Empowering people to make use of their own resources to drive change in their communities underpinned Martin Mazinga’s dialogue with guests during the launch of Project Compassion 2016 at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus on Tuesday 23 February 2016.
This year’s Project Compassion theme Learning More, Creating Change celebrates 50 years of Caritas Australia’s work in bringing the power of education, training and shared knowledge to empower vulnerable communities to realise their hopes for peace, equality, dignity and justice.
One of the stories highlighted during the Project Compassion appeal comes from Malawi, one of the world’s least-developed countries. Martin Mazinga, the National Programmes Coordinator of the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), has been visiting schools and parishes across Perth and WA, as well as the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.
Mr Mazinga spoke openly about the work being undertaken in the land-locked African nation to improve literacy rates, tackle inequality, and empower people to earn an income and be self-sustaining.
Through a closer recognition of the physical and spiritual values in his people, Mr Mazinga hopes to further establish an aspirational mindset where communities take ownership and drive the development agenda.
“The historical cycle of a needs-based approach to reform is fundamentally incorrect and disregards the aspects of what makes a community functional,” Mr Mazinga said.
“Development needs to be by the people for the people. Together, we can build the capacity of the community to be self-sustaining, and ensure that education and food security continue to be high priorities.
“It is through this passion for social justice that we can empower communities to make a difference to their people.”
Working at the grassroots
With a focus on food security and water supply, CADECOM tackles inequality at its roots for the most marginalised communities, empowering people to develop livelihoods, earn an income, learn new skills and access education…
Read the full article: The Record » PROJECT COMPASSION 2016: Taking a strengths-based approach to development