News Release

Church Supports Disability Centre With Furniture and Refurbished Classroom


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("the Church") provided tables and chairs to a children’s disability centre and witnessed the cutting of ribbons to mark the completion of the refurbishing of the centre’s classroom funded by the Church.

The Callan-Gerehu Inclusive Education Resource Centre, located at Stage 6, provides special education for 29 children between the ages of 6-13 years, who are living with disabilities. The centre takes in children who are impaired in sight, hearing, speech, or with other physical or mental disabilities.

The refurbished classroom was an old bakery which the centre acquired, with the Church assisting with its refurbishment. The funding support came from the Welfare and Humanitarian Services of the Church. The Church country welfare manager Eddie Alembo and volunteer missionaries Elder and Sister Aiono had been visiting schools in the city to talk with representatives of the respective institutions, and to find out for themselves the needs each school had.

On Monday May 28th May, the centre organised an important ceremony with representatives from the Education Department, the Church, school teachers and school children to mark the occasion. The children attending the Centre came together with their teachers, and all expressed deep appreciation for the assistance from the Church. A short program was presented by the centre to show their gratitude and then ribbons were cut to mark this special occasion. The children's voices filled the room as they sang the national anthem of Papua New Guinea with happiness and joy. Those children who had speech disabilities were guided through the national anthem using sign language.

Mr. Arnold Koima, Senior Inspector with the Education Department explained that providing much-needed education for children with disabilities requires the combined efforts of both the government and other organisations in the community so that these children can have the same opportunities as normal people.

 “It is a privilege to stand here, to thank the Latter-Day Saint Church for their support of this program. Our aim is to provide education for children living with disabilities and to look at children with special needs to help them become like normal people. We thank you for your support. We need to work together to help people and to serve people,” Mr Koima said.

Besides the 29 children, the centre has four resource officers/teachers: Ms Belinda Sausi, Program Coordinator; Paulus Pasbon, Teacher/Resource Officer; Andrew Ase, Senior Resource Officer; and Anna Thomas, Inclusive officer. In her opening remarks, Ms. Belinda Sausi said that they were very happy and pleased that the Church had come to their assistance in this way.

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