7 April, 2023
“Dorolyn had a burden on her heart about the increasing number of discarded babies being found dead in the Port Vila area.”
Louise met Pastor Dorolyn Laloyer through a friend, Jenny Wigglesworth, in 2011. At the time, Dorolyn was the Director of Women’s Ministries at the Vanuatu Adventist Mission.
“Dorolyn visited some of the young mothers in prison who had discarded their babies,” said Louise, “and they talked of how they felt they had no other option than to do what they did.”
That was all the information Louise needed. Her heart was stirred into action and she knew she had to do something to help in whatever way God led her.
“As a mum, I just couldn’t believe young women felt they had no other options than to abandon their children,” Louise said. “We had this idea of buying this property and setting up a refuge ourselves, but in reality I couldn’t take that on. It was a blessing that ADRA took it on. I realised my role was to raise awareness of this issue and fundraise money to help.”
Louise began a series of fundraising events that eventually led to the big one: a 1,000km tandem bike ride with her son Nathaniel to raise funds for their cause, which evolved into ADRA’s Blossom Project. The ride ended up raising $70,000 and kicked off what is now known as the annual Ride4Rescue event.
Earlier this year, ADRA Australia held an afternoon tea to commemorate Louise and the incredible work she has done to support young women and mothers in Vanuatu.
Since its inception, the project has grown to enhance the wellbeing of women and girls by addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy. The project has also established the Elang Family Care Centre, a family counselling centre in Etas. The centre will cater to the social, physical, mental and spiritual needs of victims of violence, especially crimes, within a family setting.
“As I look back on the journey now, I can see how God has been leading the whole way through,” Louise says. “It is good that He can see the big picture and impresses us to act even when we don’t see as clearly as He does.”
To date, Ride4Rescue has raised approximately $220,000.