Think of Darwin, Hobart and Cairns. If you add every man, woman and child in these cities together you’ll reach around 500,000 – the number of kids in Papua New Guinea who are missing out on an education because they have either no school or no teacher.
This week the Kokoda Track Foundation took a major step towards addressing this sad situation. After three years of planning, we gave the green light to our most ambitious project to date, Kokoda College, the first teaching college to be built in the rural Kokoda region in PNG.
Kokoda College will be a game changer: it will be able to provide all the needed teachers and community health workers in the Kokoda catchment region within the first three years of operation. The college can then open its doors to students from around PNG, making an impact on the national shortage of teachers and CHWs.
We’ve created a special website, www.kokodacollege.com where you can check out all details of the college, including plans for the campus and buildings.
We still need the help of as many Australians and Papua New Guineans as possible. Please visit the website to see how you can make a financial donation to help us build and run the college. Or register your interest if you are keen to join our volunteer teams in October/November to help build it.
PNG is a mere 3.6km from Australia – our nearest neighbour – and yet of all nearest neighbours in the world, PNG and Australia have the greatest disparity of poverty and wealth. Our motivating aim is this: “They were there for us in our darkest hours… now it’s our turn to lend a hand.”