Dawesville Catholic Primary School and St Damien’s Parish: Zeu Project

Over the past four months there have been 3 separate groups visit our projects on the island of Flores in Indonesia. In October a group of 9 young people from Dawesville Catholic Primary School and St Damien’s Parish along with 13 adults attended the first ever First Holy Communion celebration held in the Zeu community. The entire group was involved in painting the church and preparing for the celebration…

Father Leon Russell, Parish Priest , St Damien’s Dawesville was also at the celebration and was the co-celebrant at the Mass. A great deal of organisation went into the preparation of the celebration and it was an amazing experience for the candidates and also visitors from Mandurah. The group from Mandurah helped out at the school and also experienced the amazing sights and culture of the Florenese people. First Holy Communion is recognised as the most important event in a person’s life other than marriage. The celebration starts with a 3-4 hour Mass that is followed by traditional dance and music, speeches, food and drinks and music and dancing into the early hours of the morning. The celebration would not have been the success it was without the support of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary in Bunbury who provided, through their fundraising, a cow and several pigs to feed the masses. There was over one thousand people who attended this significant event in the development of the Catholic community of Zeu.

The second group to visit Flores had a health focus and consisted or Dr Wayne Bradshaw, Sue Bradshaw, Willem and Susie Meyerink and Kerry Samakovidis. Following concerns raised Mr Marianus Sae, Bupati (Regional Head of Government) and Mr Moses Jala, Project Manager CBBI, about the serious health issues in both of our project communities of Zeu and Wawa. Their major concern was an alarming statistic of 30% of all deaths in Ngadu Province are attributed to Hepatitis B. Arrangements were immediately made to purchase 1000 syringes of Hepatitis B vaccine, sufficient for 330 people having a course of 3 injections. The cost of AUD $7000 was kindly donated by one of our supporters. The vaccines were flown from Jakarta to Bali and the delegation carried them to Bajawa.

On the first day our group went to work in Wawa. Unfortunately they could not get up to Wawa because of the condition of the road so they set up a clinic in Aimere, the closest town to Wawa. Some people walked for 2 hours to receive general assessment and health treatment from the doctors and to have their injections.

Dr Bradshaw and Sue Bradshaw, qualified nurse, worked tirelessly all day, alongside local doctor Dr Ina, to assess, treat and inject all men, women and children who attended the clinic. A local senior dentist, Dr Reni, advised many patients on their dental problems and how they could access government treatment. Over 100 patients were treated on day one.

The following day the same program was conducted in Zeu. The government provided a dentist and two nurses to assist Dr Bradshaw and Sue Bradshaw in Zeu. In a marathon day nearly another 100 patients were treated and vaccinated.

The medical group has committed to revisit two community projects in Flores in mid February to follow up on the amazing work they have already achieved.

In early January 2013, Steve and Jenny Dowie with their grandchildren, Indianna and Lexcen King, visited Flores to follow up on the work they have been involved in over the past 4 years. Steve and Jenny’s main area of interest and expertise is in education. They attended a meeting with the Bupati, Mr Marcanus Sae, to discuss school performance and government funding for the building of another three classrooms. He agreed to support CBBI with the review process and accountability of staff that we want implemented and also make funds available to assist in the construction of more classrooms. They also met with CBBI’s Project Manager, the Principal and one of the senior teachers to discuss the ongoing development of vegetable gardens, the planting of fruit trees and the purchase of animals for breeding and eating. At present one of the government built classrooms is being converted into an office/staffroom and staff toilets have been added. The Zeu community has had an enormous boost with the government funding the construction of 190 new houses, new roads, and other infrastructure. When the houses are completed and occupied it will have a substantial impact on the school’s population.

Steve and Jenny were unable to visit the new school at Wawa due to the wet season. The road is very challenging in the dry season and impassable in the wet season other than on a trail bike. CBBI have agreed to build a bamboo house for the two teachers during February. Construction on the road will start in March/April and once it is finished, planning for the construction of permanent buildings can start.

2013 Calendars have been produced and are on sale for $10 through Dawesville Catholic Primary School. Please support his fundraiser.

On Saturday, 13th April we will be holding a Cocktail Party and premiere of the Flores Documentary to raise funds for our project.
Date: Saturday, 13th April 2013-02-05
Time: 5.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: Willem and Susie Meyerink’s at 13 Nyari Court, Mandurah
Cost: $70

Drinks and food supplied
Auction Items
Premiere of the Flores Documentary
Tickets available from Susie Meyerink on 0419 105 645 and Steve Dowie at Dawesville Catholic Primary School.
Only 60 tickets available so be quick.

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