A Friday in mid-February marked a new beginning at All Angels Parish Kerau in the Goilala Mountains of Papua New Guinea’s Central Province.
Through the assistance of Digicel Foundation PNG and with the financial support of the Governor of Central Province, Kila Hoada, we were able to witness the blessing and opening of a brand new double-classroom block and an aid post for the remote Aiwara area near Tapini District headquarters.
The project represents an investment in Goilala of K630,000 and sincere thanks also go to the Summer Institute of Linguistics for its support in ferrying the building materials from Port Moresby to Tapini then by chopper to Kerau.
It was a mammoth and challenging task especially given the rugged terrain and lack of road links and airstrip.
It was a logistical nightmare to get the building materials and the tradesmen together on the ground to begin the project and to see it through to completion.
It was an occasion to reflect on the plight of the people living in the Goilala Mountains. In-fact the provincial administrator broke down and cried, weeping openly since it was too much for him to see no public servants present.
Here, some of the people of Central Province have been truly left far behind everyone else and are trying to catch-up but with very little or no progress.
Speakers appealed to the community to look after the buildings, to care for them and also to ensure they last into the future for the sake of the next generation.
I asked the community to change their attitude and begin to promote the mentality of adding infrastructure rather than the current reality of replacing buildings and facilities because of the community’s neglect and tendency to burn them down whenever there is conflict and division in the community.
Burning down of facilities especially learning and healing centres, has been a major concern for us in the recent years.
Facilities for delivering social services should not be destroyed because they are for the benefit and common good and well-being of everyone.