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2017 Project Compassion Week Two: Martina’s story


Week Two: Martina’s story

For Martina, a mother of eight in Timor-Leste, escaping domestic violence was the first step in her journey to a new life. But at first, her future seemed very uncertain.

Timor-Leste is one of the least developed countries in the world, with extremely low levels of basic health, literacy and income. Most East Timorese live in rural areas, with very limited access to basic services or livelihood training, and many households don’t have enough food year round.

The shelter where Martina sought refuge, Uma PAS, offered her many ways to transcend these challenges. Uma PAS is a partner in Caritas Australia’s Protection Program, a holistic community-wide program in Timor-Leste that offers women like Martina economic empowerment and a life of safety in a supportive community.

Through the program, she was linked with a network of support services, and this enabled her to undertake livelihood training and start a small business to support her children. The program also linked her with a supportive community.

The project would not be possible without money raised by Caritas’ Project Compassion.

View the video of Martina’s story here

Find out more about Timor-Leste where Martina and her family come from:


“We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it”

Pope Francis, Laudato Si

How does this relate to you and the people like Martina that participate in Caritas Australia programs? What is one ‘good and decent’ thing you can do today, to demonstrate your shared responsibility of others and the world?

Family conversations:

Talk with your child about your belief in human dignity and your belief that every person is created in God’s image and that all human life is sacred.

Talk about why we have a shared responsibility for the world. Discuss how can treating each other respectfully makes a more peaceful world.

Ask your children to identify things that make them feel safe at home and things that make them feel safe at school.

Pray together:

For our sisters and brothers throughout the world who are journeying away from violence to lives of hope and promise: That justice may be showered on them and that their human dignity may be assured by their welcome and participation in the community.

We Pray as One.

For our global community: That those with power and wealth may take seriously the call of the Church this Lent and place themselves at the service of all in need.

We Pray as One.

Plan together:

Consider some ideas for a family fundraiser for Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion 2017.