Wednesday, September 8, 2010
AUSTRALIA: CHURCH DONATES LAND TO ISLANDERS AS PAPUA NEW GUINEA FLOODS
Cath News report: The Church has donated 48 hectares of land to Carteret Islanders whose homeland off Papua New Guinea is dfisappearing under a rising sea.
About 1700 Carteret Islanders - more than half the population - must evacuate to Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, in the face of the rising water level.
A fundraising event initiated by Brisbane Sister of Mercy, Wendy Flannery, aims to support the Tulele Peisa organisation that supports the displaced islanders, says a report in The Catholic Leader.
Sr Flannery, who has worked around the Pacific Islands region for more than 20 years, said proceeds from the event, to be held at the Irish Club in Brisbane on September 15, would go to the organisation run by Carteret Islander Ursula Rakova.
Tulele Peisa plans to relocate 1700 Carteret Islanders voluntarily, 10 families at a time, to three safe and secure locations on mainland Bougainville over the next 10 years.
"The name Tulele Peisa ("sailing the waves on our own") is most appropriate - its vision is to help the community members maintain their cultural identity and live sustainably and independently wherever they are," Sr Flannery said.
Ursula Rakova moved listeners to tears when she visited Brisbane in 2007 to speak of her people's plight.
Sr Flannery said the Church at Bougainville had donated an area of land at Tinputz and was willing to consider a second land grant "once the first group of houses are built and families resettled".
The September 15 event, starting at 6.30pm, will feature a short film, a presentation by Ms Rakova, and music and dance performances.
For more information or to make a donation phone Sr Wendy Flannery at (07) 3350 5802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org