Church Agencies Network for Disaster Operation (CANDO) partners on Wednesday, 8th have mobilised to assist the Chinese families, their local workers and impacted friends who have been affected by the recent social unrest.

CANDO is funded by the Australian Government under the Australian Humanitarian Partnership to help communities prepare for and respond to disasters.

CANDO consortium met last week to discuss how best they can support those who are affected by the rioting and looting. There are a lot of people who are in trauma and are afraid to go out and about especially to public areas. The Church leaders discussed and came up with the idea to support those affected by bringing fresh crops, fruits, and vegetables to them.

The CANDO consortium then came together to be part of this response event, where ADRA is leading by liaising and coordinating with the villages and churches in Guadalcanal plains on what and how they can best support the affected friends and families from the recent civil unrest.

The Country Director for the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), Stephen Tasker said, this is the best way possible among the discussions that the team can do to support at this stage.

“Our church leaders from Anglican and SDA communities passed the announcement for people to freely give, and ADRA supported by CANDO covered the logistics costs to pick up all that the 6 kind-hearted communities of Guadalcanal,” said Mr Tasker.

“When people can care for others in our country even when they are not blood related or wantoks out of goodness of their hearts; and not expecting anything in return, then we now know that the society is on the right track to unity and prosperity. I would like to thank the people of Guadalcanal for shinning their light in these dark times. Let us all unite for betterment of our country, Solomon Islands,” Mr Tasker added.

Six communities that responded were, namely Kongga, Ariatakiki, Mamasa, Soso, Kolona and Kiamami communities who supplied the fresh garden produce such as vegetables and fruits.

“I am happy to donate local food to our friends who are affected by the riot. Whatever local food I have contributed might not enough for all the affected friends for the challenging weeks and months ahead, but I hope they appreciate and accept it because I have given it with my heart and will remember them and all of us in my prayers during these difficult times,” said Judy Save, Soso Community at Gppol 2.

Wendy Ho, a Solomon Islands Chinese Association Rep, spoke on behalf of the association during the handing over of the local food items. She said the association is happy and grateful for the support.

She says despite the distance, many in various communities are still showing support by supplying local food items, and by showing support such as this. Mrs Ho says that there are many good with a good heart and she thanks the CANDO team for the great support they have provided for the Chinese community members who were affected.

Mr Lionel Dau, The Coordinator for CANDO partners have also joined others to appeal to our church congregations to come forward and help our friends and families who are currently displaced and in trauma due to the unrest.

“As we have termed ourselves Christian country, therefore we should also show it by our actions.” Said Mr Dau.

The local food assistances from CANDO partners will continue on a weekly basis. It was scheduled for every Wednesdays, starting today, December 8, 2021, next will be on the 15th of December which the local food items will be collected from the West Guadalcanal communities and the final round will be on the 22nd of December 2021, and will continue if needed.

The implementing partners for the CANDO consortium is comprised of the local churches under the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) - South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC), ADRA for Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), Caritas Solomon Islands for Catholic Church (CC), Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM), United Church in the Solomon Islands (UCSI).

Source: Press Release