Ministry and Social Justice

A message to students from our Ministry and Social Justice Captains

Our names are Luke Harford and Zain O’Neill, and recently along with Wellbeing Captains Will Hardiman and Jonathan Barnard, we attended the Caritas Australia Social Justice Day. Caritas Australia is a Catholic agency for international aid and development. The organisation works with people living in poverty in third world countries. Their role includes integral development, emergency relief, peace building and support for protecting the planet’s environment and resources.

The Social Justice Day involved a variety of activities, including a presentation regarding poverty around the world and a variety of exercises designed for us to get a better understanding of those living under rough circumstances. In 2012, an estimated 35.3 million people in developing countries were believed to have HIV and AIDS. Lack of education and finances contributes to the problem even more. In 2014, roughly around 805 million, or one ninth of the world’s population, were chronically malnourished. 98% of those people lived in developing countries. One in four people in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished, which leads to increased chances of disease and mortality, especially in children. 5.4 million children die before their fifth birthday every year.


If you are interested, please take the time to read the excerpt taken from the Project Compassion website. It gives you a brief insight into the struggles some people are facing.

Shirley, 36, is an indigenous Manide woman living in a remote province of the Philippines. She is a mother of four and the sole breadwinner of the family, as her husband is sick. Shirley was struggling to support the whole family and keep her children in school. With Caritas Australia’s support, Shirley trained to become an indigenous health worker and a leader in her community. She has learned to supplement her income and is able to feed her family. The program has also helped Shirley’s children with school fees, uniforms and supplies.

To learn more about Shirley, click here.


During the time of Lent, Caritas Australia runs Project Compassion. Project Compassion is designed to raise funds and awareness of the people around the world living in poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching (CST).

What does the aid go towards?

  • Ending preventable diseases
  • Providing safe water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Creating education opportunities
  • Achieving justice in all communities.

This Lent, Whitefriars College is supporting Project Compassion. To donate, you will find special boxes at the canteen, religion classes and Receptions. We would both really appreciate everyone’s support and commitment for 2020.

Please dig deep and contribute, so we can make this year’s Project Compassion the best one yet.


Luke Harford and Zain O’Neill

Ministry and Social Justice Captains