By Serah Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
A family in Port Moresby has made it a Christmas tradition to give to the less fortunate.
Rachael and Rex Lopoi, originally from the Eastern Highlands, have made it a yearly Christmas ritual to bring household items and food to the Baruni area to share with people they have come to see as friends.
The Lopoi family live in June Valley. Mother Rachael is a homemaker, while father Rex works as a self-employed contractor.
Their tradition to visit the Baruni area every Christmas began in 2009. They could not ignore the need to do something for the many street children around the city and especially around the Baruni area.
Baruni is where Port Moresby’s dump is located, where all of its waste ends up. Communities have grown up around this dump and they see it as a major source of their livelihood.
For residents of these communities, Christmas is just another day of survival.
John Eric who looks after a small Seventh Day Adventist congregation says there is no plan to celebrate Christmas but they were hoping that some Christians would visit them.
Rachael recalls when they first visited; she gave a set of pots to a woman who was living with her husband and two children at the time.
“The woman told me as she cried when she received the pots that they have been cooking using a paint tin.”
Rachael and Rex’s children have grown up with this ritual and have come to expect it every Christmas. They have also taken to calling the less fortunate they meet, “friends” who need their help.
Residents at Baruni dump have also come to expect to see this family every Christmas.
The Lopois are part of a handful of people who take the time to visit their community. Rachael appeals to those who have things they do not need, to think about donating to people who will make better use of it.