Posted on Monday 8 February 2016
Today’s launch of Project Compassion in the Diocese of Parramatta was held at St Mark’s Catholic College at Stanhope Gardens. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten appeal.
This year’s overseas guest was Martin Mazinga from Malawi. Martin spent the morning with students and staff, sharing how donations to Project Compassion are making a real difference to the people of Malawi.
Martin joined diocesan Caritas Director Sr Louise McKeogh FMA and students for a pancake toss, heralding the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday on 10 February 2016. For Christians, Lent is a penitential period of penance, abstinence and almsgiving. Making pancakes is traditionally a way of using up the household butter and eggs that are associated with rich food before Ash Wednesday.
Running each year throughout Lent, Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s annual fundraising and awareness-raising appeal that links thousands of Australians in solidarity with the women, children and men most vulnerable to poverty and injustice, who are rich in the eyes of Jesus.
This year marks 50 years of Project Compassion. Every year since 1965, members of the Caritas family across Australia, have supported the six-week Lenten appeal in an extraordinary demonstration of faith, love, generosity and compassion. You can show your support for Project Compassion with the hashtag #projectcompassion
Year round, Caritas Australia’s team works with dedicated partners, inspiring program beneficiaries, and compassionate supporters to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. Every year, Caritas Australia staff and their international partners take time to visit Australian schools and parishes to share their experiences with the people who make their work possible.
Martin Mazinga is the National Programs Coordinator of the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), Caritas Australia’s local partner. Martin oversees Caritas Australia’s initiatives under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), and the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) supported by the Australian Government.
Martin began working with CADECOM in 2012. He brings a wealth of experience in project management, community engagement, capacity building and research from his roles at the Women’s Legal Resources Centre, the University of Malawi, and the Catholic University of Malawi.
Martin and his team at CADECOM ensure that Caritas Australia’s programs create meaningful and sustainable development opportunities for the most marginalised communities. With a focus on food and water security, Martin’s work tackles inequality at its roots, empowering people to develop livelihoods, earn an income, to learn new skills and access education.
Martin is passionate about working at the grassroots. To him, Malawi has some of the richest communities in the world. Through Caritas Australia’s partnership with CADECOM, Martin works with communities to harness their unique strengths, skills and natural resources and to realise their vision of a just and equal world.
This year, Project Compassion celebrates learning and Caritas’ work with local partners to ensure all children, women and men can harness the power of education, training and shared knowledge.
As Pope Francis says: “Education is an act of hope.” Project Compassion is a reminder of how education can empower the most vulnerable communities to realise their hopes for peace, equality, dignity and justice.
To watch a video of the launch at St Mark’s College click here
To make a donation to Project Compassion click here
For more information about the work of Caritas Australia in countries like Malawi click here