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« A New Year - making positive changes | Main | International Mobility and Learning »

Gifts for 2016

Another of my 2016 highlights has been to travel to Papua New Guinea a number of times catching up with clients, colleagues and friends on their home ground.  It is an amazing country with some amazing people, and some unique challenges, so this year for our gift-giving we are donating money to support the following projects in PNG.

One of my favourite organisations is Buk Bilong Pikinini an organization promoting literacy in PNG.  Their mission is to ‘provide learning opportunities for the most vulnerable children in society who miss out on formal education’.  They also support ‘those who are fortunate enough to go to school but who lack the most essential tools for literacy; books.’ 

I love books and was excited to be able to contribute to book drives organised by some of the PNG expats I’ve worked with.  They knew how much their isolated villages would benefit from books and through Buk Bilong Pikinini were able to secure funding for transporting the books they had collected during their time working in Australia, back to libraries at home. 

Another major challenge for isolated communities in Papua New Guinea is healthcare.  In Papua New Guinea, one in 17 mothers will die giving birth – a figure so high that almost every family will eventually lose a mother, sister, or daughter. (In Australia that figure is less that 1 in 20,000.)

An organisation called Send Hope not Flowers brought my attention to those facts, which I read soon after celebrating the birth of new members of my own extended family.  Send hope supports some great projects including training local midwives in East Sepik Province and the work of Dr Barry Kirby in the Milne Bay Province.  Dr Kirby’s work encouraging mothers to give birth where help is available,` has seen the death rate drop 78%.  It’s an inspiring story and one we are proud to support through Send Hope.

 As I write this we are only a few sleeps away from Christmas.  In my family Christmas has always meant a time to give gifts, to think of others, and to give thanks for gifts we have been given.  So I’m giving thanks for you – my colleagues and friends – and for the gifts of new life and new learning.




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