Caritas supporters show solidarity in making poverty history

Three primary school students, representing three aid and development organisations, took part recently in a handover of 25,000 Make Poverty History postcards and emails signed by the Australian public and addressed to the Australian Government.

The event took place at Parliament House in Canberra, as part of the Make Poverty History campaign.

A Caritas statement released yesterday said the postcards and emails were delivered by the children to Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Secretary, Bruce Bilson. The postcards and emails were part of a show of support by Australians urging the Australian Government to increase aid.

One of the three children representing Caritas Australia was 6 year old Jasmin Wells, daughter of Caritas Australia's Humanitarian Response Coordinator, Jenny Wells.

"I was a bit excited. We got to take lots of pictures," Jasmin said of her experience.

When asked if she knew why she was handing over the postcards to the government, Jasmin replied, "to help the poor people".

The UN Millennium summit where all world leaders will meet to discuss the Millennium Development Goals will be held in New York next week, so it is a crucial time for all Australians to show their support.

Caritas Australia is part of the Make Poverty History coalition and has sold more than 43,000 white arm bands to Catholic Schools and organizations around Australia. The white arm bands have been distributed worldwide by the coalition as a symbol of solidarity that poverty must be made history.

The next white arm band day will be this Saturday, 10 September, but Caritas Australia has asked Catholic Schools to participate in a White Band Solidarity Day on Friday. Many of the schools are holding special assemblies to mark the occasion.

Caritas Australia believes that is it important for the youth of Australia to be aware of social justice issues such as poverty and has actively campaigned for greater awareness of the Millennium Development Goals through various educational material and this year's Project Compassion theme, "The Challenge is Poverty, The Time is Now'.

Pictured: Above - Jasmin Wells (far right) with the other school children and the postcards in front of Parliament House; Below - Jasmin Wells (sitting on ground) and the other school children with Bruce Bilson at Parliament House.

Caritas supporters show solidarity in making poverty history (Caritas Australia 6/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia
Make Poverty History

Caritas slams Australia's shameful international aid contribution (CathNews 31/8/05)

Caritas to Look at Long-term Strategy to Rebuild Lives in Four Tsunami Countries (Reuters 5/9/05)
Darfur Remains in Emergency, Despite Succesful Caritas Operation Among Displaced (Caritas Internationalis 6/9/05)
Caritas to Look at Long-term Strategy to Rebuild Lives in Four Tsunami Countries (Caritas Internationalis 6/9/05)
Caritas to Chair Conference of 3,000 NGOs at United Nations (Caritas Internationalis 2/9/05)
Caritas Internationalis Talks Commitment at U.N. (Zenit 2/9/05)
CAFOD calls for poverty to remain top of the UN Summit agenda (Independent Catholic News 30/8/05)

7 Sep 2005