The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012
A DELEGATION from World Vision Australia’s Business Advisory Council visited Madang last week to learn and experience its implementation work firsthand and to explore opportunities where it can further help communities in Papua New Guinea.
Members of the council volunteered their time to help World Vision Australia’s day-to-day business.
The visit was led by World Vision Australia’s chief executive officer Tim Costello and facilitated by its PNG country programme director, Curt von Boguslawski.
World Vision Australia is one of the major donors, funding most of the projects in child and maternal health care, nutrition, education and HIV/ AIDS.
Costello was accompanied by a team which included:
l Australian health department’ executive director of hospitals and health service performance division Frances Diver and her son Louey;
l Newmarket Capital executive director James Douglas;
l Business adviser Greg Ridder and his son Gus,
l Tom Pippela, who represented his father on this visit; and
l Rick de Paiva, general manager of Major Donors Enterprise.
As part of their four-day visit to Madang, the group took two field trips to Bogia district and Usino-Bundi district.
Some council members opted to bring their teenage sons along for the trip to expose them to the work of the organisation and engage them in volunteer work.
On the way to Bogia station, the group made a brief stopover at the Daigul health centre, which caters for an estimated 17,400 people.
World Vision Australia has two projects at the Daigul health centre, under the maternal child health and nutrition project, and the TB DOTS programme funded through the Global Fund.
Health centre officer-in-charge Sr Grace Atukum highlighted many issues and challenges the health centre faced daily and one major downfall being that Daigul had no permanent doctor or even electricity.
Erranol Polangi, a World Vision district advocacy communications and socialisation officer under the TB DOTS programme at Daigul, said the rise in TB cases in the area was because of the lack of awareness and education on TB, especially in remote parts of the district.
“At present, we have 13 TB cases.
“As part of our project, we go into the communities and ensure patients get treatment support at the village level,” Polangi said.
After a short tour of the health facility, the group continued their trip to Bogia where they visited Kamasina village, a project site under World Vision’s Yawar Karkar Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project funded by the European Union.
At Kamasina, the local community came out to meet the Australian group and praised the WASH project.
The installation of a clean water source in the village has benefited the villagers greatly and changed their livelihood for the better.
“As parents, what are your dreams for your children, do you want your child to go to school and grow up to be doctors or lawyers, what is your dream for your children?” Costello asked.
One parent said as long as their children were healthy and strong, free of disease and illness, most parents would not mind if their children did not make it further in education.
Von Boguslawski thanked the community in Kamasina for coming out to meet the visiting team and to share their experience.
In Usino-Bundi, the team visited Daunagari Village, at the foothills of the Ramu Nickel Mine.
They were welcomed by school children from the local elementary and primary school.