WelCom April 2023
The Christian Life Community is a lay organisation that meets regularly in small groups to pray, learn and practice Ignatian Spirituality. Our emphasis is finding God in all things. Members seek to find where God is calling them in individual missions, and how to support missions developed by the whole community.
During the 2020 lockdowns, when we were unable to leave our houses and had to meet by Zoom, our CLC Wellington members considered how we could develop a community mission. As citizens of a Pacific nation, we looked for projects in the Pacific region we could support financially. Phil Brass from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand gave us information about areas that fitted the CLC charism. We discerned we would support the ‘Tutu project’ in Fiji. The project provides arable training and support to local people. It was founded by the Society of Mary, with whom we have a special friendship.
The CLC Wellington Community Mission Project is simple. We invited members for financial donations. These were forwarded to Caritas as our contributions to the work of the Tutu Rural Training Trust, which runs the Tutu project.
The Marist Oceania Province has leased to the Trust for the long-term 1200 acres of mainly arable land on Tavenui Island in Fiji’s Cakaudrove Province. The centre provides:
- non-formal agriculture and small business skills training to the people of the local area and adjacent islands as a free, three-year, live-in course;
- biennial six-month livelihood and skills courses for unmarried women;
- annual short-term couples’ farming courses; and
- village-based extension courses about family health and marriage enrichment.
Caritas keeps us informed on how the Tutu Rural Training Centre is developing. Every $1 we raise via Caritas is matched with $3 of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Funding. Donations by CLC Wellington members began in 2021 and raised $1,525 in the first year. That equated to a total of $6,100 in support for the project. Donations for the end of the March 2023 will match this amount.
CLC Wellington members feel privileged as a community to play a small part in supporting this valuable work among our Pacific neighbours.