Aid Given to Victims of Flood in Oceania, Solomon Islands

Volunteers Distribute Food to Affected Children and Families

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 553 hits

This morning, the Vatican's Fides News Agency announced that initiatives are being taken to help victims of massive floods that damaged the Solomon Islands earlier this week.

A statement released from Honiara, the Capital of the Solomon Islands, which is on Guadalcanal island discussed the region's devastation, especially in its Foxwood area.

The Solomon Islands, located in the southwest zone of the Pacific Ocean, are under British rule.

According to a Wednesday report from a Salesian communications agency, the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Henderson welcomed a group of Guadalcanal displaced victims. It said that 40% of the victims who found their new "home" in the institute's gymnasium were under 5 years old.

Father Srimal Priyanga, director of the institute, expressed his regret at the situation, saying, "Little children need to play."

Fides News Agency said today that students and teachers at the Don Bosco Technical Institute have been making efforts to "keep children busy and give way to their parents to re-organize themselves after the serious damage suffered as a result of the recent flood that has completely destroyed their homes in Foxwood." For example, toys have been distributed to children. Also, helpers are providing entertainment and recreational activities.

A group of women in the church of Melenesia greeted evacuees. They shared food, songs and moments of prayer. Fr. Ambrose Pereira, who was rector of the institute for six years, "said that currently 240 have been welcomed."

"Food is well distributed, but with regards to water and health care, the authorities concerned have still much to do," the article explained.

Salesian priest Father Pereira said, "People need to feel engaged, to spend their time in a constructive way," points out Fr. Pereira.  He urged authorities in Guadalcanal "to visit the area of Foxwood to see what needs to be done and help people rebuild their lives." (D.C.L.)