like they’re hurting, and show
them compassion today.
The Year of Grace
19th March
Reflect
This year is the Year of Grace: a holy time, given by God, to start afresh
from Christ, contemplating his face, and listening to his word, that he may
heal our wounds, overcome all our divisions and make us rich in hope, so
that we may show forth his face and speak his word to the world in new
ways.
Through Caritas Australia’s partner, Red Dust Healing, Bernard’s wounds
have been healed, and he has been reconciled with his father and his
traditional and spiritual family.
Act
Determine how you will start afresh from Christ today.
The Year of Grace
19th March
Pray
Pray the Year of Grace prayer with someone you know today:
Gracious God, You have blessed this ancient land with many gifts,
especially its people.
We thank you for the Year of Grace, a time to start afresh from Christ.
You invite us to contemplate the face of Jesus your Son, that we may
experience a new wave of grace, and that the light of Christ may burn more
brightly in our lives.
Attune our hearts and minds to the presence of your Holy Spirit, that our
Church may be transformed, our relationships be healed, and our nation
grow in compassion and justice.
With the intercession of St Mary MacKillop, who showed us new ways of
living the Gospel, we make our prayer through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
Photo: Erin Johnson
20th March
Lake in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
In 2005, Bernard spent his first Father’s Day with his dad:
“We spent six hours together on the river. I hadn’t really seen him in such a
long time and it was really comfortable. We went fishing and started to get
to know each other.”
Bernard got to know his father through fishing. What activities do you do
that bring you closer to others?
Photo: Erin Johnson
20th March
Lake in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Lord, may I be a shining light for your love in all that I do. Amen.
Act
Choose an activity you do during the week, and put the amount of
money you would pay for it in your box (physical or virtual!).
World Poetry Day
21st March
Credit: Mozambique: Erin Johnson, Bolivia: Richard Wainwright, Bangladesh: Majed Chowdhury,
Cambodia: Philong Sovan, Australia: Rob Maccoll, PNG: Fr Philip Gibbs
The Faces of Project Compassion 2013 – Ditosa (Mozambique), Raymundo (Bolivia),
Salma (Bangladesh), Vannak (Cambodia), Bernard (Australia) and Rollen (Papua New Guinea)
Reflect
"In a constantly evolving world, a world of rapid change and social
transformation, poets have a presence alongside civil movements
and know how to alert consciences to the world's injustices as well
as encourage appreciation of its beauty. We can also see potential in
new technologies and short messages that circulate on social
networks, breathing fresh life into poetry, fostering creativity and the
sharing of poems and verses that can help us to engage more fully
with the world." Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
World Poetry Day
21st March
The Faces of Project Compassion 2013 – Ditosa (Mozambique), Raymundo (Bolivia),
Salma (Bangladesh), Vannak (Cambodia), Bernard (Australia) and Rollen (Papua New Guinea)
Pray
Ask God to show you areas in your life where you could be more fully
engaged with the world.
Act
Write a poem inspired by one of the Project Compassion stories.
Share it with someone else.
22nd March
Photo: Erin Johnson
World Water Day
People gather around one of the Caritas-installed pumps in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
The average person drinks 2-4 litres of water every day, but we use a lot
more on top of that – for instance, to grow crops and look after animals, in
order to produce food. And yet, roughly 30% of the food produced
worldwide – about 1.3 billion tonnes – is lost or wasted every year. In many
developing countries, this is primarily because of poor storage and
transportation facilities between farms and markets. In developed
countries, food is wasted by the consumer who is not aware of, or sensitive
to, the resources needed to produce it. People eating too much is also a
problem. A change in consumers' attitude towards this issue is necessary:
limiting the waste means reducing the water needed to produce our
food.
22nd March
Photo: Erin Johnson
World Water Day
People gather around one of the Caritas-installed pumps in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Loving God, help us to appreciate the resources we have, to use them
wisely and become better stewards of creation. Amen.
Act
How many times do you flush a toilet in 24hrs? Multiply by 4.5 litres.
Donate 10c for every litre!
Photo: Mercedes College
23rd March
Students from Mercedes College, South Australia show their
poster about putting compassion into action
Reflect
"Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through
them and give thanks to the Lord." Psalm 118:19
Pray
Thank you God for your Son's example of righteousness; may we be
continually challenged by His love and compassion. We pray too that you
would show us your heart for justice. Amen.
Act
'Righteousness' is another way to say 'act right'. How can we 'act
right' in our daily lives?
24th March
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
Rollen’s Story; Passion Sunday
Rollen (Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea)
Reflect
Rollen, 24, grew up in Kerenga, a small village in the Bena district, Eastern
Highlands Province, in Papua New Guinea. Every day, Rollen would look
after the goats, care for the vegetable garden and do the housework. But
she felt “useless and hopeless”, and desperately wanted more. At the age
of 17, she made a life-changing decision – tomorrow she was going to start
school. Watch Rollen's story to find out how Caritas Australia’s partner,
Mercy Works, helped Rollen on her way to achieving what she wanted for
the future.
24th March
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
Rollen’s Story; Passion Sunday
Rollen (Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea)
Pray
Loving God, at this time, we remember that going up to Jerusalem cost
Jesus his very life. Forgive us for the shallowness of our faith and the
timidity of our following: forgive us for the ready excuses we make for going
our own way and claiming it as yours. Turn us round again, we pray, by
your Holy Spirit. Show us how to be open again to your faithfulness and to
your freedom, that we may live new lives and be again bearers of the
seeds of the kingdom of Jesus. Amen.
Act
Plant a tree and donate the cost of the seedling.
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
25th March
Rollen (Papua New Guinea)
Reflect
Rollen felt “useless and hopeless”, but through her contact with Caritas Australia’s
partner, Mercy Works, she was able to finish school and gain important life skills which
enabled her to get work. Through treating her with dignity, Mercy Works helped Rollen
to understand that “nothing is impossible, it only requires desire and determination.”
Caritas Australia’s work is shaped by the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching (CST).
These values provide a moral framework so the common good of individuals and
humanity can unite. CST covers all spheres of life – the economic, political, personal
and spiritual - and is a transition from less human conditions to more human ones.
Treating people with dignity has to be the centre of our concerns and that is often done
by sharing not only our skills, money and talent, but our humanity. This holistic
approach, with all the principles flowing into one another, is what Pope Paul VI calls
‘authentic development’. You can read more about CST principles, click here.
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
25th March
Rollen (Papua New Guinea)
Pray
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. Pray that all the world leaders be
humble and work for justice.
Act
Write to your MP and ask what s/he is doing to work towards global
justice.
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
26th March
Reflect
Men in Fulbaria, Bangladesh
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh:
Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive
them out of his land.' […] I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites,
whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my
covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, "I am the Lord, and I will free you
from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will
redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement.'"
Exodus 6:1-6
There are millions of 'modern slaves' today. People are sold like objects, forced to
work for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their 'employers'. Types of slavery
today include bonded labour, early and forced marriage, forced labour, slavery by
descent, trafficking, and child labour.
Photo: Majed Chowdhury
26th March
Men in Fulbaria, Bangladesh
Pray
Pray for freedom for all those who are still slaves today.
Act
'Like' 8 year old Vivienne's Facebook page: Make-a-Stand!
Lemonade. Vivienne made a pact to sit at her lemon-aid stand every
day, rain or shine, until she raised $150,000 for Not For Sale, an
organisation that fights slavery. She is an example of a JUST leader
– how could you work towards being a JUST leader today for Caritas
Australia’s Project Compassion today?
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
27th March
Rollen and her colleagues in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Reflect
Today, more than 6 million people – farmers, producers, workers and their
families – living in 63 countries benefit from the unique, independent
Fairtrade system. Fairtrade provides farmers and workers in developing
countries with a fair price (the Fairtrade Price) for their produce, helping
protect them from damaging fluctuations in world market prices. They also
receive an additional sum of money (The Fairtrade Premium) for
investment in social, economic and environmental development in their
community, such as educational and medical facilities. Fairtrade
Certification standards also prohibit the use of forced and abusive child
labour.
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
27th March
Rollen and her colleagues in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Pray
Lord, bless all who labour to satisfy our needs. We pray that all trade
between peoples may be done openly and fairly and with due regard for
the environment and for human dignity. Amen.
Act
Buy a Fairtrade Easter Egg for someone special.
28th March
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
Holy Thursday
Rollen and her family, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
Reflect
Holy Thursday is also known as "Maundy Thursday." The word maundy
comes from the Latin word mandatum (commandment), and reminds us of
Jesus' words: "I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I
have loved you." (John 13:34)
These are the words spoken by Jesus to His apostles at the Last Supper,
after he had washed their feet. How can we imitate Christ's humility, in the
washing of the feet, in our day-to-day lives?
28th March
Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs
Holy Thursday
Rollen and her family, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
Pray
Holy God, we celebrate your great compassion. Grant that we may work
with you to show your compassion to others, to love and serve others as
Christ has loved us. Amen.
Act
Return your Project Compassion box to your school or Parish, or
make your donation online.
29th March
Photo: Caritas Australia
Good Friday
Reflect
"It is accomplished; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit."
John 19:30
Pray
Thank you, Jesus, for what you did for us on the Cross. Amen.
Act
Watch the Caritas Australia 'Way of the Cross' PowerPoint.
30th March
Photo: Philong Sovan
Earth Hour
Vannak (Andong, Cambodia) and his family use candlelight
when the electricity cuts out daily
Reflect
"For us, climate change is a life issue, people are trying to cope with
it day by day. For the rest of the world it is an economic issue."
Father Michael McKenzie, Diocese of Tarawa, Kiribati.
Pray
Lord, we pray for all those who are struggling with the daily reality of
climate change. Soften our hearts, Lord, and help us to take actions to
stand in solidarity with them. Amen.
Act
Stand in solidarity with millions of people around the world today
against climate change and turn off all lights for one hour (from 8.309.30pm if possible).
31st March
Photo: Erin Johnson
Easter Sunday
Ditosa standing outside her house in Matuba, Mozambique
Reflect
"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though
he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as
something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a
slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,
he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even
death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave
him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11
31st March
Photo: Erin Johnson
Easter Sunday
Ditosa standing outside her house in Matuba, Mozambique
Pray
Lord, help us to be obedient and humble; always to do your will, and show
your love through all our thoughts, words and actions. Amen.
Act
Jesus died on the cross and rose again. How does this ‘open doors
to a brighter future’ for all humanity? Share your thoughts with
someone today.
Photo: Erin Johnson
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and acting with us each day throughout Project Compassion!
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