News Release

Pacific Assist and LDS Church Donate Needed Furniture to PNG Schools


Ten schools in the National Capital District are happy recipients of much needed school furniture – tables and chairs – thanks to Pacific Assist and the Welfare and Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pacific Assist, an Australian based not-for-profit organisation privately founded and managed by members of the Latter-day Saint church, gathered used, surplus school furniture and then with the financial help of LDS Charities, facilitated the shipment of four shipping containers full of school furniture to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The four containers contained 677 tables and 677 chairs which have been distributed to 10 schools in the National Capital District starting on Monday May 28, 2018.

Co-founder of Pacific Assist, Mr Richard McLean said that Pacific Assist started just over three years ago as a charitable organisation in Auckland, New Zealand.  Pacific Assist then started to ship school furniture to Pacific Island countries such as Tonga and Fiji. He explained that Pacific Assist works to provide charitable assistance in four areas; education, health and well-being, humanitarian aid, and economic development. They locate and obtains the goods and then with the help of LDS Charities, the goods can be shipped and delivered to places where they will help those who need them.

Mr McLean said the school furniture sent to PNG was comprised of used items but that the furniture was still in top condition and came from a private school in Melbourne, Australia.

On Monday, 28th May 2018, representatives from the PNG Education Department, as well as some of the school principals, head teachers, headmasters and headmistresses were present at the Gabutu Church premises to receive their furniture. LDS Church PNG Welfare Manager Eddie Alembo joined with other church representatives witnessed the schools loading the furniture into trucks and buses to take them back to their schools. 

Education Department officials Mr Homoka Boge, Director for Schools Coordination and Appointments and Mr Antonio Orlando, Planner, represented the PNG government. They received the furniture and took charge of the distribution of the furniture to the respective schools, based on the level of the school and intake of students.

In receiving the much-needed assistance, Mr Boge thanked the church for this huge assistance rendered to the PNG schools. Mr Boge said; “On behalf of the schools, we warmly welcome the materials, we have limited funds and we need more. We hope that we can create a partnership with the government and churches. We know you do good work, we have much respect for you. May the good Lord bless you.”

Kilakila secondary school principal Mr Herman Panai commented, “We really need this support because of the high enrolment. We are now implementing the reforms (for schools) and have taken on grade 7 and 8 and they are all sitting on the floor.”

Philip Aravure primary school headmistress Mrs Joanne Kalama said: “This is a great relief, we are very thankful, my students, teachers are very thankful. This is the work of love.”

When informed that the assistance had arrived and was being distributed, Mr McLean was very relieved and said this was just wonderful to know that the furniture was being received and that it would be used to help those who are most in need.

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