Cycling for Children: Vanuatu Br Charlie Randle sm & Fr Chris Ketsore sm

Dear Marist Mission Centre Friends,

Br. Charles ‘Charlie’ Randle sm is now 77 years young. After more than 50 years working in a variety of ministries in our Province last year he moved into a retirement village in Brisbane. Following knee replacement surgery in 2016 he will soon be undergoing knee replacement surgery on his other knee. A bike ride of 500+ kms will again be a very helpful part of his recovery program.

This year he will again be accompanied by Fr. Chris Ketsore sm a young Marist priest from Bougainville who has just completed his teacher education degree at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane. Chris is presently gaining experience as a teacher/chaplain at Marist Brothers College, Ashgrove, Brisbane before returning to the Pacific.

Our 2018 Cycling for Children Vanuatu Appeal is for two kindergarten buildings in primary schools conducted by the Marist Fathers on the beautiful island of Vanuatu in the communities of Imaru and Lautapunga. Fr. Antoine Tabiusu sm is responding to the hopes of parents for their children who believe that ‘education is the key to their future’. Education from an early age is the key to alleviating poverty.

This year the Marist Mission Centre again invites you to sponsor Br. Charlie and Fr. Chris to raise funds for the education of kindergarten children in two communities on Vanuatu.

The Marist Fathers conduct primary schools in the communities of Imaru and Lautapunga and plan to provide proper buildings for kindergarten children.

Vanuatu is a beautiful Island but at times the peaceful atmosphere in these communities is disrupted by cyclones and or the fear of the eruption of the nearby volcano.

Imaru: In the community of Imaru with a school of 200 children the kindergarten classroom was an old shelter until it was destroyed by Cyclone Pam in March 2015. Teachers have been conducting classes in a tent. However this situation becomes unbearable in the heat and the rainy season. Classes are now conducted in the open spaces on the school grounds.

Lautapunga: In this community the kindergarten was conducted in an old garage that was completely destroyed by Cyclone Pam. Since then there is no proper classroom for the kindergarten children. Classes are held in the open spaces on the school grounds.

Fr. Antoine said that the schools are open to families and children from all faith groups and backgrounds living in the area and that the school is a place for fostering community building and cohesion. His hope is to provide two cyclone proof kindergarten buildings so that teachers and children have a safe place for learning.

Your generous support for the building of a kindergarten in the communities of Imaru and Lautapunga on the Pacific island of Vanuatu would be greatly appreciated.

With our thanks and blessings.

Fr. Paul Sullivan sm
Executive Officer