By ELIAS LARI
A VISIT by some students from an Australian university on a research programme at Mt Kuta in 2016 has since benefitted a number of schools in the area.
One of the students befriended Kopi tribe ward councillor Peter Raim, a strong believer in eduation.
In fact, Raim billeted visiting student Jack Growden from a group of 20, to enable him to learn more about his study subject – culture.
With a background in hospitality, Raim impressed Growden with home-cooked meals and the student felt rather indebted.
So he gave his laptop to Kuta Primary School on his departure and promised more.
At this stage Growden did not know that Raim always wanted to help educate locals, part of his 50-year development plan when he became an LLG councillor in 2013.
His Kum Kopi tribe in Hagen rural was introduced to computer for the first time.
Raim took on the task of introducing computer skills to primary school students there as a personal commitment, with support from Litehaus International, an international organisation from Australia. Growden was the founder.
Raim said he was privileged to have Australian students visiting his Kuta village for their research. They were sponsored by the Australian government.
Growden offered to help Raim and on Sept 16, 2016, he donated his personal laptop to the school as an independence anniversary gift and promised to return with another 12 laptops in 2017 … and he did.
Raim is a long-time board member of the school.
So far, eight schools in Western Highlands, including Raim’s Kuta primary schools, have received 84 laptops and a couple of projectors – thanks to Growden.
Nowadays, the computer is becoming a very important area and I’m also thankful to Litehaus International for providing big support in promoting education.”
Raim became Litehaus International’s PNG agent after sacrificing his time and resources.
Transportation of the laptops from Australia to Mt Hagen was met by Litehaus International.
Raim’s responsibility was to provide hospitality, fuel and other needs from his own pocket for the Litehaus staff, and the delivery of the laptops to schools.
He said so far they had covered three electorates – Hagen, Mul-Baiyer and Tambul-Nebilyer – and they were yet to visit schools in Dei.
Raim said last month it was a privilege to have Komatsu Australia general manager Stafford Jones delivering the laptops to three schools.
Jones delivered 36 laptops and three projectors to Ulga, Minimb and Rebiamul primary schools after his company paid the cost of transporting laptops from Australia to Mt Hagen. Jones was accompanied to PNG by Litehaus International director operations Luke Wakes and Bridie Egan, the editor and photographer of the organisation.
“We have to look at what benefits we are going to get in future and not just now, so we have to work hard hard to achieve something in future,” Raim said.
He said that he was willing to use his own resources and time to help Litehaus International continue with its good work.
“As agent for Litehaus International PNG, I want to make it clear that we have to make it our business to promote quality education for our children without expecting anything back because as citizens we have to help our country with whatever resources and time we got,” Raim said.
“I’m happy to voluntarily help our children earn a better education through the use of computers.
“Nowadays, the computer is becoming a very important area and I’m also thankful to Litehaus International for providing big support in promoting education,” Raim said.
He urged teachers, staff, students and school boards to look after the laptops.”