PJV’s Community Relations and Engagement (CRE) section under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department had the supplies airlifted to Paka, Aluni, Wanekipa and Yokona communities in the Lake-Kopiago District of Hela Province, and Gaua community in the West Sepik Province.
These communities are located along the borders of West Sepik, Hela and Enga provinces, along the Lagaip and Strickland river system.
The supplies donated included library books, chairs, uniforms, desks and tables and wheelbarrows.
On May 9, medical supplies consisting of hospital beds, mattresses, crutches, wheelchairs and other medical supplies were airlifted on helicopter to the Wanekipa health centre in the Paiela-Hewa Local Level Government (LLG).
The other two receiving communities included the Paka Secondary School and Aluni Primary School with the latter yet to become operational.
The donated items were sourced through Rotary Australia.
Another delivery was made on May 14 to the Aluni Primary School and the Gaua and Yokona communities.
The items delivered at Gaua and Yokona included wheelbarrows and spades and runway markers for the manual construction of Yokona airstrip.
Aluni Community Leader and former councillor, Arapa Goiya, expressed that when he was younger and through his councillor position he tried to bring basic services into his community in the Aluni (Strickland) area, but with little progress.
He said his hope now is to see the young generation get an education and with PJV’s assistance, he hopes the school will get to completion and be operational.
PJV CRE Manager, Meck Minnala, said such basic items are of great help to communities that have limited access to road links.
“These communities are some of the forgotten frontiers of rural PNG with no road links and accessible by chopper only. The little gifts, such as these, make a huge difference in the lives of these end-users. This is also our way of being in touch with these communities which we value as stakeholders along our riverine footprints,” Minnala said.
PJV already has its ‘footprint’ in some of these communities; in 2010, it refurbished a science laboratory building and constructed a new staff house at the Paka High School. Also within the same LLG of Lake-Kopiago Rural, PJV refurbished a sub-health centre at Aluni in 2005.
Rotary Australia is part of a non-profit global network where Rotary Club members work together to promote peace, fight disease, support local education and grow local economies. (http://rotaryaustralia.org.au/)