Trekkers raise funds for Callan Services

These boys who met us at Isurava are not in school as the closest school is on the other side of the moutain, way too far for them to walk there.
The Kokoda Gone Trekking ERFA team.

TWELVE trekkers completed walking the renowned Kokoda Trail on Thursday, Aug 22. The trekkers, 10 from Australia and two from Callan Services National Unit (CSNU) in PNG walked the Kokoda Trail to raise funds for the Network of Callan Services for Persons with Disabilities.
Prior to the walk, the trekkers participated in school activities at the Callan Inclusive Education Resource Centre (IERC) Gerehu and then visited St Paul’s Primary School.
Under the ‘Gone Trekking Edmund Rice Foundation Australia (ERFA) programme’, the trekkers started walking the Kokoda Track on Aug 15. Along the way, Peter Sindu and Br Desmond Taboeya from CSNU conducted hearing and eye screening and awareness about the Network of Callan Services.
After the Kokoda walk, Donor Relations Manager for ERFA, Jarrod Turner expressed his appreciation to CSNU for its support in the lead up to the Gone Trekking programme.
“Thank you so much for your support in the lead up to and during Gone Trekking. It truly was an amazing experience and with funds coming in, we have now raised just over AUS$48,000 (about K108,000) for Gerehu IERC, Saiho and the Kokoda screening that took place.”
“The experience has been a life-changer for us all and we certainly hope that we have left a small (positive) mark on the communities in PNG. It was no small feat what Br Desmond and Peter took on and to see the people they supported along the track; their reactions will sit long in our minds.”
In expressing his appreciation to the ERFA Gone Trekking Team, Peter Sindu gives a reflection of the trekking experience.
“It is with great pleasure and words could not express this. Br Desmond and myself are extremely humbled to thank you all for inviting us to be part of the gone trekking team organized by ERFA to walk the rugged mountains of Kokoda and the Owen Stanley range. The adventure was of immediate high beneficial to us personally in many ways as well as Callan Services National Unit and the Network of Callan Services.
“There are lots of learning for the work we do and also identifying the needs to continue to deliver the services to other parts of the country especially the population of Oro province as well as the people who were living along the Kokoda track. The trip has taught us so many lessons which will help us to be very considerate with our personal lives as well as our intervention approach and targets for people who need services from the Network of Callan Services.”
There was significant experiences encountered and enjoyed along the track.
The stories of the war between the Allied forces and the Japanese was extremely emotional and beyond understanding. The battle at Isurava and Brigade Hill was deadly for the soldiers who fought for the territory in those devastating terrains carrying loads of heavy ammunitions with limited food supplies. The soldiers fought the war as well as tropical diseases. We are very humbled to salute the very young boys (18-25 years old) who sacrificed their lives for that deadly war. May their soul rest in eternal peace. Thanks to Max for all the recollection and the moving stories. Though the soldiers have gone their spirit lives with us.
The courage the soldiers had to fight along the track superseded the extreme challenges the rugged Kokoda had for them. They fought until they won. We as the trekking team also had the same courage to do our tracking in 8 days. We left our comfort zones and took the challenges of the track and realistically courage was our strength.
Our first day of the walk was extremely difficult for me and Br Desmond. It was like facing the reality of the challenges ahead. We could not think of anything but imagining the very tough adventure Kokoda was going to give us. Our trekking team was made of different age, gender and origin. This gave us the strength to pursue into the next lot of days walk.
The team was very friendly with outgoing character we enjoyed so much. After every break there was a cheer up, sweets were shared, comfort was given, a tap and a victory punch of energy was given to each other. A real mateship was practically shown. We were for each other, we were a team.
We had left our comfort zone for the eight days trekking. The good food, hot water, beer, accommodation, loved ones were left behind. We sacrificed to walk for a worthy cause. When we felt like giving up, we came to realize the huge sacrifice the soldiers had in the war times. Our pain would not match their lives being sacrificed. This gave us the strength to keep pushing until we came to the Owers corner. A journey to be remembered in the years to come.
Eye screening and issuing of glasses
The team provided free eye screening and eye glasses to those who need glasses. Br Desmond screened a total of nine males and 11 females. From the total five males and six females received glasses. Glass prescriptions were issued to three males and five females (we had no stock with us).
A female was referred to Port Moresby General Hospital for further interventions.

  • Article and pictures courtesy of Callan Services for Persons with Disabilities National Unit

Medical facility ‘to serve ordinary people’ aaffordable

A NEW medical facility at Kennedy Estate in Port Moresby was officially opened early last month to provide affordable first class health care services to the city residents and ordinary citizens throughout the entire country.
The private clinic called Seven Mile Medical Clinic has some of the most advanced medical equipment and facilities built and installed at the clinic before a grand opening on Tuesday Aug 6.
Services in this new medical facility are going for as low as K40 for consultations with highly trained medical doctors and professionals and that is arguably the cheapest fee as far as private clinics in the city go.
The range of services include radiology, X-ray imaging and scans and laboratory services such as liver function test package, kidney function tests, lipid profile tests and antenatal care.
Managing director Onne Bani said the clinic was established by shareholders who are business people to give back to the community in providing first class health care services like what is available overseas.
“I am very humbled to announce on this occasion that this clinic is a dream come true for people who wanted to give back to the community.
“It was put forward through a lot of sheer hard work and dedication by some of our business people and investors in the country to help our simple ordinary people.
“They have been working behind the scenes to make first class medical services accessible for our simple people to afford and that is very significant milestone for affordable first class medical services to become a reality in PNG and I am very grateful and humbled by their passion and achievement,” Bani said.
He said the main aim of establishing the clinic was to give back to ordinary citizens in the country and not about making money through people’s health.
“This is a very unique medical facility where our shareholders who are business people wanted to give back to the ordinary citizens of this country the benefit and the privilege of accessing first class medical services at the lowest cost possible.

The new facility at Kennedy Estate in Port Moresby opened on Aug 6.

“It is not about making money and profit.
“It is about service to our people and this clinic, we believe, will set a new benchmark for healthcare in the capital city and the country and we thank the National Government through the Department of Health, the PNG Medical Board and other partners and stakeholders for their support,” Bani said.
Apart from providing basic health care services, the clinic has some of the latest generation of medical equipment for scanning such as X-Ray, radiology, laboratory services and others.
Chairman of the clinic Aaron Cui said accessing affordable first class health care services continues to remain a big challenge in PNG.
“This is a huge challenge that the Government and the Health Department cannot be able to address themselves.
“They need the support of everyone, be it in a group such as an organisation or individual.
“We all need to play a part in supporting the health sector in PNG and health is everyone’s responsibility so this is an investment made especially to give back to the community to access affordable quality health care services,” Cui said.
Moresby North East MP John Kaupa who also officiated the opening said the clinic was a bonus for his electorate, the city of Port Moresby and the country where a first class medical clinic was established by committed business people to give back to the community.
“When it comes to the health of our people, it must not be about money and profit but service to the people.
“It must be service-oriented and I commend the board and management for their contribution to providing quality health care services in my electorate, the capital city and the country where ordinary people can be able to afford first class health care services,” Kaupa said.
Kaupa and teams from the PNG Medical Board, National Health Department and other partners and stakeholders and the general public who toured the clinic were very impressed with the new medical facility and equipment.
“After learning of the costs, I believe their services are cheap enough for ordinary people to afford and this is the way to go,” Kaupa said.
“Seven Mile Medical Clinic is setting the new benchmark for private health care providers in the city and the country and I urge our people to make use of the services available here.”

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