The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) with the Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC) officially opened the Malaita Christian Care Centre (MCCC) in Auki, in the Diocese of Malaita (DoM) on Saturday 15th May.
The Malaita Christian Care Centre or safehouse for women, young girls and children who are victims of Gender Based Violence and Abuse, is the second such centre to be established in Solomon Islands by the Sisters, the first at Tenaru area, east of Honiara in Guadalcanal.
This is another achievement in the mission and ministry of the Community of the Sisters of the Church, in responding to one of their objectives which is to provide pastoral care for women and teenage children and uphold the Christian principles of family life.
Coordinator of MCCC, Sister Doreen Awaiasi CSC who was instrumental in the establishment of the Centre said: “The sisters begun housing the victims of domestic violence in the then household here in Auki, Malaita in 2018. By December of the same year, the Sisters begun the work on the foundation of the MCCC because there were not enough rooms to house all the clients.
“Today, we are so thankful to ACoM, the Diocese, local police, Malaita Provincial Government, the lawyers and doctors in Auki, landowners, business partners, individuals, families and Associates of CSC, who have contributed in one way or the other to mark the opening of this safe home for the rising victims of GBV in Malaita.
“Fencing the area from perpetrators is our next priority and we need your help, but we cannot wait because victims are already coming in looking for a safe place to stay.” Sister Doreen added.
The guest of honour at the ceremony was 89-year-old retired catholic priest Revd Gerald Bruns, who was a major donor and supporter of this project. Revd Gerald said: “The greatest contribution you people can do and should make is this, stop and prevent violence of any kind in our families and communities. This is our Christian duty.”
He asked all those who attended the ceremony to work together in supporting the MCCC as a place of protection, a place for healing, a place for trauma counselling, a place leading to reconciliation and peace by restoring the broken relationships of trust and love.
The new centre has six bedrooms downstairs with a kitchen, dining room, toilets and showers, counselling room and an office space. The upstairs will be used by the four sisters who will be manning the centre.
Right in front of the building is a community hall, which will be used as a learning environment for children who come in with their mothers to the centre.
Revd Sr Veronica, Sister Provincial asks us to pray for the new Centre –
God of light and love, you draw us to your goodness and glory.
We pray for the work and the ministry of the Sisters of the Church among those who are experiencing domestic violence.
We pray particularly for the Malaita Christian Care Centre that is now officially opened.
Pour your blessing upon the Sisters and the Associates who provide shelter, counselling,
and a safe place to many whose lives are broken.
That your name may be glorified at all times.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.