Partnering with Mercy Works this Mercy Day
With Mercy Day quickly approaching at the end of Week 9, the Student Ministry Team have been focused on educating our school community about how the funds we raise on Mercy Day will be used by a variety of current Mercy Works projects.
Established in 2000, Mercy Works is the development arm of the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea. They work in partnership with vulnerable communities and local organisations domestically and in the Asia Pacific region. Mercy Works partners with the people of these communities and organisations to build capacity, dignity and self-reliance.
Students have selected three projects, locally, nationally and internationally, that they wish to share more about with you in the lead-up to our Mercy Day celebrations.
Locally: Mercy Connect, Perth
The local Mercy Works project we are supporting this year is Mercy Connect, Perth. Mercy Connect trains and supports volunteers to assist people seeking asylum and students and adults from humanitarian backgrounds at a critical time in their lives.
For students who are asylum seekers and refugees, adjusting to a whole new life in Australia presents many challenges. Being placed in a school after lengthy periods in a refugee camp or a place of refuge can be a very stressful time. They can often feel isolated and anxious as they try to settle into a new culture and school system. Many of them arrive in Australia after having experienced lengthy periods of dislocation, grief and trauma.
After training, Mercy Connect volunteers offer mentoring to students as they settle into an Australian school and education system. They provide support that nurtures wellbeing and self-esteem and improves students’ literacy and numeracy skills.
Mercy Connect is now operating across Australia, with more than 270 volunteers supporting over 1400 students. With our help, Mercy Works would like to reach its target of $258,000 for this vital program
Nationally: Nunga Babies Watch, Adelaide
The national Mercy Work’s project we are supporting this year is Nunga Babies Watch, Adelaide. The First Nations advocacy project is a grassroots movement supporting and providing practical support to vulnerable Aboriginal families when faced with having their children removed by the South Australian Department of Child Protection.
In South Australia, one in every 11 Indigenous child lives in state care, and only 53% are placed with their own family or kin. The latest report by the SA Guardian for Children & Young People shows the number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care has increased between June 2020 and June 2021 by 6.3%.
Nunga Babies Watch works tirelessly to ensure that Aboriginal families voices are heard and that their rights are respected, demanding an end to another ‘Stolen Generation’ occurrence. The group supports families in a practical sense, in ways including outreach, access to legal advice, case management and court support.
They also provide families with important connections to a variety of services and organisations across the community, including the justice system. Nunga Babies Watch is a fantastic organisation, and it is a great opportunity to be able to assist them in continuing to help those in need.
With our help Mercy Works would like to reach its target of $20,000 for this vital program.
Internationally: Teresa Orsini Maternity Clinic, Timor Leste
This year, as our international project, we have chosen to support the Teresa Orsini Maternity Clinic in Timor-Leste. A portion of the money we raise as a community will aid women and babies in Maucatar. Maucatar is a poor, remote area in the mountains of Timor-Leste, where half the population live below the poverty line on less than $1.90 a day. Here, women suffer from severe malnutrition, and there is limited access to clean water and health services.
Mercy Works will provide these villages with health services through Teresa Orsini Maternity Clinic’s mobile clinic, which includes treatment of minor illnesses, screening and surveillance for those at high risk, education on STDs and HIV and rapid laboratory tests.
Mercy Works will also assist malnourished children and mothers by providing them with protein and vegetables. In 2022, they provided 12,750 eggs to 850 severely malnourished mums and babies. They will also help communities to start farms, grow gardens and raise chickens to provide for themselves and generate income into the future, encouraging women to govern their self-development.
With our help, Mercy Works would like to reach its target of $68,000 for this vital program.
This Mercy Day, we as a College can be proud of the real difference we are making in supporting these significant Mercy Works projects, aiming to better the lives of many people both within and outside of our local communities. We ask all families to please donate generously!
Melissa Trolio | Director of Mission