Seek Justice

Over 320 secondary students have chosen to participate in the Live Simply Day. They have been inspired by the words of Pope Francis: "Everyone…should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many injustices."

The students have raised funds for Project Compassion.

The Caritas feature story for this week highlights how our almsgiving during Lent can help women with Safe Motherhood programs.

Sreymom, now 26, lives in the remote Mondulkiri province of Northeast Cambodia, where extreme poverty has led to many health issues for the region's indigenous population.

When she started work at the local Health Centre, Sreymom was eager to use her three years of midwife training to help care for indigenous mothers and children in the surrounding villages. But soon she realised she lacked the practical experience she needed to safely assist in childbirth. "When I had to assist a delivery," Sreymom recalls, "my body and knees were trembling. I was sweating and losing confidence."

Seeing Sreymom's difficulties - and her true potential - a local healthcare worker helped Sreymom to enrol in the Mondulkiri Community Health Program. Established by Caritas Cambodia and supported by Caritas Australia, the program empowers and trains local health centre staff in pre- and post-natal care, safe delivery practices and children's health.

The course not only improved Sreymom's skills as a midwife, but also gave her information on broader health issues, which she could take back to the indigenous women in her community.

These days, Sreymom delivers one or two babies each month and is trusted by the indigenous community. "If we did not have the program, more pregnant women would face death," Sreymom says. "I hope Australian people will support my communities more in building awareness in healthcare, hygiene, nutrition and sanitation."

For our brothers and sisters around the world experiencing extreme poverty and injustice: That our financial support will bring about better quality health care to nurture life and well-being. We pray to the Lord.

For our community: That as we journey towards the end of this Lenten season we will continue to be attentive to the needs of others and show compassion to all members of our one human family. We pray to the Lord.

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Palm Sunday. Walk for Justice for Refugees.

In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, The Justice Ecology and Development Office with Caritas Australia invites you and your friends to walk with them on Sunday 20 March through the streets of Perth as a show of support for and with refugees and asylum-seekers.

Such action also supports the current Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference (ACBC) Social Justice Statement: "For those who've come across the seas - Justice for refugees and asylum-seekers".

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Make Your Easter Slavery Chocolate Free!

In 2015 Pope Francis said that "every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral - and not simply an economic - act."

It is estimated that Australians spend about $2 billion on chocolate over Easter. Much of the chocolate we consume in Australia is made with cocoa beans picked by enslaved children, particularly in West Africa. You can make a difference to the world, and to the lives of these children, by buying only slavery-free chocolate.

Action: Please buy and eat only slavery-free Easter eggs and chocolate this Easter. Slavery-free chocolate will feature one of these three labels on the wrapper:

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