Project Compassion 2013: support for the vulnerable in PNG


Project Compassion 2013: Week 6 Story

When Rollen was in year 10 of high school, she met Sister Maryanne, Director of Mercy Works (Goroka/Mt Hagen) in Papua New Guinea. A project of the Sisters of Mercy and supported by Mercy Works (Australia) and Caritas Australia, this group supports vulnerable people, particularly those aged 15 to 25 years.

Together they spoke about problems affecting PNG youth such as poverty, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, addiction, high child and maternal mortality rates, law and order issues, and low rates of children accessing education. They also discussed Rollen’s life; how it had changed dramatically over the last few years, and what she wanted for the future.

Support, encouragement and advice

Project Compassion 2013 News Story
Rollen. Photo: Fr Philip Gibbs

Growing up in Kerenga, a small village in the Bena district, Eastern Highlands Province, Rollen always felt “useless and hopeless”.

Every day, she would look after the goats, care for the vegetable garden and do the housework, but she desperately wanted more. One day, while looking at her blistered hands, Rollen, then 17, decided she was going to start school.

The next day she did, and after completing grades 7 and 8, she then completed Grade 9. The following year, on World Youth Day, she volunteered to plant trees for Mercy Works.

This was her first contact with the organisation. They taught her microfinance, so her family could earn an income and assisted her with further schooling and studies. After completing work experience, Rollen now 24, works in a hotel in Port Moresby.

“It was through Mercy Works that I've become a mature woman and able to make good decisions,” Rollen said.

“With a humble heart I would like to acknowledge Mercy Works for their support, encouragement and advice. Thank you to the Australian people too for supporting Caritas and Mercy Works.”

Your contribution to Project Compassion 2013 will help people to build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

To make a donation pick up an envelope or collection box from your parish or school or donate online at Caritas Australia


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