Starting in October 25th in Morobe, the team completed the final leg of their journey in Madang on Monday, November 2nd.
The goal of the trek is to raise K60,000 to fund the foundation’s three key rural health and education projects in Bundi for 2021.
Vincent Kumura said at 4.30pm, 24 trek members – 20 men and four women –arrived at Saidor Station in the Raicoast District of Madang Province.
The team’s nine-day challenge started at Wantoat on October 25th.
“The 130-plus kilometre trek crosses from the razor sharp Sarawaget Range to the challenging Finisterre Range, crossing through the YUS Conservation area,” stated Kumura.
“The trek is one of the most challenging and equally beautiful trek, especially the leg between Morobe and Madang before Teptep through the YUS Conservation area. It is also the longest of all our ‘Travel2Change’ treks since 2017.”
The team stopped at the remote Teptep Station on October 29 to witness the opening of the Nayudo LLG Council Chamber by the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Jon Philp.
“In fact, the chamber was named in his honour to continue the long and rich history of Teptep’s involvement with colonial Australian kiaps to the area,” stated the foundation’s CEO.
Whilst seeing the unique cultures of Raicoast, the team met the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Planning, Sam Basil, Governor of Morobe, Ginson Saonu, who is also a local from there and Peter Sapia, the Raicoast Open MP, among other invited guests.
“The nine-day trek passed from Kupun village of Wantoat in Morobe Province to Teptep Station, Bambu, Nankina and Saidor in the Raicoast District of Madang Province; crossing many unbridged rivers, climbing steep and very challenging mountains and passing through many remote villages.”
While trekking, the team observed that like Bundi, many remote villages of Raicoast District lack access to quality basic healthcare and education.
The team visited three remote high schools, four primary schools and an elementary school along the trek from Wantoat to Saidor. The team also conducted clinic in a very remote village in between Nankina and Saidor on their last leg.
“Given that there is no road link in most areas, access is mostly by plane, but unless the costs are being subsidised, it is still an expensive exercise for the many locals in the area while delivery of basic government services still remains a challenge for these mountain people of Morobe and Madang,” said Kumura.
The team travelled, endured the challenges, observed and learnt, appreciated the rare cultures and shared the pain and struggles of the people of Raicoast in the Finisterre Range.
“On behalf of Kumura Foundation and the people of Bundi, we are very thankful to the Sir Brian Bell Foundation for sponsoring this ‘Travel2Change’ fundraising Finisterre Range Challenge,” he said.
The team is set to travel into Madang town today with a courtesy visit to Sir Peter Barter at the Melanesian Resort.