The Prison was SCARY!

The team visit the residents at the Senior Citizens home. This is part of a ward.

The team visit the residents at the Senior Citizens home. This is part of a ward.

Visiting a Senior Citizens Home in ex WW2 Army Barracks looked a sad prospect from outside the security gate. Yet the warm welcome from Senior Nurse, Sister Neelam, reflected the feeling throughout this peaceful place. Comprising of 51 residents of which 20 have psychiatric disabilities, along with others with dementia, it was surprising to see the harmony within this place for ‘elderly orphans’.
Golden Oldie Norma chats to one of the residents

Golden Oldie Norma chats to one of the residents

“They come here because they have no family or village able to care for them. Some have been here 30-years” Sister Neelam tells us.
Nurse Adele talks to counterpart Nurse, Sister Neelam

Nurse Adele talks to counterpart Nurse, Sister Neelam

“They may have challenging conditions and residents but I am very impressed with the quality and level of care provided by all the nursing staff” were words commented by Golden Oldies Nurse Adele.
Isabel at her sewing machine. She even started sewing at 6.30am one morning

Isabel at her sewing machine. She even started sewing at 6.30am one morning

Graduation day for our sewing ladies at the orphanage. The first bula sulu’s and shirts were completed and proudly paraded by some of the girls.
The girls in their beautiful bula sulu's and blouses, with the Golden oldies sewing team with them

The girls in their beautiful bula sulu’s and blouses, with the Golden oldies sewing team with them

Elizabeth’s committed group comprising of Jill, Avila, Isabel, and Sisi work tirelessly to achieve these beautiful garments.
Jill and Norma can still smile as they go about their work

Jill and Norma can still smile as they go about their work

The team spent time with the children and even responded to their singing with a song performed by the Golden Oldies Internationally acclaimed choir as well!
The Suva Prison ministry appointment was next on the trip and caused some nervousness amongst team members.
Nervousness was the feeling of the team as they approached the prison

Nervousness was the feeling of the team as they approached the prison

It even looked scary as we drove up. We observed all the men in their orange jumpsuits being marched into the meeting room for our presentation. It actually turned out OK! Our singing, message, and a final prayer by our ‘Golden-Golden Oldie’, Helen were well received by the men. A further outcome has been, that this pioneering trip to this prison has opened the door for the local Anglican Church to now start a prison ministry amongst these lovely men, aged 17-80 years old.
A fascinating trip to be guests at the NZ High Commission was next. We heard about the changes in Fiji over the last years and importance of the forthcoming first general elections in 8-years about to take place. They were also willing to help us in our endeavours to try and freight a second hand x-ray machine to Fiji for the hospital Adele has been working at all week.
Muriel and Jane sit Fiji-style with the ladies

Muriel and Jane sit Fiji-style with the ladies

Today has been the much awaited ladies craft workshop with woman travelling from all over the island to attend. “We awoke at 4.30am this morning to travel to this event” shows the level of commitment to learn about craft making as a new form of small business for the churches.
Sylvia and Isabel sharing with the ladies

Sylvia and Isabel sharing with the ladies

The large number of ladies attending meant the Golden Oldie ladies had to organise themselves into 3 groups just to ensure everyone had a chance to learn the skills.
Avila and Mary on the 'cards' craft team

Avila and Mary on the ‘cards’ craft team

“Now I can take this craft back to my village and I can sell these crafts for Church funds. I am very happy about that” said a lady from a group that had come on a charter bus sponsored by the Golden Oldies to attend this workshop.
Elizabeth assisting with a lady and her baby with the embroidery of the crosses

Elizabeth assisting with a lady and her baby with the embroidery of the crosses


From an old people’s home, to the orphanage, the prison, then the NZ High Commission, and now a craft workshop, it has been a busy few days for everyone, but very rewarding too. And now a team are setting off to a remote squatter village by taxi to present a sewing machine to the ladies there.

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