Mercy Works Updates

Mercy Works Updates

We Are A Team

We are a team, standing up and saying “No” to racism.

Upholding human dignity and promoting equality for every race and people remains our social responsibility.

Our mission to improve the quality of life of thousands of the vulnerable people is a privilege and an opportunity given to us by God, the creator of humankind.

Therefore, as a development partner with Indigenous engagement, all participation is based on mutual respect, trust and understanding.

Maryanne Kolkia RSM, Mercy Works Ltd PNG, In-Country Coordinator

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COVID Crisis in PNG Learn More

6th April 2021

Concern for the people of Papua New Guinea with growing COVID Crisis

Mercy Works Ltd is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). Mercy Works have PNG national staff in our offices in Kiunga, Wewak, Goroka, Mt Hagen and with new work beginning in the Province of Simbu. Therefore, we are most concerned for the health and wellbeing of all our staff and the local people of PNG.

Mercy Works has been deeply committed to working alongside the people of Papua New Guinea for the past decade and the developing COVID crisis is extremely concerning.

We ask you to add your voice to urge our Australian government to be generous in responding to this complex and growing crisis on the doorstep of our nearest neighbour Papua New Guinea.

Letter to Scott Morrison PM

The 'Mini' Bilum Editions Learn More
Our COVID Response Learn More

March 25th 2020

An Update to our supporters regarding Mercy Works and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to COVID-19 crisis both locally and globally we are all facing an uncertain and a rapidly developing situation.

Mercy Works is closely monitoring advice provided by government and relevant authorities and following their directives to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our project participants and our staff.

In terms of both our staff and Board, most of us at Mercy Works are therefore working from home, so are able to be contacted by email and by phone (where calls can be diverted to the individual staff member if required). We are also valuing regular online meetings where we can stay in contact and give support to each other.

As always Mercy Works remains committed to our mission amongst marginalised communities in Australia and in the Asia Pacific region.

We are committed to continue operating and supporting our life-changing projects to ensure those in need receive the assistance they require, although some projects will inevitably be impacted. In terms of the COVID -19 we are very concerned about the possible impact on both Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste given their very limited health systems, and we will do all we can to continue our support in both places.  Interruption or adjustments to some of our projects may be required.

The current status of our various projects is as follows:-

  • In Papua New Guinea we hope to start new projects in the province of Simbu later this year. We plan to continue our projects in Kiunga into the future. Projects in Goroka, and Mt Hagen continue till mid 2021 as we transition into Simbu.
  • In Timor-Leste we support one health project in the Suai Covalima district and if funds permit we are hopeful of partnering with new projects in the Baucau district later this year.
  • Mercy Works Mercy Connect Refugee Student Mentoring is running in schools which remain open and where the school and the volunteer have deemed it is safe to continue. We are also exploring possible creative ways to continue this
    online.
  • The Mercy House of Welcome in Kilburn in Adelaide continues to offer support to asylum seekers via telephone while the Centre has been closed to comply with social distancing guidelines.
  • We are still exploring possible new Indigenous projects in Australia to start later this year, and we will keep you posted.

 

At this time, we all need to reach out to each other.  Your support in delivering these works of Mercy is essential, as is their continuation wherever possible, so that when, together, we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, the vulnerable and marginalised will be empowered to change their lives for the better.  We will keep in touch with you in the coming weeks.

 

In the words of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters ~

‘The Poor Need Help Today, Not Next Week’

I recently received this beautiful reflection by Lyn Ungar and I offer it to you to ponder ~

‘Pandemic’ 

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath –
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love –
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

 

 

‘Compassion’ – Mary Southard CSJ

 

Yours in mercy,

Sally Bradley RSM
Executive Director
Mercy Works  

The ‘Mini’ Bilum | April Edition

Welcome to the Mini Bilum!

It has been more than a year since we were put into a national lockdown due to COVID-19 with no idea about how long enforced restrictions would guide our lives. This time has shown us just how resilient we are. Building on what we have learnt over the past 12 months, we remain focused on ensuring that all our Mercy Works programs and projects are operating with safety as the priority.
 
In this month’s Mini Bilum, we focus on ‘Resilience’ in two of our domestic programs. The first six months after lockdown have been challenging but the resilience present within the Mums & Bubs group at Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation in Sydney has helped them become a tight knit group. Before the end of 2020, a Pilates studio in Brighton, Victoria came together and generously donated culinary delights to our Mercy Connect Adult Literacy Class asylum seekers and refugees at the Dandenong Library.
 
Currently we are also very mindful of our nearest neighbours in Papua New Guinea as we hear reports of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Our partners in Timor-Leste also need our ongoing support as they endure serious flooding on top of COVID-19 outbreaks.
 
Your support of Mercy Works enables disadvantaged and displaced people and communities who are our beneficiaries to receive the development assistance they need. Thank you for making that possible.

6th April 2021

Concern for the people of Papua New Guinea with growing COVID Crisis

Mercy Works Ltd is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). Mercy Works have PNG national staff in our offices in Kiunga, Wewak, Goroka, Mt Hagen and with new work beginning in the Province of Simbu. Therefore, we are most concerned for the health and wellbeing of all our staff and the local people of PNG.

Mercy Works has been deeply committed to working alongside the people of Papua New Guinea for the past decade and the developing COVID crisis is extremely concerning.

We ask you to add your voice to urge our Australian government to be generous in responding to this complex and growing crisis on the doorstep of our nearest neighbour Papua New Guinea.

Letter to Scott Morrison PM


Easter Reflection 2021

Easter: Living with Radical Optimism and Active Hope 

I believe that ‘Radical Optimism’ and ‘Active Hope’ … gives us the faith and courage to face the difficult realities that are being unveiled in our times.

from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation – Telling a new story, 15 January 2021

At Mercy Works, in very tangible ways I have come to know that such ‘radical optimism’ does lead to ‘active hope’, a reflection of Mercy In Action, a reflection of Easter.

Such ‘radical optimism’ goes much deeper than merely having a positive attitude to life. At Mercy Works we approach each local community that we work alongside from a strength-based approach.  For example, as we begin to build relationships of trust and respect, we ask the local people – How can we work together? What is positive about this community that you would like to build on with support from Mercy Works?

As I reflect back on my own life journey, I realise I was once a ‘glass half empty’ person. More recently I know I have become a ‘glass half full’ person. I attribute this to the Grace of God, a very deep Presence working in my own life, who touches and heals the core of who I am. Such Presence is the root of our reality. Such Presence is at the heart of the good news of the Gospel. Such Presence is at the centre of the Easter story.

Let me share with you three of our current Mercy Works stories which are underpinned by ‘radical optimism’ and are evidence of ‘active hope’. With each story I will offer some inspirational words from the Letters of Catherine McAuley (Founder of the Sisters of Mercy). Words I believe she would say to us today.

In Port Augusta, South Australia, last year Mercy Works began a new pilot project called “Prospering After Prison”. We have partnered with Centacare and the Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie. This project provides casework to support aboriginal women through developing relationships of trust as they transition from prison life and reconnect with family and country.  We hear stories of pain, grief and loss from the women. Yet we also gradually see signs of the healing of trauma and a growing resilience in the women’s lives.

In response I believe Catherine McAuley would say “The tender Mercy of God has given us one another”.

As we wind down our work among the people of Goroka and Mt. Hagen in Papua New Guinea after 15 years, we are very grateful for all that has been achieved in these communities.  We are also very excited about our new work in the province of Simbu. We are currently laying the foundations at all levels of the community for our new work in Simbu in life and skills training for income generation.

Our work in Papua New Guinea always brings life to Catherine McAuley’s words “The poor need help today not next week”.

As we begin our new work in the district of Baucau in Timor Leste we are delighted to form a partnership with the Australian Marist Solidarity. Our two projects there are with Uai Lili, a computer and English language centre, and with a local NGO Katilosa who offers outreach to children and adults living with a disability.

I believe Catherine McAuley would value deeply the courage and competence of the local Timorese people who facilitate these projects saying, “We must strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well”.

During this Easter season, let’s all consciously live our lives with such radical optimism!  In doing this our world becomes alive with active hope which is surely needed in the “difficult realities that are being unveiled in our times.”

 

Sally Bradley RSM

Executive Director

 

2021 Easter Reflection


The ‘Mini’ Bilum | February Issue

Welcome to the first edition of the Mini Bilum for 2021!

Hope and optimism are always at the forefront of our minds as we begin each new year, this year is no different. With 2020’s challenges still present we are still facing increasing uncertainty in our daily lives. Our Mercy Mission is still as important as ever in the face of a global pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on our global community. What we have learnt in the past year has only helped Mercy Works to ensure that we keep the safety of those we support through our programs and projects our top priority.

In this month’s Mini Bilum, we focus on ‘Different Experiences’, showing you how we have kept our connections alive in the Mercy Connect program and how our invaluable volunteers have paved the way for programs to continue after they have moved on.

Your support of Mercy Works enables disadvantaged and displaced people and communities who are our beneficiaries to receive the development assistance they need. Thank you for making that possible.

You will also be able to find The ‘Mini’ Bilum on our website: www.mercyworks.org.au/bilum-magazine/

We hope you enjoy reading!

From All of Us at Mercy Works!


July 15th 2020

Mercy Works Live Q&A Session with ISMAPNG | Watch Now


 

 

 

 

 

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