Recognising the work of local communities on International Day of Charity

03 Sep 20

On the International Day of Charity, Caritas Australia is highlighting the importance of working with local communities to enable them to become the architects of their own development.

We go wherever the challenges are greatest, walking alongside communities, working at the grassroots to support them with the skills and opportunities that allow them to help themselves.

A United Nations initiative, the International Day of Charity, was created to mobilise people and NGOs into real action for the most marginalised people on our planet.

According to the UN, “the date of 5 September was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace."

Caritas Australia recognise that ‘justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it.” (Charity in Truth, Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI, 2009).

Charity and human dignity can create more inclusive societies, alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, and bolster essential services in health care, education, housing and child protection. In emergencies, it can be a lifeline to vulnerable people. Here are two examples of our work:

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Caritas Australia works with local partner, Caritas Bukavu and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) on a reintegration program for ex-combatants. In a region where over 70% of the population are living in in extreme poverty and are food insecure, Rosette, the mother of 11 children, is building a sustainable livelihood, through improved vegetable farming and animal-breeding techniques. Through these activities, she can now help her to feed her children and pay school fees.

DRC Rosette and her children Caritas bukavu
Rosette and her children have hope for a better future through your support.
Photo Credit: Caritas Bukavu

“My vision is big! Now that I have somewhere to practice agriculture and livestock activity, I want to scale-up my production and sell my products so that I can be stable,” Rosette says.

“I want to see my children go to school and get education that I never had the chance to have so that they can be better equipped and grow up to be some day stable and self-reliant.”


In Lebanon, where a massive explosion killed over 200 people and wounded over 6500, Caritas Australia, through its local partner organisations, Caritas Lebanon and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), responded to the immediate and longer term needs of survivors, in the aftermath of the blast.

Youth Distributing Food Credit Caritas Lebanon
Caritas emergency relief in Beirut, Caritas Lebanon.

An appeal response of over $100,000 has provided essential emergency support in the form of goods like:

  • Food
  • Hygiene materials like soap and water
  • Masks
  • Blankets and heaters

This work on the ground instils hope - not just for an immediate response to the crisis, but sustained long-term recovery.

Your support enables the fulfillment of this universal call to charity in Caritas Australia’s programs globally.


Along with your generous support, Caritas Australia is grateful for the support of the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) and the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).