Mothers Union (MU) has engaged AOA and our partner, the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia, in a two-year project to improve communities’ preparation and management of natural disasters in Tonga and Fiji.
With many of AOA’s projects already working with Mothers Union teams across the world, we are delighted to strengthen our relationship with MU here in Australia.
Theme: Disaster and Climate Change Management in the Pacific.
Project: Church and Community Disaster Resilience in Tonga and Fiji.
Families living in the Pacific are increasingly experiencing the impacts and adversity of climate change, with cyclones and flooding becoming regular events. The impact of repeated disasters not only destroys infrastructure and homes but can produce instability in family life and place children at risk.
The Anglican Diocese of Polynesia is a well-respected part of community life in Tonga and Fiji, and plays a pivotal role in not only engaging communities in worship and prayer but critically in times of disaster, mobilising people in serving those in need. In times of adversity, the church can reach outlying communities often much faster than relief agencies to provide families with much-needed support. The Diocese is also at the forefront of demonstrating how a strong theological underpinning can inform an appropriate and relevant response to climate change.
The Church and Community Disaster Resilience Project (CCDR) equips and empowers youth to prepare their communities to be safer, better prepared, and able to respond in times of adversity. Additionally, the project provides prepositioned supplies, enabling communities to respond immediately to a disaster.
Youth are trained in the well-regarded Community Integrated Vulnerability Analyses (CIVA) program which enables them to identify and map both the physical and human capabilities and vulnerabilities that exist in each community.
The process identifies potential shelters and evacuation centers such as churches and halls, but also the human skills and capabilities that can be called upon in a crisis.
An initial program trained youth mainly associated with All Saints Church in Nuku’alofa. The CCDR project will not only build the confidence and skills of young people but also draw them deeper into the broader life of the church.
Mothers Union continues to make positive change throughout the world, and AOA is delighted to be partering in this project.