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Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has a population of approximately 7.5 million. It is a resource-rich country, with oil, gas and gold reserves as well as fertile land capable of producing high crop yields. Despite this, an estimated 40 percent of Papua New Guineans live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day, according to the World Bank.

Close to 50 percent of adults are illiterate and 25 percent of children are unable to attend school in Papua New Guinea. Part of the problem with getting to school, work and hospitals has to do with the country’s infrastructure. In rural areas, where nearly 88 percent of the population resides, there are few roads or means of transportation to get to schools or places of employment.

Salesian missionaries in the country provide primary and secondary education as well as technical skills training to prepare youth for the workforce. Missionaries also help to ensure that basic needs like shelter, food and water are met so students are able to focus on their studies.

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Empower girls & women through education

The Caritas Sisters of Jesus, part of the Salesian family, recently launched a new technical secondary school for girls in Kimbe. The Salesian sisters opened their first school in the country in East Boroko, Port Moresby in 1996. They launched this second technical school to educate poor youth in the region.

The school’s two founders, Sister Sara Park and Sister Florentina Cho, settled in Kimbe in early December 2016. They rented a hall from a local Catholic parish and started their humble new school with two classrooms. The official start was on Feb. 6, 2017, when the Salesian sisters finalized the registration of the first students, graduates of the eighth grade, and held the first school year opening ceremony.

Another group girls, graduates of grade 10, requested that they be able to continue their education as well and join the school. The Caritas Sisters accepted them, and they started Grade 11 with more than 100 new students. Right now, 115 girls are studying at the secondary technical school. The students are learning the technical skills needed to either advance into higher learning or gain employment.

Respond to refugee needs

Salesian missionaries in the city of Port Moresby held a roundtable discussion at the end of November 2018 on the needs of some 400 refugees on Manus Island, which is part of Manus province in northern Papua New Guinea. For many of these refugees, it was their sixth Christmas season far from home and living in difficult situations.

In April 2016, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea declared that a detention center for asylum seekers on the island of Manus, established by the Australian government through an agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea, was illegal and unconstitutional.

Today, some 400 refugees are still waiting to be resettled, subjecting them to a series of human rights violations and social jeopardy. In an attempt to find a solution to the current situation, Salesian Father Ambrose Pereira, secretary of the Communication and Youth Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, launched the roundtable discussion.

The roundtable, entitled “Manus Refuges,” brought together the government, the Church, students, refugees and Papuan citizens for an open discussion. Monsignor Bernard Unaballi, bishop of Bougainville, strongly committed himself to finding a definitive solution and suggested the Christmas period for a deadline. Despite this, no agreement was reached and the refugees spent their sixth Christmas in terrible conditions.

In addition, the Refugee Livelihood Program, a program for the refugee population of West Papua, an Indonesian province on the island of New Guinea, is a recent collaboration of Caritas of Papua New Guinea and the Don Bosco Technical School in Gabutu, near Port Moresby.

The West Papuan community has more than 2,000 people who are living along city drains in five camps across Port Moresby. They were not resettled to allocated state land as promised by the previous government. With this uncertainty, leaders from the camps approached the Catholic Bishops Conference for help in reducing some of their ongoing challenges such as food security, clean water, education, land and housing.

Caritas launched its support by providing educational scholarships to 20 West Papuan youth so that they can attend courses at the Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu. The short four-month courses give disadvantaged young men and women an opportunity to complete and attain a basic certificate in computing, administration, electrician and motor mechanics.

Provide clean, safe water

As part of its “Clean Water Initiative,” Salesian Missions recently donated eight water reservoir tanks to the Don Bosco Araimiri Secondary School in Araimiri. The school is located in a remote area without access to even the most basic necessities. The new water tanks give students access to clean drinking water. Prior to receiving the water tanks students would need to draw on unsafe sources for water, which were often the cause of health-related epidemics, especially during periods of drought.

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From Papua New Guinea

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From Papua New Guinea

Water tanks donated to secondary school in remote part of Papua New Guinea

Thanks to generous donations to its Clean Water Initiative, Salesian Missions was able to provide eight water tanks that will benefit hundreds of students. NEW ROCHELLE, NY & ARAIMIRI, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (Oct. 19, 2017) As part

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in Papua New Guinea

Agriculture Training Programs

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Feed a Child

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Technology Program

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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