The National, Friday, April 29, 2011
Perth residents donate towards a better life for the disadvantaged in Chimbu, writes HILDA WAYNE
INACCESSIBLE roads would not stop a container full of gifts from the children and people of Perth, Western Australia from reaching the disadvantaged children in the cold misty mountains of Chimbu province.
The gifts travelled over the ocean for weeks and by road up the Highlands Highway from Lae, Morobe province.
It’s final port of call, into the hands of delighted school children and high school students, sick children in Kundiawa general hospital and orphans at the little known Irugl Care Centre tucked away at the foot of PNG’s highest mountain, Mount Wilhlem.
“These donations came from school children, families, people, young and old who have the heart to help those who do not have much. I am overwhelmed by the support and kindness shown by the children and people of Western Australia for giving so much to the disadvantaged children of Chimbu, through members of Simbu Children’s Foundation (SCF) in Perth,” said Mr Jimmy Drekore, president and founder of humanitarian organisation SCF during a presentation of gifts to orphans at the Irugl care centre.
“I am thrilled to see these gifts reach the children in Chimbu and I would like to extend on behalf of the people and children of Chimbu our heartfelt gratitude to Team SCF WA members, their families, volunteers and the children and people of Perth, Western Australia for putting smiles on the faces of our children here in Chimbu. I see the terrible road conditions leading to isolated places like Irugl but that should not deter us from caring, supporting, encouraging and motivating each other to move forward dispite the hardships we face each day. These gifts reminds you all that there are people and children in a far away country who care and thought of you,” Mr Drekore told a delighted crowd of children and care takers at the Irgul care centre.
This labour of love was initiated by members of SCF team Western Australia led by chairman Ivan Mori and his wife Martina. With over 30 members in WA, appeal for donations was launched in various surburbs where members lived. Donations came from as far as the south west in Port Kennedy to Mundijong and all the way up north west of Perth in Myrabooka. Company employees, charity organisations, school children and OP shops donate library books and children’s items.
The PNG Western Australia Wantok Association (PNGWA), an organisation comprising former PNG residents, PNG citizens working or studying in WA also gave their support. PNGWA also made financial contributions to help with the cost of shipment of the SCF container. Fundraising activities were also done to raise money to meet the cost of shipping the container of items to Chimbu.
Belmont Rotay Club in Perth gave an invitation to Mrs Mori to be guest speaker at one of its club meetings last year. Mrs Mori highlighted the work of SCF in PNG and what SCF members were doing to send gifts back home to Chimbu. Rotary club members and executives were impressed with the work of SCF in PNG and decided to lend its support. It asked for donations of children’s items from its own members and also made a financial contribution towards the cost of shipping the container home to PNG.
“SCF shows it has the heart for young people and children who are struggling and cannot afford basic needs in their lives. It is doing a great job by bringing joy to the little ones who need some care and respect. This support and assistance will be remembered for a long time. On behalf of the children here at Irugl we would like to say thankyou to all those who made it possible for these gifts to reach our centre. The children and our support team will remember you all in our prayers,” said Fr Boni Umba from the centre.
“Hope is one of the best ingredient we can instill in the young and unfortunate who have lost their parents and guardians, to lift their spirits and give them the feeling of care, love and belonging. All these work, regardless of how big or small, public or private will someday return the result in a magnitude we may not imagine now. Whatever gifts the disadvantaged children of Chimbu get will register permanently in their minds and it will always be a talking point in their lives. These are the positive seeds of hope planted by SCF,” said Tine Ningal, SCF member who is from Chimbu and has lived and studied in Netherlands for the past six years. Mr. Ningal is currently studying for his PhD in Dublin.
SCF which was formed in PNG in 2004 provides assistance and help for the disadvantaged and sick children of Chimbu. Through its fundraising activities, it has contributed medical equipment worth over K30,000 to Kundiawa General Hospital and helped meet the full cost of critically ill children undergo heart surgery in PNG’s capital Port Moresby. It has members in Europe, Asia, United States and in almost every state in Australia.Children at the Kundiawa general hospital were given prams, toys and other items. Trampolines donated by the residents of Rockingham City outside Perth were also set up at the hospital grounds making it a fun area for children. More boxes of children’s items are planned to be delivered to remote district of Karamui, which is only accessible by plane.
Mr Drekore said it was a huge task compounded with the challenge of poor road conditions when trying to get the items to various areas but SCF members in Chimbu worked hard to ensure the children got their gifts.
“The roads may reflect the ignorance of those responsible or you may think the world has forgotten you but not SCF. We have extended the good heart of people around the world to your doorsteps,” said Mr. Drekore.
And if those good-hearted men, women and children of Western Australia were in Chimbu, the show of appreciation would be sort of unique. For Chimbus would hug when you expect a handshake and their tears of genuine gratitude expresses their hearts.