THE smell of pancakes wafted through Hargreaves Mall yesterday as 300 school students spread the word about global poverty.
Project Compassion is an annual event run by Caritas Australia and aims to raise funds to aid people in poverty-stricken countries to improve quality of life.
Local school choirs performed in the mall, while students from Catholic College Bendigo handed out pancakes and collected donations from the public.
Caritas Australia north and north eastern Victoria co-ordinator Kerry Stone said the event was a huge success.
“The aim of the day is to get the message out that Caritas Australia is an international aid and development organisation,” she said.
“The event was a huge success and I really think we established what we set out to do.”
Ms Stone said the fund-raiser would continue to run over the next six weeks during the period of Lent, which represents a time for reflection.
Catholic College Bendigo year 9 student Bailey Chappell helped out at the event by handing out pancakes.
“These days are good because we have the opportunity to give back and raise awareness about poverty,” he said.
St Josephs Primary School grade 5 student Tess Keating said her class had been learning about children who did not have a safe home.
She said it was important that people knew about the work Caritas Australia did and to assist them by donating money.
Last year Project Compassion broke a north and north-eastern regional record by raising more than half a million dollars.
Mrs Stone urged people to donate to the organisation, with funds going towards long-term development projects spread across 30 different countries who Caritas Australia have formed a partnership with.
To donate, visit www.caritas.