- The Republic of Kiribati is comprised of thirty-three islands, spread across 3.5 million kilometres of ocean.
- It is one of the world’s poorest nations and also one of the most densely populated.
- Kiribati faces many serious challenges, including rising sea levels, water contamination, declining fish stocks and overcrowding.
- Malnutrition and disease continue to be major problems.
The Sisters of the Good Samaritan first arrived in Kiribati in 1991 at the invitation of local Bishop Mea. From small beginnings, there are currently two communities of Good Samaritan Sisters in Kiribati engaged in educational, pastoral and community development ministries. These include running the Good Samaritan Early Childhood Learning Centre, teaching English at the local primary school, offering pastoral care to patients at the psychiatric hospital and those in prison and supporting people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Sr Ameria Etuare was the first i-Kiribati woman to become a professed Sister of the Good Samaritan. There are now eight i-Kiribati sisters and a number of inquirers who are exploring their interest in Good Samaritan life.
Other people have also shared their gifts with the island nation through the Good Samaritan connection. This includes a group of 14 teachers from the Diocese of Port Pirie and other educators associated with Good Samaritan Education.
The Good Samaritan Early Childhood Centre continues to operate in Abaokoro (North Tarawa.) Construction of a new community centre in Temaiku (South Tarawa) is planned and this will allow the Sisters to offer new programs with a focus on education and support for young women and girls.