Like other developing nations, Papua New Guinea has its fair share of problems including illiteracy and a dying need for human capital development especially for the youths who make up the majority of the country's population Life PNG Care is becoming a beacon of light for the silent majority of the population which are the children who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Life PNG Care Inc. is a community-based not-for-profit organisation that helps underprivileged children, orphans, and youths of Papua New Guinea to grow in body, spirit, and mind and become a positive influence in society.
Founder and Director of Life PNG Care Inc. Mr. Collin Pake, who comes from a Christian background, has seen the society evolve from the traditional Melanesian culture to the modern society that has caused major social problems in the community with the rise of street kids, children left with dysfunctional families and orphans which has led him to create this charity organisation.
"Papua New Guinea is sitting on a time bomb and we have to address the crippling social issues that are affecting our nation by creating a solution. An achievable solution is to provide education to unfortunate Children and youths of today. They have to be in school and not prison camp. For they are the next group of workforce and leaders that the nation has and we have a total responsibility to embrace and empower this generation today or ignore them.
"I see that the future that we all talk about or dream does not exist!
"That future is at stake and our nation is at doom with such a huge dysfunctional family, and unattached lives of children and youths today.
"The future is at stake either we build it today or live with regret as a nation tomorrow.
"This generation is an invisible generation today, and tomorrow is determined by this generation, either we fall or rise as a nation entirely depends on them.
"PNG is not PNG with resources such as Gas, Oil, Gold, Copper, etc. But PNG is PNG with People! To change PNG, we need to invest in a Generation today.
"We have to act and start now in providing ways to build a better society for our children whatever ways we can to help them grow to become contributors towards nation building.
"It’s a sad reality when 120, 000 students fail nationwide on their national examination annually which shows our children have not been performing well due to them being vulnerable said Mr. Pake.
Life PNG Care operates at their Family Home Care at Gerehu Stage 1, Adira Street, Debona Cress Port Moresby. The two key programs offered available for the children are called Strongim Pikinini Family Home Care and Strongim Pikinini Education Program.
Strongim Pikinini Family Home Care - Life PNG Care is strongly committed to placing children in a family environment rather than in large institutionalised care settings. This concept of creating a family environment called home is sympathetic to the locality and culture of PNG. Believing each child will develop into adulthood to create a strong family unit if the program models a healthy structure and environment despite any early dysfunctional experiences growing up. A nurturing, well-structured family unit is the fundamental role model in any society in the world, and the primary focus is to build homes to raise the next generation of strong, happy, and healthy young adults.
Each home will have house parents who will provide unconditional love and care and other basic necessities of life that every child deserves. Life PNG Care established the first Strongim Pikinini Family Home Care accommodating twelve vulnerable children under the age of 5-8 years 13 years ago. This is the first pilot project creating a home/family environment for twelve orphaned and vulnerable children in the city of Port Moresby who have lost both or one of their parents through HIV Aids or through other social circumstances. They are happy to live in the family home environment where there is unconditional love and care. Since its inception in 2011, a total of 75 children have been living at the Family Home Care.
They are also providing assistance to well over 600 vulnerable and homeless street children in Papua New Guinea. Life PNG Care accepts children from the age of 5 -10 into Strongim Pikinini Family Home Care (SPFHC). Once admitted into SPFHC the children remain a part of their family for life. The children and their house parents live in a home, with other volunteers giving support, in terms of health and education. Life PNG Care believes that as the children are trained holistically, they will enter society equipped with the necessary life skills and moral values enabling them to make a significant and lasting impact on the future of the nation.
Strongim Pikinini Education Program
Life PNG Care developed and implemented a key strategy to create the Strongim Pikinini Education Program (SPEP) identifying children under the category of unprivileged children and assisting them to go to school. A child who comes under this category will go through the LPC’s IAA process to qualify for education assistance under the SPEP.
Strongim Pikinini Education program is a long-term special education assistance program Life PNG Care runs. Under this program, the education and social worker team identifies school-age children or youth, aged between 5 to 18, who are in the category of orphaned and vulnerable and have never been to school or left school due to their background or situation.
Each child or youth is then registered after completion of the assessment process, which is a very important job to fully verify and confirm that each child/youth who is going to benefit under the education program must be genuine. That means they must be under the category of orphan or totally vulnerable living within the marginalized community or in a street situation.
Once they are admitted into the program after the process, Life PNG Care supports them until they graduate from a college/university. It’s likely that SPEP will eventually grow into a foundation, whereby each child and youth can be fully given scholarships for higher education studies either domestically or internationally. Likewise, this program can be classified as development-based as it would provide technical education for youth from the local community transitioning into a skilled work environment.
So far 12 youths have been admitted to Universities and Colleges with one graduating last year, 2022 from the University of Papua New Guinea with a degree in Accounting. He is Erise Touai from Goilala, Central Province and he’s currently working. This is the first student to graduate from a tertiary institution. Currently, there is a total of 615 students from all around PNG benefiting from the SPEP.
Other Programmes include Health and Nutrition, Child Protection, and Community Health Awareness.
Life PNG Care’s program and activities is sustained through charity fundraising events, and generous giving of business, companies, churches, responsible government agencies, and other aid donors. Also, partners and support for Life PNG Care in Australia and the US provide technical advice and support, raising funds to ensure that Life PNG Care continues its programs in Port Moresby.
Last year, Life PNG Care established its second branch in Lae, Morobe Province. There are 35 total students assisted to continue their primary and secondary school and a total of 50 kids are residential kids.
To continue the charitable work and to sustain this life-changing programs and activities, there is a need to have a constant source of income stream. Unfortunately, this is none and they rely on 100% Donations and other support through cash and kind, by business houses and individuals or diplomatic communities.
Therefore, the only way to raise funds for their operations is through hosting annual charity fundraising events. The two main Annual Charity Fundraise events which are;
Annual Charity Car Wash – Organized and sponsored annually by 2 Fast Motors Ltd. Raising some funds through this way by washing cars from 9 am to 6 pm at Vision City mega mall. All funds raised go into the children’s education program. For this year, Life PNG Care hosted the 6th annual charity carwash on the 30th of September, 2023 raising a total of K3000.
Annual Charity Fundraise Dinner – A Charity Fundraising Dinner Event is organized and hosted. Corporate tables will be sold and written to business houses and individuals to support.
For this year, the 7th Annual Charity Fundraiser Dinner is on the 8th December, 2023. The target set to raise is K400,000 for next year’s education and other operations expenses for Life PNG Care.