The event brought together over 30 church leaders, including women and youth leaders and regional participants from Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Fiji learn to use theology and bible messaging to help their communities and congregations prepare and respond to disasters in today’s changing climate.
The new resource has been developed regionally as part of the Australian Humanitarian Partnership Disaster READY Program, which VCC is implementing in Vanuatu. It has had input from an extensive baseline survey, NDMOs, Disability Associations and Church leaders in all four countries.
It consists of a framework paper titled “A Theology of Disaster Resilience in a Changing Climate” and six bible studies which can be used by church and community leaders to as examples for preparedness and response. The trainees will create action plans for dissemination of the resource in throughout their churches to help communities become more resilient. VCC’s Theology of Disaster Resilience Training officer will support the Vanuatu Churches with implementation and monitoring. Disaster Resilience Actors in Vanuatu will be engaged in the resource once it is available in Bislama.
Rev Dr Seforosa Carroll, Lead writer and working group coordinator from CAN DO, believes that this is an important way of tying not only religious but traditional beliefs and new ways of working towards resilience in the Pacific. “In practical terms, the resilience of Pacifica communities is grounded in faith and trust in God and strengthened by reengaging and reclaiming the traditional wisdom of our elders in their ability to relate, read the weather patterns and live in a respectful and mutual relationship with the environment while embracing new technologies such as mapping and warning systems.”
Photo supplied Caption: VCC administration office in Port Vila