By PETER ESILA
A GROUP of children walked five miles from their village, then travelled by bus for a few more hours, just to see an aircraft close-up for the first time – and meet one of its prominent passengers.
The passenger was Prime Minister James Marape who was travelling from Port Moresby yesterday to Goroka to officiate at an event.
The excited 27 children, most of them orphans, were from the remote Bundi in Madang.
Not only did they meet and talk to their prime minister, they entered the Air Niugini Fokker-70 aircraft, and looked around the cabin at Goroka airport, as part of their excursion.
They are part of the Kumura Foundation.
They had walked from Bundi, to the Gembogl in Chimbu, then travelled by bus to Goroka.
Bundi shares a border with Chimbu.
Eleven-year-old Willie Kuri from Mondia Bridge village in Chimbu said it was the first time to see Goroka.
He said they saw many new things for the first time, met the pilots and entered an aircraft.
He said it was a story to tell for the rest of their lives.
Kumura Foundation founder Vincent Kumura from Bundi said the area they hailed from lacked health and education services.
“The kids come from various villages in Bundi.
“Many are orphans and some are from very remote areas.
“To reach a school, they had to walk for two to three days to get to Mondia Bridge, Chimbu.
“We built a transit house there for them to stay while attending school.”
By PETER ESILA