Archdiocese street ministry supports parents
Sr Mary McCarthy PBVM
Port Moresby: There was excitement in the air as children begin to gather early in the morning of Tuesday 15 May at the Archdiocese Settlements Apostolate Centre (ASAC).
They have been preparing for some time for this special day of celebration of International Family Day where parents and guardians attended. On arrival, there is registration of names of parents and guardians, their province of origin, their level of schooling.
The Celebrating Family Day program begins with prayer, reflection on the Word of God calling children and parents to show respect and live in love within their family. The program continues with a song of blessing for all Mothers. The program is carefully designed for the parents to inform them of recent developments in PNG Government and Church policies.
Speakers from the Archdiocesan offices of Family Life, Ms Cecilia Hesaboda and Caritas, Mr Clement Waiker, stress Christian family values, giving updates on recent work on Child Protection including the Lukautim Pikinini Act and encouraging parents in their roles and responsibilities. Visiting speaker from India and member of Jesus Youth movement Joseph Vinish shared his entertaining and challenging video clips - all with a message of life lived to the full.
Cardinal John Ribat was also a special guest speaker at the program. In his speech, he spoke to all present on how the ministry began, who was involved and its first location Down Town at St Mary’s Cathedral. He stresses the need for parents and guardians to be actively involved in the care and education of their children.
“Papamama mas bung wantain long ol Sista na ol Tisa long helpim pikinini. Papamama mas kam olgeta taim na strongim Archdiocese Street Ministry,” he said.
Cardinal John concluded: “I wanted to explain how the work began and how we can make it go ahead.”
“Mi laik tok tenkyu, tenkyu ol Sista, tenkyu ol tisa. Tenkyu long harim.”
The children entertain all present with poetry, action songs, dance and yoga; the parents and guardians join in the fun and games and there are smiles and laughter as the day’s variety program is enjoyed by all. After sincere words of thanks there was much delight as refreshments are served prepared by many generous people.
The Archdiocese Street Ministry (ASM) currently gathers the children in two locations – Boroko and Morata. ASAC at Boroko provides a small office for administration of the project and storage of resources but there is urgent need for a secure and proper classroom space, teacher preparation area, ablution block, kitchen for preparation of food for the children who often lack an adequate diet. The Morata children meet in a space made available by some kind people there.
From small beginnings, ASM has had some remarkable achievements in its eleven years of existence. These are best seen at the Annual Christmas Party where children, formerly enrolled at ASM return to celebrate their achievement having made a successful transition into mainstream primary schools in the city.