Do you know Vanuatu? I have to honestly admit that as of last Friday I hadn’t heard about this island nation in the South Pacific. Thanks to International Women’s Day of Prayer, which took place last Friday, many women around the world were introduced to paradise in the South Sea. This year’s slogan was: “What are we building on?”
A different country every year
Every year on the first Friday in March, World Day of Prayer draws attention to various projects for women and girls in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Every year, a different country takes center stage, and every year a different country, especially the country’s women, shows what it has to offer.
So Vanuatu this year, when a film about this country was shown at the Evangelical Church in Bad Darheim. A movie with smiling and happy faces of women amidst the beautiful nature with waterfalls and green forests. Women in the supermarket, with banana trees on their shoulders, just like on the beach, women sing together or play soccer, weave basket or cook, and are always smiling happily in front of the camera. Maybe they’re just happy, because Ni-Vanuatu, as residents are called, out of 83 islands somewhere between Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands, have been at the top of the global happiness index for several years.
The dark side of Heaven
But this country also has its downsides, because Vanuatu is the country most vulnerable to threats from natural forces and the consequences of climate change. More and more devastating hurricanes hit there. Sea level is rising and rising. Vanuatu is also located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, with at least seven active volcanoes and regular earthquakes.
Another major problem is the prevalence of violence against women; More than half of them have already experienced violence in the relationship. About 30 women attended the Evangelical Church in Bad Derheim for the universal service prepared by Brigitte Janes of the Catholic Church and Ingrid Ost of the Evangelical Church. Protestant and Catholic women take turns designing the International Day of Prayer.
In the earlier period, there were kittens for those who were unable to come to church on International Day of Prayer and still wanted to celebrate – “emergency food”, which is called “disaster food” in Vanuatu.
A great idea about caring for society in the time of Corona, because “prayer unites with all brothers and sisters around the world,” says Ingrid Ost.
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