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Leaia and family members outside her home in Samoa (Caritas Australia/Laura Womersley)

Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign this week introduces Leaia from Samoa who, thanks to the annual Lenten appeal, has access to clean water for herself and her family. 

Leaia lives on the island of Upolu in Samoa with her five children, her husband, brother, and sister-in-law. 

Their home is built from recycled scraps and is not connected to a piped water system. Her family used to rely solely on rainwater collected in old fridges. When their water ran out, she had to walk with her young children to collect water in buckets and containers from a neighbour down the street. The school water supply was also unclean.

“If there isn’t enough water the kids can’t go to school because the water supply at school isn’t clean. Part of their morning routine is to shower before school, so if there’s not enough water, they can’t attend school. It becomes unhygienic for them,” Leaia said. 

With the support of Caritas Australia’s local partner, Caritas Samoa, a water tank was installed in Leaia’s home to harvest rainwater, giving her family a consistent supply, and improving their health and living conditions. 

The time that was previously used to collect drinking water can now be used for other essential tasks and, most importantly, her children do not have to miss school.

For details on how to support Project Compassion, visit


Project Compassion delivers clean water to Leaia and her family in Samoa (Caritas Australia)