Archive for April 2015

FIMITO PRIMARY BENEFITS FROM WASH   Leave a comment

Fimito Primary School in Eastern Highlands Province is the latest beneficiary to ATprojects School Water Sanitation and Hygiene [WASH] program funded by Oxfam [New Zealand].

The school caters for more than 200 students and a total number of nine teachers.

With the maintenance of six ATloo toilets installed in 2005, installation of a 9000 litres tank and a 1000 litres tank to a girls shower house, the school had a re-opening ceremony on the 26th of February this year.

During the reopening ceremony the Head Teacher of Fimito Primary School Aron Kameku was happy with the work and commitment that ATprojects had put into the school to complete the installation of the facilities which included the tank water supply system and at the same time thanked Oxfam [New Zealand] for funding the project.

Mr Kameku said over the years he and the school’s board have written several letters to the Provincial Government to secure funds but were unsuccessful.

ATprojects Senior Project Officer  Richard Longgar cut the ribbon of the  toilet facilities as the Head Teacher  Aron Kameku looks on.

ATprojects Senior Project Officer Richard Longgar cut the ribbon of the toilet facilities as the Head Teacher Aron Kameku looks on.

He added that despite being located near the township of Goroka town the school had been neglected from basic services for quite a while until in 2013 when Digicel Foundation built a double classroom with solar lighting, installed one 9000 litres tuffa tank, two pit latrines and built a girls’ shower house in which ATprojects had complemented it by installing a 1000 litres tuffa tank.

ATprojects Senior WASH Project Officer, Richard Longgar said during an assessment of the school facilities conducted towards the end of 2014, ATprojects had decided to help Fimito Primary School as the toilet facilities installed in 2005 had already deteriorated which were unhygienic for the students.

He challenged teachers to encourage the students on the importance of health and hygiene practises.[Source: ATprojects Media Unit]

Posted April 1, 2015 by atprojectsblogs in Water & Sanitation

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iRAMP PROGRAM MOVES TO ENGA   Leave a comment

The inclusion of five more airstrips in Enga Province under the Innovative Rural Airstrips Maintenance Program [IRAMP] brings the total number of airstrips to 22. This program is funded by the Rural Airstrips Agency [RAA] through the National and Provincial Governments. The new airstrips in Enga are Yangis, Elem, Iropeno, Lapolama and Maramuni.

The addition of these airstrips follows a community consultation and signing of contracts between RAA, through ATprojects its service provider and the communities around the airstrip areas.

ATprojects iRAMP Senior Project Officer John Nekints conducted a two days consultation in these airstrips. Mr Nekints says nearly all the five airstrips in Enga are in dire need of constant maintenance as tall grass are growing on the runway.

ATprojects Senior Project Officer for iRAMP John Nekints conducting  Community Consultation at Yangis airstrip in Enga Province

ATprojects Senior Project Officer for iRAMP John Nekints conducting Community Consultation at Yangis airstrip in Enga Province

He says the local communities in these airstrips are very happy with the iRAMP program as services in these parts of Enga province are only accessible by air.

He also says the iRAMP program is helping the owners and operators of each airstrip who from the past had struggled to maintain their airstrips and the general public.

Mr Nekints during his consultation in Maramuni airstrip also witnessed a case where a woman who was having labour complications for two days had to be medivaced to Mt. Hagen.

“When I asked the AMVs what could have happened if there was no plane on the ground that day and they all replied that the lady and her baby would die.”

Meanwhile after the community consultations in the five airstrips each airstrip appointed two Airstrip Maintenance Volunteers [AMVs] for the daily up keep of their respective airstrips.

ATprojects Mechanic Alphonse Waim training the AMVs from Enga and Girabem airestip in Jiwaka on the use of heavy duty lawn mowers.

ATprojects Mechanic Alphonse Waim training the AMVs from Enga and Girabem airestip in Jiwaka on the use of heavy duty lawn mowers.

Heavy Lawn mowers assembled at ATprojects Centre in Goroka before being transported to Mt Hagen and then being flow via MAF to airstrip in Enga Province.

Heavy Lawn mowers assembled at ATprojects Centre in Goroka before being transported to Mt Hagen and then being flow via MAF to airstrip in Enga Province.

The AMVs were flown to Mt. Hagen and then transported to ATprojects Centre in Goroka of the Eastern Highlands Province for further practical training on the use of heavy duty lawn mowers.

According to ATprojects Mechanic and Technical Officer Alphonse Waim the AMVs were trained on the use of the lawn mowers and its parts, mobile phone communication and identification of weather patterns.

Upon the completion of the training each airstrip was given a lawn mower for grass cutting, mobile phone hooked up to Close User Group for daily communication and primarily for sending in strip reports and solar panels for charging their mobile phones.[Source: ATprojects Media Unit]

Posted April 1, 2015 by atprojectsblogs in iRAMP Programme

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HIV /AIDS AGAINST HER WILL   Leave a comment

The following is a true story of Becky [not her real name] a 15 year old young girl from the Upper Asaro LLG of Daulo District. Like any other young Papua New Guinean Becky had a bright future ahead of her. She had dreams of becoming someone of value to her community. Five years ago Becky decided to pay a visit to her relatives living in a settlement situated near the busy township of Goroka. Life in the settlement was different from that of her village where she had a care- free life. It was during this visit that her life became shattered down by an ordeal that could have been prevented if she had stayed put in her village.

Becky never had a boyfriend but her life took a different course one awful day when she was raped by a man from that settlement. She did not report the situation to her relatives as she felt ashamed and also at the same time thought that if she had told them her situation they could have blamed it all on her. Even though she lived a traumatized life for quite a while, Becky still held her head up high and pretended that nothing had ever happened to her but deep down in her heart she was crying out for help.yolanda

A couple of months later, Becky started losing weight. She did not know what was happening to her body and returned to her village. Her fragile body kept on deteriorating as she continued to become very sick but her family took no notice of her condition until she was unable to eat, drink and move freely. Even her relatives did not know what was happening to her so they called in the Community Home Based Care [CHBC] volunteers from their area to check her out. [CHBC is a program managed by ATprojects and funded by the Australian Government. This program focuses on providing basic health care in the remote rural areas of Goroka and Daulo Districts in Eastern Highlands Province but more importantly focuses on giving palliative care to People Living with HIV/AIDS].

Upon seeing the condition of Becky, the CHBC volunteers rushed her to Asaro Health Centre for a medical check where a Determine Test was done by the Health Extension Officer which proved that she had HIV and then a Confirmatory Test was done on her that confirmed that she was truly HIV positive. Soon afterwards she was commenced on ART and was sent home. Her family was shocked and got frustrated at the same time upon hearing the news but had to take her into their care since she had nowhere else to go.

Becky on the other hand felt like she was a living dead, tormented by anger and hate for the perpetrator who had knowingly given her the disease against her will. However despite all that was going on it was her heart beat that had constantly reminded her that she was still surviving in this dreadful world.

Unfortunately, due to her family’s negligence Becky did not take her medication on time and missed a couple of treatments which made her very sick again. The CHBC volunteers during one of their client visits noticed that the young girl had been neglected and was too sick to do anything so with the help of her older sister they took Becky to the Goroka Base Hospital where she was admitted to a medical ward by the nurses.

Becky remained in the hospital for a month taking her medication [ART] under the watchful eyes of the nurses. Soon after she regained her strength she was sent home with her ART supplies. Her only hope was her family. But upon her arrival in her village she was shown to an old abandoned house with many holes on the sides of the wall and rotting kunai grass on the roof top to live. The floor of the house had pools of mud. Unfortunately, the young girl did not complain and had to put up with the situation because she was too weak to argue. Her fate was in the hands of her older sister who had volunteered to take care of her.

In her bed made of three pieces of logs, pools of tears begun to run down on her face as she reminisced

the injustice that was done to her. Thousands of unanswered questions also began to cloud her mind as her tiny body quivered with cold at night. If this was her fate then life had nothing to hold her back, she thought. It was not her fault that she contracted the virus but how could she explain the past to her family. Her family members did not ask her how she got HIV/AIDS. As stereotype as the other people in her village were, they too thought that she got the virus from her lover and as a result have shun her away to an isolated house.

Becky had lost her hope to live from the very beginning. It was not the disease that was killing her that time; it was rejection and negligence. Patiently she awaited her death but again during one of their monthly visits, the CHBC volunteers came to her aid when she least expected them at that time. When they saw that she needed help they took charge to provide basic health care services and counseling to her and also at the same time called in her care givers and gave counseling to them. And it was during that day that she finally revealed the news to the CHBC volunteers that she was raped a couple of years ago which resulted in her getting the HIV/AIDS virus.

To this day with the support she is getting from the CHBC volunteers Becky is slowly recovering and is regaining physical and mental health and is also putting on some weight. The work that these groups of volunteers [CHBC] are doing in their communities is reflected by the good testimonies that ATprojects gets from the people whom they help.[Source: AT projects Media Unit]

Posted April 1, 2015 by atprojectsblogs in Community Home Based Care

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