Flooding in Australia – The YWCA movement in solidarity
The World YWCA stands in solidarity with the people of Australia as they struggle with the massive flooding that has hit the country.
In recent weeks large sections of Queensland have been subject to extraordinary flooding; areas of northern New South Wales have also been affected and some parts of Victoria and Tasmania are also flooding.
The World YWCA Office in Geneva has received news from our YWCA sisters in Queensland and they report that there has been loss of life among these communities, including the communities of Toowoomba and Brisbane. Some YWCA of Queensland members have lost friends, and our thoughts and prayers are with them as they come to terms with their loss.
The YWCA of Queensland has sustained some property damage; an office was flooded to the ceiling on Boxing Day and a project which provides social housing sustained flash flooding. Five tenants spent the night in a local hotel, but their rooms have been dried out and they have now returned home. The YWCA buildings in Rockhampton and Brisbane are both fine. There are however YWCA members who have had flood waters through their homes/businesses. Of particular concern are residents in Western Queensland communities who have been cut off by road since Christmas. Fuel and food supplies, as well as toxic conditions in flooded homes, are now of concern. Many residents face the prospect of their homes being demolished. Our thoughts are with them as they commence the cleanup/rebuilding process.
“We have been inspired to witness community in action in the times of the flood and in the aftermath. With love, resilience and humour people in the affected communities have been sustaining one another as they begin the enormous clean up. As ever, the volunteers and members of emergency services have been out, working hand in hand with neighbours, families and friends to support people affected by the disaster,” said Rodney Watton, Director of Community Services of the YWCA of Toowoomba.
In the coming months the YWCA of Queensland will respond to needs as they arise – auspicing activities, acting as a collection point for goods, and offering support. Stock from the YWCA of Queensland Op Shop will be available for flood survivors. In meeting community needs at this time they will draw on their history of supporting communities and people to get their lives back on track.
At present, the YWCA of Queensland has asked that donations be directed to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html
The World YWCA will continue to hold the people of Australia in their thoughts and prayers as they meet the challenges of recovery and reconstruction.