Kimbe Assistance Project
The story so far
The Kimbe Assistance Project is our Parish’s International Apostolate. It was started after pilgrims from the West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG) visited the Western Region of the Diocese of Sale in the lead up to World Youth Day in 2008.
The families who hosted the pilgrims were so touched by them that they began looking for ways to help the Diocese of Kimbe. Obviously, this required volunteers to make a reconnaissance trip to Kimbe.
So, Adrian and Barbara Corkeron volunteered as they had lived in PNG in the late 1960s. During their visit they asked to see schools and health clinics and were shocked at the condition of the buildings and facilities. The clinics were basic at best and the four Aid Posts were even more primitive than the clinics! However, they found that the nurses were very skilled and did a marvellous job with extremely limited equipment or medicine.
The schools were no better than the clinics; many of them with dirt floors and often with insufficient desks. Libraries did not exist in most cases.
After their first visit to Kimbe in 2009, Adrian and Barbara briefed the Parish Council on their findings and the Council decided that the Kimbe Assistance Project would become the Parish’s International Aid Project.
The project is concentrating on providing aid in the areas of Education and Health. Its aim is to give these people a hand up and not a hand out.
Believing that the best way to improve standards of living is via educating the young and raising the health of the people, the project sent five containers of educational and medical items to the Kimbe Diocese for distribution.
Items included school stationery, library books and text books, and for the Tech School – tools, computers, sewing machines and cooking aids. The medical equipment included walking frames, wheelchairs, crutches, shower chairs, ventilators, hospital linen and furniture such as examination couches and patient trolleys.
There is a high birth rate in PNG and most children are delivered in the clinics or in the villages. Very few mothers go to the only hospital in the Province, which caters for about 220,000 people. Unfortunately, with the high birth rate there is also a very high mortality rate.
The project provided two portable ultrasound machines and facilitated four ultrasound training courses for the midwives. The courses were run using volunteer sonographers from Australia.
One of the project’s exciting ventures has been the installation of solar powered lighting in two remote health clinics. The system installed in 2016 was relatively inexpensive, and did not need a trained electrician for the installation. The team believes that this is the way to go.
Container No. 6 is now close to completion with over nine hundred boxes of library and school text books, as well as medical equipment (walking frames, shower stools, and crutches), computers, school desks, chairs, and much more!
As part of its regular fundraising efforts, the project joined hands with the Great Community Raffle and sold $2.00 raffle tickets, mid-June this year. The prizes are two cars – a Volkswagen Polo and a Suzuki Ignis! All prizes were donated, and the monies received from ticket sales will go towards sending the 6th container on its way, in the near future!
Of course, the project can’t do any of this without your support!
The collection goes on throughout the year, so don’t ever think you’ve missed the boat! We are very grateful to the schools and individuals who regularly support us.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a list of items suitable for this project, or contact Adrian and Barbara on 0413 886 000.
Volunteers are always welcome.