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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Byron fundraiser to benefit orphans of West Papua

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A music and dance event tomorrow (Saturday) at Ewingsdale Hall has been organised to help the ‘forgotten orphans’ of West Papua, with all proceeds set to benefit the thousands of young traumatised children affected by the Indonesian military occupation.

Byron shire local Monique Gharios says ‘the genocide of the West Papuan people at the hands of the Indonesian military is one of the saddest yet rarely told stories of modern times, and its still happening right now, nothing has changed, why?’

‘Because West Papua, a land of untold riches, was hijacked with a violent and rigged vote by Indonesia in 1969, where only 1,000 out of a million were allowed to vote and those 1,000 were held at gun point,’ Ms Gharios said.

‘All this with the support of Australia, the USA and the United Nations, the Indonesian Military have slaughtered nearly half a million indigenous West Papuans in the years since, all in the name of a mountain of gold.

‘All of this kept secret by a ban on journalists and foreign aid from entering West Papua.

‘Thus the cry of the West Papuans has gone unheard for nearly 50 years.

‘Currently over 500,000 West Papua natives have been killed leaving behind thousands of starving, traumatised and dying orphans.

‘These orphans have had absolutely zero external help, assistance or relief.’

Ms Gharios, a yoga teacher, said tomorrow’s fundraiser will sustain and assist the ‘Forgotten Orphans of West Papua’, these children are the future of West Papua’.

She said 100 per cent of all donations would be sent to the orphans via the tribal chief of West Papua, Benny Wenda (https://www.facebook.com/bennywenda/

A news story here details the orphans’ plight:

The event at the Ewingsdale Hall, at William Flick Lane (opposite The Farm) , is from 10 to 6pm and includes dancing, food, performance and the screening of a documentary at 5pm called ‘Forgotten birds of Paradise’.



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