Around 5,000 homeless children in NCD

Port Moresby has an estimated 5,000 children living in the streets of the nation’s capital, most of whom are from marginalised communities, says Life PNG Care director, Collin Pake.

Pake and his wife run the biggest orphanage in the city, which currently accommodates 54 children.

They not only accommodate, they also educate those unfortunate children and even cater for up to 100 children on weekends during its street beat programs.

A program that started almost 10 years ago, Life PNG Care is on a mission of rehabilitation at its home that provides accommodation for those vulnerable children, advocates for child protection and runs the street beat program.

It also runs three main education programs; the Strongim Pikinini program, Home School education program and Mobile Education program, which is still a pilot project.

“Life PNG Care started from humble beginning, with accommodating first 8 kids, (5 girls and three boys). The youngest was 5 years old, today she’s 17. And the eldest was 11 years old. Today he’s 26 years old,” Pake said.

The Strongim Pikinini Education Program is by far its successful education program which basically sees children who want to be in a classroom get educated.

“Since the inception in 2014, we started sponsoring 12children under the Strongim Pikinini Education Program.

“In 2015 we sponsored 25 children, and in 2016 we sponsored 85 children. Last year we sponsored 108 children.

“This year was the biggest. Out of 1,500 children that are registered under the Strongim Pikinini Education Program, we sent 250 children to school this year.”

The pilot Mobile Education program saw three children graduate last year. They now attend primary schools as a result.

“So we want to do something more lasting and impacting the children. So in that way we bring schools to where they are because giving a child education is giving them wealth,” stated Pake.

(Picture credit: Life PNG Care)

Sally Pokiton