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Parishes as Centres of Service
Project Compassion project building skills and hope in Indonesia

Caritas Australia's six-week Lenten fundraiser, Project Compassion, provides a practical means by which each of us, including our school and parish communities, can make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
Caritas Australia and its Indonesian partners are working with local communities to create new hope for a better future, by helping teach local people English and long-term, sustainable eco-tourism activities.
Tati is a Dayak woman who lives in the rainforest of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo. Like all Dayak people whose values and culture are deeply linked to the rainforest, Tati’s family has relied on the forest for sustenance for generations.
Her community is working with Caritas Australia as well as local authorities, to develop alternative sustainable livelihoods. This enables the community to develop a strong financial base and take the lead in managing land, as well as making decisions on how that land is used. Her remote village lies deep in the rainforest, and can only be accessed by barely passable roads. Communication is difficult and the electricity produced by a small hydro-electric installation provides limited supply to the village.
Tati lives with her husband and two of her three children, aged 8 and 16. Her two youngest children go to school nearby while her 19-year-old son lives in a rented room 60 kilometres away, so he can be near his school. The family pays for his living-away-from-home expenses, in addition to providing for school expenses.
Although Indonesia has made enormous gains in poverty reduction in recent years, more than 28 million Indonesians still live below the poverty line, with around 40 per cent of its population vulnerable to falling into poverty.
Donations to Caritas’ Project Compassion campaign can help communities like Tati’s for generations to come by shoring up environmentally and economically sustainable sources of income. Details: lent.caritas.org.au.
Read full Caritas Australia press release, here.

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