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Renovation of Pre School and Human Development Center in Kunjingini in Papua New Guinea

The town of Kunjingini in the Sepik Province is located about 120 km from the capital of the Wewak Province. East Sepik is one of the least accessible provinces in Papua New Guinea (PNG), located farthest from the capital, where educational aid is most needed. In the territory of the Catholic parish in Kunjingini, there is a state primary school (780 pupils), a preschool (77 children), a first medical aid centre (nursing aid) which may attend to 200 patients a day and a training and educational facility (Human Development Centre).

All the buildings are owned by the Catholic Diocese in Wewak and the primary school is partially financed by the PNG government (primarily teachers' remuneration). The Human Development Centre of the Catholic Mission in Kunjingini organises courses and trainings in education, health care, professional development and ministry for local people who reside in the Wosera-Gawi District. The Centre buildings were also used by a health centre (for training employees and medical volunteers) as well as the primary school leaders (for organising courses increasing qualifications and teaching internships). All these activities were organised in the Centre for free.

From mid 2013, however, the Centre's conditions deteriorated so drastically that it was impossible to continue conducting courses or trainings. Replacing the walls (plywood) in one of the rooms of the Centre made it possible to bring the preschool into operation in January 2015. Nonetheless, the room as well as the entire Centre need to have the electrical wiring replaced and be repainted, so that it could serve its purpose. 

The present technical condition of the buildings shows that they require urgent repairs, mainly new electrical wiring as well as finishing and renovation works, so that the preschool activities as well as courses and trainings could be conducted in decent conditions. The preschool and the Human Development Centre are long-term projects and the renovation of the buildings will help them to continue their operation. Various courses and trainings will improve the quality of life of the local population.

This project falls within the scope of the earlier aid activities carried out by the mission in PNG. Since 2012, all the implemented projects focused on education and were implemented in various provinces of PNG, located far from educational and economic centres.

Renovation of Pre School and Human Development Center in Kunjingini in Papua New Guinea

The project is scheduled to begin on 1 September and end on 31 December 2016. It is an educational and social project  providing learning and development opportunities for local communities, children, teenagers and adults in the Wosera-Gawi District. The direct objective of the project is to enable local preschool children and other residents (teenagers and adults) to participate in educational activities and various courses and trainings in decent conditions. It is expected that the project will ensure  educational development for the local community and greater chances of personal development for its members, increase their standards of living and develop cooperation, reconciliation and mutual respect among people of different faiths and from different tribes. The renovation of the Centre will help counteract stereotypes about people of different faiths. Caring for the Centre will strengthen the feeling of responsibility for common good among people from different tribes.

The basis for assessing the results produced by the project will be the information passed by the diocese on education outcomes of preschool children and the organised courses and trainings. The preschool and the Human Development Centre are long-term projects. Children, teenagers and adults will be able to use them for a long time, thus increasing the number of educated and informed people in their local communities. At a later stage, the socially-informed and educated people will have an easier access to the labour market. As working persons they will be able to support the development of their communities. Education will contribute to making people aware that we need to care for our natural environment. Positive attitudes shaped during the courses will impact other places of work and play.  

Other benefits of renovating the Centre include the possibility of organising meetings for a large number of people for the purpose of conducting training courses and implementing preventive measures focused on HIV/AIDS, hygiene, law and justice and many more courses addressed mainly  to children, teenagers and women (music courses, combating alcohol and drug addiction, family development, theatre groups, etc.).

All the courses and trainings will be free of charge. They will be conducted by volunteers, i.e. school teachers and local specialists in various areas, selected by the parish priest of Kunjingani. The parish in Kunjingani will supervise the trainings and courses.

It is estimated that after the renovation, the buildings housing the preschool and the Human Development Centre will allow about 750-900 students to receive preschool education and undergo trainings and courses there. The educational offer will be  addressed mainly to children, teenagers and women from the Wosera-Gawi District in the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.  

The supervision of the Catholic Diocese of Wewak and the Ordinary of the Diocese over the investment project will provide additional guarantee and control. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Canberra is not able to directly supervise the projects' implementation in Papua New Guinea. In order to provide aid, the local Parish and the Catholic Mission have to take on the role of a partner, coordinator and actual implementer of the aid project. The works will include replacing electrical wiring and repainting the four buildings which house the preschool and the Centre, purchasing finishing materials, supervising and coordinating construction works, controlling finances and results of the undertaking. The Catholic parish in Kunjingini will cover the costs of remunerating employees and transporting construction materials.

For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: AUD 1 = PLN 3.0180.

Renovation of Pre School and Human Development Center in Kunjingini in Papua New Guinea

The project was implemented from 9 September to 31 December, 2016. The goal of the project was achieved - after the renovation, the technical condition of the preschool and the buildings housing the educational centre in Kunjingini allows to conduct educational activities and courses in decent conditions. The entire electrical wiring was replaced and all the walls and roofs were ground and painted.

The entire value of the project amounted to 21,046 Australian dollars. The Polish Aid provided a donation amounting to 15,000 Australian dollars.