Over the last few weeks tremendous progress has been made with the project under the supervision of Jim Hawkins in Australia.
The roof is now on with electrical wiring and roof plumbing nearly complete. Phillip and Maureen Vaki and all the 30+ precious people now living under care on this property are highly excited and very happy the build is coming to life. Thank you to all the donors you have given to this project and to Jim Hawkins for his valiant undertaking of completing a triathlon just over a week ago, especially to raise funds for this project..... over A$14000 was raised by Jim's effort. See further photos of the build:
Work is steadily progressing in the build of extra accommodation for many young people taken in to the family of Phillip and Maureen Vaki our Directors of Operations in Port Moresby PNG. For further information see previous news items as below:
Check out the photo record of the work:
Papua New Guinea friday Jan 21, 2015
For over 14 years Operation Food for Life has been ministering to our "family" in Bomana
Women’s Prison near Port Moresby. A very special time today having Megan Bayliss continuing a two day training program with the ladies. Teaching them life skills which will help them have a sustainable income when released. Phillip Vaki our PNG Director took an inspiring worship service, giving each one hope and dignity, reminding each one that that God loves them and so do we. We then prepared and served a delicious fellowship lunch, which is a luxury meal for each one. As we departed we were embraced by the ladies. We make friends with strangers. Our new friends become part of our family. “The family of God." For I was in prison and you visited me. Dennis Perry www.offl.org.au
I wish to dedicate this to people behind Operation Food for Life, having recently experienced firsthand what they do in Papua New Guinea.
The PNG Directors Phillip and Maureen Vaki have decided to give their whole life to helping their country. At the same time looking after up to 30 children and teens who were abandoned by their parents The very same kids are now preparing food packages and going out handing out food and toys to those in need.
This trip was a life changing experience for me and I certainly see things in a whole new perspective, we honestly have it all here back in Australia, yet we complain and we're never happy, whilst there are people happy to have some food and shelter.
Some of our goals we are now aiming for are to obtain a school bus so we can pick up the children from the rubbish dump and take them to school so we can break the cycle of them staying there and to raise funds to extend the born free sanctuary where the 30+ children are staying.
Lastly I'd like to thank the absolute perfect team during this whole program, you guys are amazing human beings and I hope we can do this every year - Jim Hawkins, David Williams, Megan Bayliss, Dennis Perry and and my amazing parents Julia and Simon Legian for taking me.
I just wanted to say on behalf of Simon my husband and my son Jeremy that we're grateful
for the opportunity to be involved with OFFL. All of us recently travelled to Papua New Guinea as volunteers to help support the many projects the incredible and inspiring ministry in which Operation Food for Life is engaged. Many of which, occur are in areas of indescribable poverty.
It was a total life changing and soul enriching experience for all of us - especially for young Jeremy. He's more determined than ever to serve the underprivileged. (See his personal thoughts in a following article).
I'm so proud and happy to be part of your wonderful organisation. It's also a
great comfort and so wonderful to know that all of the volunteer staff
from Australia, PNG and around the world are unpaid volunteers and donate
their time, put their lives at risk every day, working 24/7 going to
places that many other charities will not dare to go because the work is
just too dangerous or confronting. More importantly I'm impressed with
the stewardship demonstrated and used with donated funds given by kind and generous
people It's rare to see these days that 80% of the funds donated
to a charity org goes directly to the people in need.
Slowly but surely the work is progressing to provide lots of extra accommodation for the large number of young people the Vaki’s have taken into their home. See this link for the background to this project.http://www.offl.org.au/latestnews/2015/6/21/offl-exciting-born-free-sanctuary-project-plans.html. The Laundry has been relocated and excavation has begun... see slideshow:
Stories of some of the children at the Born Free Sanctuary.
Marida (left) aged 13 years has been living with the Vaki’s for three (3) years. She comes from a broken home where a single parent finds it a great struggle to provide for all the children.
Helen aged 14 comes from a broken home and has been living with the Vaki's for four (4) months now. Helen’s dad passed away when she was 5 years old and once again a struggle existed to provide for the needs of all those left behind.
Martha and Margaret aged 15 are identical twins and come from another broken home. They have been living with the Vaki’s for eight (8) months as they do not have a home. Pictured with Phillip Vaki PNG OFFL Director.
Keren aged 17 is a village girl that came to the city of Port Moresby looking for a better education and had no relatives or no place to stay so the Vaki’s accommodated her. She has been living at the Vaki home for 12 months. Her education is being cared for as well.
Doronice and Phoebe (two girls wearing black skirts holding caps) are sisters and come from yet another broken home. They have been living with the Vaki family for 2 years.
Anitha is a 15 year old girl who has been living with the Vaki’s for 1 year now. Anitha has severe visual impairment. Due to severe poverty she was unable to receive the proper care she needed but has received fantastic advice from Specialists in Sydney to help her proceed to a better life with her sight.
Moses (boy in picture with a basket around his neck) aged 17 comes from another broken home. His dad died when he was 15 and this created great strain in the family so he left home. Moses has been living with the Vaki’s for 6 months.
This is Wendy she is 9 and comes from another broken home. Her dad died and she has been moving from house to house and been mistreated in many ways so the Vaki’s opened their arms to her. She has been only been living with them for just over a week now. (Note workman in background as Stage two of the Born Free Sanctuary progresses)
Julie aged 9 and once again comes from a broken home and where there is no work a single parent finds it very hard to provide for all her children. Julie has been living at the Vaki home for 2 years. Note the tent in the back yard which along with many other tents help accomodate the children seeking refuge.
The Director of Operation Food for Life (OFFL) in PNG has just delivered a brand new Singer Hand Sewing Machine to a village next door to Baruni Rubbish Dump in PNG which houses over 100 impoverished families.The community depend on foraging through the rubbish to find anything of recycled value they can sell. And also eat leftovers from the dump.
Training has been arranged to show the ladies of the village how to operate the hand powered machine and material has been given to them to make clothes and earn a living. When asked how they felt, their response was THANK YOU and praised God for OFFL.
There is a great demand for more hand sewing machines. Imagine what it would do to one individual family sewing and earning a sustainable living.
The village chief, John pleaded with us for more sewing machines so more families can benefit. We not only feed and provide clothing for this community, but conduct regular spiritual services, which are well attended.
If you would like to help to provide more sewing machines please donate on our website at http://www.offl.org.au/donation-options Latest Info..............Cost of Machine is $180 Australian
Please also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org advising of the donation and specifically requesting your donation be for Sewing Machines.
Pictured is John, the Leader of the village and one of the village residents receiving the SINGER machine from Phillip Vaki Director of Operations for OFFL
The Principal of the Rob & Jan Literacy School said the high- light of the school year was students from other Primary Schools in the city attending the School to learn basic phonics to help them read. The principal was humbled because the school is in a settlement with humble beginnings yet they choose to attend.
Last Thursday was another memorable day and the third (3rd) graduation for the Rob & Jan Patterson Literacy School in Papua New Guinea - An Operation Food for Life (OFFL) project in which we Educate for now and Eternity. The school was built three years ago and during this time over 300 children have been enrolled with 60 graduating.
It was a high day for the 35 graduates. The students were all dressed up and looked their best. Amongst them was Anitha Paul who was amongst our first enrolment at the School.
Anitha has limited sight and was brought to Sydney, Australia earlier this year to explore possibilities of improving her sight. Much was learned to put into practice on return.
Jean, (Phillip and Maureen’s daughter) who came out of the Public school system to attend the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School also graduated. Here is Jean receiving her graduation certificate from a very proud father.
Alice Orbert was only enrolled at the beginning of this year at Rob & Jan Patterson Literacy School. She is from Mekeo in the Central Province and is now adopted into a local family. Alive Orbert was the Dux student at Rob & Jan Patterson School for 2015.
Helen is 14 years old ,and graduated last week from the OFFL Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School and is one of the 18 children who have no place to call home who live with the Vaki’s at the Operation Food for Life Born Free Sanctuary. Without the school all these children would not have an education.
These children now can attend Erima Primary School where we are a partner in their school children feeder program. Without basic literacy skills these children could not attend primary school.
Most of the children come from poor backgrounds. Our school is in a very poor village named Wildlife. The school is located in an impoverished area of Port Moresby, serving many hundreds of poor families in the village which surround it. All the teachers are volunteers.
Our PNG Directors Phillip and Maureen Vaki also volunteers, were on hand to congratulate the children on their success.
Slideshow with more photos follows:
I cannot believe it took so long to find such an ethical and people focused charity where majority of the donated dollar goes directly to the most needy: the sick, disabled, starving, homeless, in prison or insane. My commitment to a charity that uses the majority of the donated dollar for good and NEVER paid volunteer administration expenses, led to me volunteering with a group of six other deliciously people-focused and self-funding individuals. From early morning until sun down, the volunteers served physically and spiritually. Serving a Christian God was not a requirement, but serving humanity and a bigger picture was: a picture that portrayed dignity, hope and acceptance.
We started our 10 day volunteer internship serving the displaced and homeless on Baruni Rubbish dump. Think the ultimate in poverty and survival here: PNG experiences a heartbreaking 85% unemployment with ZERO Social Security. Baruni rubbish dump is the home of the MOST displaced – the Rascals, the ignored, the forgotten, the requiring, THE needy.
From Dawn to after Dusk – the Operation Food for Life team served. We did the practical – the dirty, the heavy, the required. There was no-one else – no magic, no money, no short cuts.
If you are looking for an Australian charity that gives the majority of the donated dollar over to the target area, I encourage you to seriously consider Operation Food for Life. If you can give time or talent instead of money, Operation Food for Life is happy to talk to you. Let’s change this world: you and me. Give what we can – time, talent or money. Everything is used to target Australia’ closest neighbour who needs it most.
WARNING: a volunteer trip to Moresby with Operation Food for Life is a life changing experience. I guarantee that 10 days spent in the bowels of poverty experiencing gratefulness and delight will muck with your perception of people, will, survival and commitment. It changed me to the extent that I will now return to support the ministry every three months.
Megan Bayliss (BSW, Dip SOC, Grad Dip Sustainability, TAE, MAASW)
Global advocate at The Junk Wave, where we upcycle people by recycling plastic waste. Help us keep talking garbage: Like us On Facebook
Photo report follows: