Mando Papua new Guinea
Mando Village Project in Papua New Guinea

Nine members of the Rotary Club of Yea returned on 20th September 2010 from Papua New Guinea where they completed the Club's first Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) project. The members joined other Rotarians from Clubs in District 9670 at Mando Village near Goroka in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

In all seventeen Rotarians and non-Rotarians from four Rotary Clubs were involved in the joint project. The venue for the project was Mando, a village a little over twenty kilometres from Goroka on the Highlands Highway.

The RAWCS team was involved in completing a number of jobs in the village primary school. Mando is close to Asaro, home of the famous 'mudmen of Asaro'. The school was originally built with AusAid and RAWCS Eastern Region funding. Rotary Clubs have taken on the responsibility of sourcing, providing and installing further equipment and improving facilities within the school. The school currently has students enrolled to Year 8.

The Rotary Club of Yea adopted one of President Ray Klinginsmith'e key emphases, water, with the provision of new water tanks for the school, installing them and making improvements to the water supply to the school and its staff residences.

Members also took on the task of carrying out maintenance of school facilities and repairs to school buildings including concreting entrances to classrooms, sewing and installing curtains in classrooms and putting together second hand desks which had been sourced through Donations in Kind. Members were also invited by staff members to spend time in the classroom with a number of their classes to learn more about Australia, learn the craft of paper tole and improve their levels of literacy, another of President Ray's key emphases.

Club International Service Director, Jeannie Handsaker, motivated the Club into taking on the project and managed it on the Club's behalf.

Jeannie herself was inspired to recommend the project to the Club following a visit to Yea last year from Wendy Stein, a member of the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay in District 9670, who has been the motivating leader of the Mando project. Wendy had visited the Rotary Clubs of Alexandra and Yea in the aftermath of the 'Black Saturday' fires of February 2009.

The team had also gathered together in excess of 50 kilograms of baby clothes which were transported as excess baggage to Mando and were made up into baby packs which were distributed to mothers in the maternity wing of the Goroka Hospital.

Between ten and twenty babies are born at the hospital each day and mother and baby spend just one day at the hospital after giving birth before they return to their homes. Previous DIK efforts had resulted in the hospital being provided with a number of humidicribs. There is a huge opportunity for Rotary Clubs in District 9790 to support the Goroka Hospital in many ways.

Members of the Rotary Club of Yea who were a part of the team were President Terry Hubbard, President Elect Julie Lynch, Bob Dewar, Ruth Konig, Charles and Catherine Rattray, John and Jeannie Handsaker and DGE David Anderson.

They were joined by a non-Rotarian and close friend of the Handsakers, Coralie Betts. President Terry was making his first return visit to Papua New Guinea since PNG gained its independence in December 1975. He had spent the previous eleven years as a District Administration Officer in what was then the Territory of Papua New Guinea. It did not take him long to be conversing again with the local population in pidgin.

This was an important project for the Rotary Club of Yea to undertake in its twenty-fifth year and the Club now has first-hand knowledge and understanding of RAWCS projects and has motivated many to continue with such projects.
President Terry Hubbard under the watchful eye of Coralie Betts sewing
         President Elect Julie Lynch and Ritah


Members of the Rotary Club of Yea and four other Rotary Clubs, with non-Rotarians, at Mando Village, EHP, Papua New Guinea, September 2010

Prepared by:
PP David Anderson
Rotary Club of Yea