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Brazilian favela dweller aided by compassion

Hope restored: Sao Paulo resident Maristely looks forward to a bright future thanks to Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion Appeal.

Hope restored: Sao Paulo resident Maristely looks forward to a bright future thanks to Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion Appeal.

BRAZILIAN favela dweller 18-year-old Maristely will become a familiar face in this year’s Project Compassion Appeal being launched in St Stephen’s Cathedral on Tuesday, March 4.

The campaign is designed to raise funds and awareness for Caritas Australia projects helping the likes of Maristely and her family.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge will launch the campaign with Caritas Australia chief executive officer Paul O’Callaghan speaking about the 2014 campaign.

Caritas Australia diocesan director Joe Foley said “every year the Project Compassion Appeal brings thousands of Australians into solidarity with the world’s poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity”.

“Project Compassion 2014 carries Jesus’ commitment for all for a life of abundance: ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full’,” he said.

“When reflecting on this verse, Pope Francis said: ‘Men and women of all times and all places desire a full and beautiful life … a life that is not threatened by death but that can mature and grow to its fullness.’

“The Project Compassion 2014 stories reflect on Caritas Australia’s work towards making this desire for a full and beautiful life within the surroundings of home, a reality.”

Mr Foley said Maristely’s story was one of many which showed this work in action.

“Caritas Australia’s partner, the Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents, is working to improve life and living conditions within Maristely’s community, and in 40 other favelas in Sao Paulo,” he said.

“As we travel through each week of Project Compassion 2014, you will also meet Deng, from South Sudan; Archie, from the Philippines; Martina, from the Solomon Islands; Lorraine, from Australia; and Nirangini, from Sri Lanka.

“All are examples of the work Caritas Australia is able to do thanks to the generous support of the Project Compassion Appeal.”

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