PARTNER

Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) – Vanuatu

REGION

Pacific

COUNTRY

Vanuatu

LOCATION

The main office for the Anglican Church of Melanesia in Vanuatu is in Luganville, capital of Sanma Province on the northern island of Espiritu Santo. Work takes place in the Sanma, Penema and Torba provinces, all on the northern islands of Vanuatu.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) is part of the Anglican Communion and includes eight dioceses across Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

ACOM was formed in 1861 by Bishop George Selwyn under the Diocese of Melanesia, within the Church of the Province of New Zealand.

Today, there are nearly 200,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of more than 800,000 people in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and a newly formed parish in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia has a range of activities as an active church in the Pacific.

These include ministry and mission, social and community development, and strengthening the capacity of the organisation.

Social and community development work is overseen by the Board of Mission of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, and includes health, education (including adult literacy), community development, child protection, working with people with disabilities, gender programs, family violence programs, responding to climate change, and disaster risk reduction.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia in Vanuatu is part of the Vanuatu Church Partnership Program that is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Its focus is on the delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure to communities within the two Vanuatu dioceses: the Diocese of Vanuatu and New Caledonia (Sanma and Penema Provinces) and the Diocese of Banks and Torres (Torba Province).

Anglican Overseas Aid has been partnering with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in Vanuatu since 2012.

The partnership began with Anglican Overseas Aid providing a small amount of funding for a pilot project to replicate the successful solar lights work that had been taking place in Solomon Islands. The pilot, called the Women and Youth Empowerment project, was a success and it was included in the Australian Government funding program in 2013-14.

Lack of access to electricity and reliable lighting has a huge impact in poor communities. Women and girls are at greater risk of physical and sexual abuse in poorly lit areas, and many children do not finish school because they are unable to study at night.

Working with the Mothers’ Union of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, we are using solar lights to improve safety and create income-generation opportunities for women and girls through the Women and Youth Empowerment project.

Business training and loans of small numbers of lights allows women to start small businesses selling lights, which helps them to become more financially independent.

Funding: This project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.