Dear Friends and Supporters

A message from our CEO to share an update about the impact of COVID-19 on our communities, and why we are focusing on our guiding principle, Women at the Heart, right now.


It has certainly been an eventful year so far and I know many of you have been heavily impacted by the disruptions of COVID-19. I am so thankful for the support you have continued to show us to ensure our work with communities can carry on through these difficult times. We couldn’t be on the ground helping vulnerable communities without you – thank you!

We’re taking a moment to reflect on one of our crucial guiding principles, ‘Women at the Heart: Inspired by a woman and led by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, women are central to our story and the communities we serve.’

Sadly, COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world. We can see this especially in terms of economic challenges and livelihoods. With lockdowns causing widespread job losses, women have been impacted the hardest, as people who are generally earning less, saving less, and holding insecure jobs, or living close to poverty.

Another devastating outcome of the pandemic has been the increase in family violence against women, with increased stress levels amongst families and the effect of social isolation measures. Many women and their children have little option but to stay in unsafe homes without the ability to leave.

So, as we seek to help women overcome enormous challenges right now, we turn our attention to our guiding principle, Women at the Heart. We appreciate the importance of our women’s programs and of women telling their own story – particularly as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Saint Mary MacKillop’s canonisation. Mary knew too well what it meant to break down barriers in the face of adversity.

I’m grateful to be part of an organisation working on sustainable solutions for the people most in need. This is only possible because of your support.

People like you are supporting women like Silvia in Timor-Leste, who was able to join our Women’s Livelihoods program and achieve financial independence by setting up her own income-generating kiosk business.

You’re helping to protect women in Peru from the risk of family violence, as we see alarming increases of incidents across crowded homes in lockdown. 

And you’re giving people right here in Australia opportunities towards financial freedom – especially  those most vulnerable to economic hardship who are struggling to see a way out of debt 

The generosity of people like you means those most in need of support can have a chance to improve their quality of life. Thank you for sticking by us during these tough times to make a difference for communities around the world!

With gratitude,

Jane Woolford