Good Samaritan Sisters Partnerships Kiribati

A country at risk

Because of the threat of rising sea levels caused by global warming, many more people are becoming aware of the location and the plight of the people from the Republic of Kiribati.

If and when the waters rise, Kiribati will be no more.

Kiribati (the former Gilbert Islands) consists of 33 very low coral islands stretching across some 5,000 square kilometres on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.

More than one-third of Kiribati’s 100,000 people live on the main atoll of South Tarawa.

Good Sams come to Kiribati

In the late 1980s, Bishop Paul Mea was persistent in his invitation to the Good Samaritan Sisters to help with the education and missionary needs of the people of his diocese.

In 1991, Good Samaritan Sister, Veronica McCluskie, was appointed to the staff of the Kiribati Pastoral Institute. She was soon joined by Sister Veronica Griffith. The ‘two Veronicas’ planted the Good Samaritan way of life in the fragile coral soil. Soon a number of I-Kiribati women asked to join them.

What attracted young women to join the Good Sams?

These women were attracted to the Good Sam spirituality, particularly the commitment to community, to Lectio Divina, and to the Good Sam style of ministry characterised by practical neighbourliness to those in need and a compassionate commitment to justice.

What the Good Sams do in Kiribati

There are now two communities in Kiribati and the I-Kiribati and Australian sisters are engaged in a variety of ministries: primary education, youth ministry, and working with people with disabilities and mental illness.

In 2009, the Good Samaritan Early Childhood Centre was opened. The centre is staffed by three Good Sams – two young I-Kiribati and an Australian.

Marella Rebgetz, an Australian Good Samaritan with a degree in water management, is employed by the government to help address Kiribati’s critical water needs caused by the rising sea level and the increasing salination of drinking water.

Good Samaritans, both in Kiribati and Australia, are involved in the Pacific Calling Partnership and advocate for the rights of environmental refugees.

Help make a difference

If you wish to donate to the Good Samaritan mission in Kiribati, contact The Good Samaritan Foundation.