SELINA VENIER | The Catholic Leader
Students from St Mary's College, Maryborough, have joined the "Sew PNG" project overseen by locals Frank and Pat Burkett.
So far, students have made 220 shoulder bags and pencil cases for Baga Elementary School and Tufi Primary School in Oro Province.
"(The project) has given the students a greater understanding of the poor conditions the students in this remote area face as they seek the key to a better educational future," Frank said.
The couple said their endeavours had been "greatly assisted by the staff at Boltons in Maryborough" who have supplied curtain fabric for the bags, along with others.
Contents of the shoulder bags are exercise books, a hat, thongs or "crocs" (shoes), clothes and a secondhand school uniform.
The pencil case contains "pencils, (pens), erasers, sharpeners ... as well as laminated bookmarks and cards made by the students assisted by parishioner Mariette Wilmink".
"The completed shoulder bags were labelled individually with the student's name and grade as gifts from Sew PNG Maryborough," Frank said.
The shipment to PNG will also include basic medical supplies for the Tufi medical centre.
Pat said: "The students are to be congratulated for their diligence and generous spirit ... (but) thanks hardly seems adequate."