Friends of Nano – Ningil, Papua New Guinea
The Ningil Friends of Nano are an enthusiastic and committed group of women, men and youth in the picturesque Highlands of the Sandaun Province of Papua New Guinea. The group, supported by Sr Bernadine Telami, meet regularly to pray, share and reflect on the Gospel and life and work (charism) of Nano Nagle and the Presentation Sisters.
The growing awareness of human rights and justice encourage the Friends of Nano to seek ways of acting to make a difference within their community. The prevailing cultural practices and attitudes of the Papua New Guinea society can either hinder or support an expression of human rights. Within this context the Friends of Nano are challenged to raise issues and reflect on how they can help support those in the local communities or challenge unjust practices.
The Friends of Nano visit the sick and support the youth of the surrounding villages. ‘Joseph’ is one such person the Friends of Nano assist. Since his wife died and his daughter married and lives in another village ‘Joseph’ has struggled with failing health to care for himself in his own home. There are no shops, nursing home facilities, no electricity or running water. It would be impossible for ‘Joseph’ to fetch water from the river or gather food from the bush. ‘Joseph’ needs the support of a stick to get from his indoor dwelling to the outside fire of his ‘winhaus’ (wind house) where he sits all day and can see others in the village as they pass by. The Friends of Nano assist with personal care, take food and water and sit and chat with him. ‘Joseph’ is mentally alert and thoroughly enjoys the companionship they bring.
At the National Committee of the Australian Associates Meeting in Hobart 2013 a photo of the Friends of Nano in Ningil was presented. The terms ‘Associate’ and ‘Friends of Nano’ are synonymous. The Ningil and Aitape Branches of the Friends of Nano are keen to further the connections with the Associates in Australia and other parts of the world.