372 Elementary schools across New Ireland Province are receiving donations of vital hygiene supplies and
COVID-19 awareness materials from Australian NGO, KTF (Kokoda Track Foundation) in partnership with Newcrest Mining.
“Newcrest are pleased to partner with KTF on Project Airborne, which is designed to keep our school children and communities safe in New Ireland, through the delivery of hygiene supplies and the messaging of ‘COVID-19 Niupela Pasin’. Newcrest looks forward to continuing their support of the province throughout the upcoming vaccine rollout.” outlines Craig Jones, Newcrest Chief Operating Officer, PNG.
With provincial borders closed, KTF’s partnership with the New Ireland Department of Education has facilitated the rollout of supplies, training the province’s elementary teacher trainers to on-deliver awareness messaging and distribute supplies to teachers at the schools they support. At the project’s official launch with CEO of New Ireland Provincial Health Authority, Dr Joachim Taulo and Acting CEO of New Ireland Department of Education Mr Apelis Benson, Mr Benson expressed what these supplies mean for schools:
“To have people to support the education sector (biggest sector in New Ireland) is a blessing in disguise. I would like to say thank you to the management of Newcrest for using partners to transparently use the funding so that it impacts where it is required. We thank the Kokoda Track Foundation as they partner with Newcrest to deliver this very important PPE’s to our schools. To have Newcrest and KTF is truly a blessing, we are very grateful for such partnerships.”
Total supplies delivered across the province include: 2,232 reusable masks, 1,116 disinfectants, 372 touchless thermometers, 744 COVID-19 awareness manuals, 2,604 awareness posters in both English and Tok Pisin, 744 tippy taps and 26,784 soaps to be distributed to each school within all Local Level Government (LLG) areas throughout New Ireland.
Grace Lomba is Tikana LLG Cluster #6 Co-ordinator from New Ireland Department of Education has been on-trained and received supplies for the schools on her island of Djaul. She has been impressed by both the training received by teachers and very grateful to Newcrest and KTF for the supplies to support that knowledge, a first for the island. “We can use to show the students and actually do the job. “We mean business in cleanliness!”. Grace added “Thank you very much from Djaul Island”.
KTF CEO, Dr Genevieve Nelson said the deliveries have been an exercise in true partnership, “Project Airborne has only been possible across the islands of New Ireland thanks to the incredible work of the many partners involved: Newcrest for their generous funding as ever; Lyle Alickson from the Red Cross and her wonderful volunteers for stepping in to package supplies when our team could not travel; the New Ireland Department of Education and their extraordinary trainers for delivering to their clusters and the teachers for making their classrooms a COVID-free space to learn and sharing their knowledge of ‘Niupela Pasin’ practices – wearing masks, handwashing and distancing – with their students and families. Together we will help stop the spread of COVID-19 across New Ireland.”
KTF’s Project Airborne is an ongoing project supporting communities in New Ireland, the Balimo region of Western Province, Northern (Oro) and Central provinces to help stop the spread of COVID-19.