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Club News

A word of thanks from Cancer Relief Society

April 2012

The Club got a nice mention in this week’s issue of the Lae Chamber of Commerce Newsletter:

 

The Society would also like to thank Anthony Whitfield and the members of the Rotary Club of Lae for their efforts in locating equipment shipped from
Rotary Australia for use in the Cancer Treatment Centre and also for their contribution in clearing the cargo through customs.

Shelley Knox
President PNG Cancer Relief Society Lae

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

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Service Project Reports

Lae schools face closure

April 2012

TWO large Lae primary schools will have their classes suspended on April 30 – which is a week away – at the start of Term 2 because of lack of funds, the heads of the two schools warned yesterday.

The head teachers of Haikost and Gantom Primary Schools told the Post-Courier they have no money in their school accounts to continue operating. Willie Vilakiva, headmaster of the Haikost Primary School at 3-Mile Settlement, said the school had no money to continue operating. The school has about 800 children.

“ We have no money for public utilities like water and electricity, we cannot pay our security and our suppliers are after us to pay outstanding bills we accumulated since January,” Mr Vilakiva said. Mr Vilakiva said parents had also not paid the K150 compulsory project fee because they say that education is free and the National Government was paying for everything.

Gantom school headmistress Patricia Pere Kagai said her school would suspend classes from the beginning of Term 2 due to lack of funds. Ms Kagai said the Government’s free education had not arrived and parents had not paid any project fee saying the Government was paying for the fees. Gantom Primary School is located at West Taraka and has a student population of 1016.

Ms Kagai said the school had to absorb additional children when settlers were forced to vacate land around the mouth of the Markham River for the Lae port development as well as around Speedway area. This week, the 28 teachers from Gantom Primary School came close to not having their in-service training course due to lack of funds.

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Lae which donated supplies to them as well as refreshments the training program is now underway. The much politicised free education money from the National Government maybe helping children across Papua New Guinea but it is also making some parents turn away from helping their schools. The policy is also diverting attention away from the basic needs of the schools. The basic needs are desks, tables, reading books, sporting equipment among many more.

For some schools that are well supported, the situation may not be so serious but for many it is a far worse situation. Outside the boundaries of Lae City there are 11 primary schools in a category labelled by education authorities as ‘Category C’ schools. Most if not all are located in the large squatter settlements that are sprawled right around the outskirts of the city.

The children who attend these schools come from families that live either just above or under the United Nation’s scale of “poverty line.” Their weekly income is grossly insufficient even to pay for a new set of uniforms for one child, let alone buy a packet of rice and a tinned fish for the family dinner.

Since the beginning of this year the Rotary Club of Lae has been donating books, desks and tables, sporting equipment among other materials to some of the schools to help them start the school year. The club has committed itself to helping all 11 schools in this category. It has sent word out to its sister clubs in Australia who generously donate goods in kind to the club for help. Then shipping containers started arriving at the Lae wharf and the Rotary wheel started spinning.

Now, visitors to the Haikost Primary School, Bowali Primary School, Ganton Primary School and others will notice a difference. Ms Kagai said yesterday that without the help of the Rotary Club of Lae she could not run the in-service training for her teachers this week. She said in-service training for this week was focusing on language and literature for primary schools.

The club donated eight boxes of primary school literacy books , including song books, stationery and refreshments for in-service training. “Thanks to Rotary we have more than enough for our teachers,” Ms Kagai said. At Haikost Primary School the club donated two classrooms of tables and chairs, whiteboards, 43 boxes of literacy books, exercise books and pens and pencils and netballs and footballs. At Bowali primary School the club donated 45 boxes of literacy books, pens and penscils. Help has arrived, thanks to the Rotary Club of Lae and its workholic members.

This week the flying super-star of the Rotary Club of Lae – Mark Flewin – made the special delivery to Gantom Primary School in West Taraka. This is his impression: “Now this is both sad and uplifting again as to how the managers of community places care so much about their community. The three schools in West Taraka have no money in the bank to run their offices and they desperately wanted to run their in service to learn and prepare for teaching their children in the coming year. Most other schools gave up and just had an extra week’s holiday but the three West Taraka schools had theirs at Gantom with no resources but a will in their heart to learn for their children. So Patricia Kagai the headmistress walked the business house streets trying to get some donation in kind for materials and refreshments for their in service. Only the Rotary Club of Lae came through and put some amazing smiles on the teachers by supplying enough stationery supplies and tea and coffee for them to complete their in service effectively.”

Ms Kagai sent a message to Mr Flewin to say: “Good morning Mark, my girls are enjoying use of items Rotary gave yesterday, they say thank you for saving us from sinking- may God bless you and we Love you Big One” Such is the picture around Lae for these schools. In order to get help headmasters and headmistresses must physically walk from door to door begging business houses for help.

Rotary is helping out but that alone – as much as it is welcome – will not be sufficient to sustain these schools. Free education or not, the schools have so many daily needs which need to be attended to in order to ensure children receive quality education.

The cargo cult mentality now planted in the heads of parents that the national government is paying for their children’s education has turned them away from their parental responsibilities towards their schools.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

Categories
Service Project Reports

Donation – Gantom Primary School (18/04/12)

April 2012

Now this is both sad and uplifting again as to how the managers of community places care so much about their community. The three schools in West Taraka have no money in the bank to run their offices and they desperately wanted to run their in service to learn and prepare for teaching their children in the coming year.

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Facts

With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

Categories
Club News

UNITECH constructs new Children’s Playground

April 2012

This past week the Department of Architecture and Building (DOAB) at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology held a design-build Master Class.  Master Class 2012_1, Creating a Melanesian Place for Creative Play, is an intensive, one week project in which students, faculty and local professionals designed and built a much-needed, new and safe playground on campus next to the preschool.  Eight design teams consisted of 10 to 11 Architecture students who are studying at the PNG University of Technology in their 2nd – 5th years in the program. The student teams were each responsible for designing and constructing one piece of ‘play equipment’.

This project aims to challenge the often pre-conceived notion that learning happens within the confines of the four walls of a classroom.  The program included seminars on topics such as the link of education through play, community consultations with the local preschoolers, design crits, site analysis,  and a three-day build period.  Through this process students are able to learn from real-life experiences reinforcing topics taught throughout the curriculum.  During the build process skills such as on-site problem solving, estimation, design safety, construction management, construction techniques, detailing were all built on; adding value to the students experience at Unitech.

The playground was constructed from locally available materials like timber, soil, gravel, cement, as well as recycling materials from various sources, such as old tyres, Tuffa Tanks and leftover construction materials from local construction sites.  This, in addition to the social aspects of the program, reinforces sustainable practices emphasized in the DOAB.

It is hoped that one of the outcomes of this project will be an increased community dialogue on the importance of education and alternative methods of teaching and learning.  Many of the play structures have been designed with this aspect of creating a learning environment in mind.

The project was coordinated by Mr. Chris Dobunaba, Ms. Molly Felde under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew Sariman, Course Director.  We would like to thank the following for the donations, energy, and time in supporting this program and the opportunities they have helped to create.  The Department of Architecture, led by Professor Cletus Gonduan, HOD, the faculty of the DOAB, the Unitech Projects office who has worked alongside the students and helped by providing materials, the Lae Rotary who has shown their support as well as the individual members and companies they represent.  The following companies for their support and donations in kind: Seeto Kui, ITWProline, K.K. Kingston, Timber and Forestry Training College, Dulux, Colorpak, Dunlop, Crosbies, Bridgestone, Nuigini Builders; as well as, SVS and Boinamo for providing transportation of materials to our site. Finally the students of the department for their energy as they worked until well past midnight all three nights in order to finish the playground along with the staff and faculty who voluntarily worked alongside them beyond all expectations.  The success of this project would not be possible without all of this support.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.