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 THANK YOU for completing our Lent calendar and for reflecting, praying and acting with us each day throughout Project Compassion! If you would like to give us any feedback about this calendar, or any of the Project Compassion resources in general, please help us by filling this short survey.