Children’s centre cares for orphans

The National, Friday July 22nd, 2016

HAYWARD Sagembo was not satisfied with his work as a HIV/AIDS counsellor.
He wanted to do more.
While taking couples through processes to bring them relief and understanding about the killer disease, he had constraints.
What about the children they (the couples) had?
That influenced Sagembo establish the Tembari Children’s Care with his wife Penny at ATS in Port Moresby.
“I was a HIV/AIDS counsellor with the Catholic Mission and my wife worked with Anglicare Stop AIDS,” he said.
Sagembo is the director and Penny the project manager of Tembari.
“When it comes to counselling of couples who are HIV positive, most of the times they argue about who was at fault for bringing the problem to the family,” Sagembo said.
He said most of the times the couple separated or one or both died, leaving behind their children.
The Sagembos discussed issues around it and came up with the idea to make a home for those children.
They started the Tembari Children’s Care, getting orphans and looking after them.
They fed the children, clothed them, send them to school and provided other basic needs for them.
“Our concern was who would going to look after them?” Sagembo said.
Tembari was established in 2003 but was  registered in 2008.
“In order for them to receive support and donations, we had to be legally registered,”Sagembo said.
“I had to sell my house so that we could use the money to get the organisation registered.”
In 2009, Tembari started getting support and funds from donors and organisations.
Sagembo said the Malaysian Association gave Tembari K50,000 every year since 2008.
Other regular donors include RH Foundation, the Kiwi Club, SVS, Pacific Towing, Steamships, Dekenai, Methodist Church, O’Neill Foundation, Digara Construction and Hi-Energy.
“There are lots of programmes for the children but due to lack funding, we only look at the nutrition, education and health,” Sagembo said.
He said they used to send the children to schools around National Capital District and pay their project fees but bus fare   was a problem.
So they decided to provide education in their own centre.
The organisation started enrolling  normal children in the community as well in 2010 since there was no school in the area.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill built a double-storey classroom and an ablution block for the organization in 2015.
Now there are around 350 children – both Tembari beneficiaries and normal children.
“The school is growing every year and we need more donors,” Sagembo said.