Celebrating Mercy Day in PNG at the women’s prison
Members of the Mercy Works PNG Project team – PNG Sisters Mariska Kua RSM, Theresia Boyek RSM and Maryanne Kolkia RSM – celebrated Our Lady of Mercy Day on September 24 with a difference when they gathered with women incarcerated at the Bihute Prison, near Goroka in PNG’s Eastern Highlands.
Kaye Evans RSM (Melbourne) and Patricia Wood RSM (Rockhampton), who were staying in Goroka at the time, also joined in the festivities.
Mercy Works PNG Project Director, Mariska Kua RSM, said the gathering with the women, about 22 in number, was a joyful occasion. They were touched by the gesture and expressed their appreciation to the team for the ongoing support given to them.
"They ate cake and sang songs. It lifted their spirits,” she said.
Since the Mercy Works PNG Project was established in 2006, the team has visited women at the prison each week, providing human rights and skills training so that when they are released, they will be better equipped to deal with life in their communities.
A community development initiative of the Sisters of Mercy PNG and Mercy Works Inc., the Mercy Works PNG Project is empowering young people and their families in the Eastern and Western Highlands Provinces to address the serious problems of poverty, unemployment, domestic violence and HIV-AIDS.