The Covid-19 Appeal in Fiji is well underway with 224 families already receiving food parcels. These will last each family for at least one month and include basics such as flour, rice and oil. These items supplement the produce grown in gardens and farms.
The Diocesan Office in Suva continues to receive food parcel request forms from families and parishes across the country. While Fiji has been extremely successful at keeping the pandemic at bay, many thousands have lost their jobs as a result of the downturn in the tourism industry and are as a result facing critical financial hardship.
Seed, seedlings and gardening equipment will be included in a further country-wide distribution that is planned for late June. This will increase the self-sufficiency of parishes and support community resilience.
Further long term community resilience work including community vulnerability mapping, the pre-positioned storage of relief supplies and communications equipment are being prepared.
The Tropical Cyclone Harold project in Vanuatu is progressing well. Responding to an increase in family violence following Tropical Cyclone Harold, teams led by the Anglican Church of Melanesia and funded by money contributed by Anglican Missions, have been visiting rural communities in Santo to carry out community-based gender and protection assessments.
In a country where over 90% of the population identify as Christian, communities affected by the disaster are seeking support and guidance from church leaders. Response teams are working to address the immediate protection needs of the most vulnerable people, including women and people living with disabilities.
This has included psychosocial support training, providing critical information to women as well as people with disabilities on the availability of protection and support services. So far 437 people have benefited from the project.
Photo: Linda, a single mother from Mango community, rural Santo described the impact and effects of the pastoral care she was provided:
“The activities and awareness have greatly educated me and changed my outlook to life. Now I know that I am created equal and special and that no one has the right to harm or abuse me or my child. I feel so encouraged and enlightened by your work”. People need assurance, hope and mental healing, pastoral care and spiritual strengthening activities through visitations will help ease stress and anxiety that could otherwise lead to violence and abuse.” (N.B. This is shared with Linda’s approval)