Photos: right – Women of Faith meet at the Diocese of Polynesia; middle – March 2019 Commissioning of recently trained Sarah Carers at St John’s, Wailoku; bottom – Commissioning of recently trained Sarah Carers at St Matthews, Nabua.
Most of us don’t share our pain or distress easily. If we do, we will look for someone we can trust, who we know will listen without judgement or condemnation.
The House of Sarah offers a listening ear, support and a place of refuge to those who need it most. It has drawn many people to its doors who have deep needs for prayer and counselling.
The Diocese of Polynesia has been active in providing welfare services to the Church and wider community for many years. The House of Sarah is a project of the Association of Anglican Women (AAW). It was officially opened by the late Archbishop Jabez Bryce in December 2009. Since opening its doors it has provided counselling services twice a week to those who need it, training programmes on gender- based violence; and facilitation of workshops in parishes that address shifting social norms to reduce gender-based violence and attitudes. The House of Sarah is the only provider offering a specifically Christian network of services working together to end violence and abuse against women and children. Their work takes place in families, churches and communities.
The House of Sarah work has also grown to include a strong educational focus for the whole Pacific region, not just Fiji. Workshops are requested and the House spearheads a Break the Silence Sunday each year in November – see details of the background from 2016 and 16 days of activism activities for 2018 as well as their 2019 calendar promoting interfaith support for no violence against woman and children.
Funds from Anglican Missions for the House of Sarah in 2019 is NZ$25,000 specifically to extend the ministry of the ‘Sarah Carers’.
The Sarah Carers are all volunteers and are often the first responders in the help sought from women in need. Photo: Sarah Carer, Luseani Leba
A recent new intitiative from the House of Sarah, is ‘Women of Faith’ which works with women of other faiths who are also engaged in the elimination of violence against women and children.
Read the House of Sarah’s newsletter for March 2019 here
History of the House of Sarah and Anglican Missions