Solace in Rotary and Church for Fr John Glynn

New Friends and Old

Sometime in August our staff Josephine and I attended a Boroko Rotary Club dinner and made a presentation on the work of WeCARe! It went over very well and the club is very interested in helping us. They have already given us a handsome donation which is very welcome, and told us there is more to come. An Adelaide Rotary Club has been sending volunteers here to Port Moresby to do some work for the Lasallians and we have been taking them around to visit our supported Care Groups and to meet the people we work with. They also have begun to help us in many ways. God bless Rotary! Our friends in Ireland and Australia continue to help us with their donations in cash and kind, and we never forget to thank God for you all. And…

Miracles do Happen!

When I started the work that eventually became WeCARe!, back in 2002 or ’03, the Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby was very nervous of it all, and I was strongly advised not to do this kind of work. Times have changed, and now, after all these years, the Church has asked me if a representative of the Archdiocese can be on our Board, and if our missionaries can become involved. Needless to say we are absolutely delighted at receiving this recognition from the Church at last. Perhaps in getting the ‘all clear’ from the Archbishop some of our Catholic Parishes will be encouraged to start pastoral works for the poor and disadvantaged amongst them. WeCARe! will be there to give them all the advice and support we can.

Education in PNG

Education in PNG is really in a mess. A report has just been published on the level of literacy in five provinces – Chimbu, Sandaun, Gulf, New Ireland and the National Capital District (NCD). It was a carefully done study by an Australian based agency classifying people as Non Literate, Semi Literate or Fully Literate. It found that on average only 11% of people are fully literate. In Gulf it is only 4.2% and in New Ireland it is 25%. These results have not been publicised as the Government claims variously that 50% to 70% of our people are literate. Education in PNG is tuition free, and the Government is currently preparing legislation to make it compulsory as well. However, we have classrooms and teachers enough for no more than half the children in the country, and in the cities Primary Schools have 60, 70, even 85 – in one case I know of – in a class. In rural areas – where there are any schools at all – the numbers are better. For NGOs like We-CARe! the challenge is to find some ways of promoting literacy and numeracy training through the Care Groups we support.

P.S. It’s my 77th birthday on Saturday, 14th September – I can hardly believe it!!!

Sources

Fr John Glynn is the Founder of WeCARe Foundation.

News category: Analysis and Comment.

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