Australian Senator Brett Mason visits disaster victims

"I understand your pain and I am with those who have lost family members, relatives and friends", said Australian Senator Brett Mason as he spoke to the disaster victims at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson on 11th April.

Andrew Byrne, Australian High Commissioner, Sue Connell, Head of DFAT-Australian AID in the Solomon Islands and others accompanied the Senator on his visit. Later, they distributed blankets and much needed survival kits with household items for each of the families.

In simple traditional style the group welcomed the VIP guests with a garland. Nervous and afraid, a few women sang 'We come together' and Francis Garimana spoke on behalf of the entire group. He thanked the Australian Government for the help rendered during the recent floods and asked for support to rebuild their homes.  He expressed his gratitude to Don Bosco for the venue in which they are staying.

The Guadalcanal Province personnel brought them from the Rove evacuation centre on 8th April. "Many people are donating food items, but water and sanitization facilities need urgent attention", he said.

240 persons have been residing in the Gymnasium at the Don Bosco Technical Institute since Tuesday 8 April. The people are divided into five groups for easy distribution of food and other materials.  All are from the Foxwood area and are being cared for by the Guadalcanal Province.

Medical personnel examined the children and treated them for ailments. Late in the evening, Emma Sogavare and her group joined them to pray and share home-cooked food. The children enjoyed soft drinks donated by Szeba. The film on the life of Don Bosco was then screened and the group retired for the night, thanking God for His protection and the care and concern of many people.

Meanwhile, the Don Bosco students, together with their instructor, have planned a few more play items to keep the children occupied as they spend their time at the Institute, and a group of cheerful and happy women from the Church of Melanesia, came over to share food, to sing and to pray.

Source: Info ANS


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