Since 2004, ALWS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG) have been partners in the Church Partnership Program, supported by the Australian Government through the PNGAusPartnership. The program works to strengthen the capacity of the ELCPNG to help its local communities.
When mum Vero learnt Tabitha had impaired hearing, she fell into despair.
That’s why the counselling training Tabitha’s teacher received with the support of the Lutheran Church in PNG is such a blessing.
Vero shares …
“Tabitha was born fine, but when she was 8 months old she had cerebral malaria. This affected her hearing, but it was only when she was 2, going on 3, that we knew this for sure.
When I found out about this problem,
I was worrying so much I almost lost my mind.
I did not expect this to happen to my little girl. When Tabitha grows up, if she has challenges in her life, how will she share them with me?
In the community we come from we have never seen anyone else with this problem. So, I kept Tabitha close to home so she would not suffer any discrimination.”
Australian support is changing life for Tabitha and Vero. The Australian government, through ALWS, supports the Lutheran Church in PNG in practical actions to help people like Tabitha and Vero in poor communities.
For Tabitha, it was training for her teacher in understanding and supporting children with special needs. Now there’s a special class Tabitha can attend. Vero explains:
“Before this class, all the while Tabitha and I never had a proper way to communicate.
So now we both come to school to learn signing. When I come here I feel happy because we are opening up communication, and it is relieving me of my worries about communication.
Tabitha thinks she is just like everybody else.
She can do lip-reading, and likes playing sports. She also likes looking at pictures in the newspaper and magazines. She pulls out the magazines from the shelf in the classroom to look at all the pictures, and cries if the teacher tells her she must stop.”
Thanks to the support of people like you, Tabitha is receiving the support she needs. Yet the impact of the help you give Tabitha doesn’t end with her. Vero smiles:
“I think Jesus has a special place for children like Tabitha. I would like Tabitha to become a nurse to care for people like her with a similar disability. There is a big challenge in the hospital now because the nurses don’t know how to communicate.
This will be a gift Tabitha can give.”
The Church Partnership Program is supported by the Australian Government through the Papua New Guinea–Australia Partnership.
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Creating literate families promotes the value of education and increases the success of children in their early education journey.
Additional benefits of literacy, especially for women, include greater participation in community life and increased confidence in managing their cash-based produce marketing.
ELCPNG’s Adult Literacy Program trains community members to become adult literacy teachers. Your support helps improve literacy rates in PNG by helping to meet the costs of training and the development of materials for use by teachers.
ELCPNG advocates for the improved inclusion of people with disability in village and community life, and in the provision of government and church services.
The Lutheran Disability Program (LDP) has established community level Self-Help Groups and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), as well as a network of community-based rehabilitation volunteers.
The goal is to address the barriers to inclusion, especially the negative attitude and stigma which surrounds disability, faced by people with disability in PNG.
Your support empowers people with disability by helping to meet the costs of training community-based rehabilitation volunteers and facilitating self-help group formation.
ELCPNG is using its existing resources, such as church buildings and Sunday School teachers, to establish an Early Childhood Education program, giving children access to structured learning and development opportunities.
It is working on the development of a policy and plan incorporating disability and child protection considerations.
Coordinating with government and community stakeholders, ELCPNG is in the process of finalising a curriculum and providing training for Sunday School teachers and other community volunteers.
Your support enables children in PNG to improve their educational outcomes by helping to meet the costs of training and providing learning resources
ELCPNG is developing pathways for disengaged youth to improve their livelihoods and participate as respected community member through the development of a youth worker training program.
An important focus is on ensuring young women are trained as youth mobilisers, and that the types of training opportunities provided cater to the interests and needs of young women.
In addition, youth leaders are delivering stewardship training, empowering participants to use the existing resources in their rural settings to develop sustainable livelihoods. Your support helps create opportunities for youth by helping to meet the costs of these initiatives.
- 1,692 people reached through COVID-19 Disability outreach
- 4 radio transmitters installed in remote locations to assist with COVID-19 messaging
- 600 community members joined World Disability Day celebrations in Lae
- 86 people trained as adult literacy trainers
- 144 youth trained in life skills
- 33 church leaders trained in counselling
- 37 circuit leaders trained in Theology of Gender Equality and Gender Based Violence.
Not wavering during times of turmoil, the ELCPNG has been able to act together with the Government of Papua New Guinea. This was displayed during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.
When some agencies had to close some offices, ELCPNG leadership activated its Church Disaster Relief Management process and developed a Relief Response Plan to accompany the Government of Papua New Guinea in responding to COVID-19.
The Church Partnership Program is supporting the ELCPNG to effectively deliver essential health, education, community services and disaster relief responses to PNG communities.
ALWS acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the PNGAusPartnership.