A school sponsorship can mean a change of life for children in remote Papua New Guinea
Sibidiri has a Primary School made of paperbark in which children from the village & the forests go to. The teacher has had 3 months teaching experience on Daru Island. The Tribal children learn their own language, how to make a bow & arrow, how to build a paperbark house, how to grow yams, basically anything that the adults can teach them to survive in the bush & what they have learnt from the outside world in their journeys.
The day I went to their school all of the children dressed in their best clothes & Coopers hats & were very excited. I gave the teacher some items donated by Steve from the Casuarina Nextra News in Darwin. He was delighted to receive a dictionary, some atlases, education books, pens, pencils & paper.
I gave the children & some adults a geography lesson with a laminated map of the world that was donated by Bill from the N.T. General Store in Darwin & some globes of the world that I found in a shop in Ararat, Victoria. I showed them where Australia & PNG were on the map & the globe & talked about how I got to their tribe. Then I showed them where their Tribe was located & where Daru Island was. Most of the students knowledge of geography only extends up & down the river. The teacher requested my help for a future donation of Grade 1, 2 & 3 books to teach the children English. Only the students who get an opportunity to go to an outside school have a chance to learn English properly.
There are currently 11 children who go away from the Tribe to other Tribes for schooling. These are the Kings & landowners children who have a chance at affording education. The children from other Tribes people & the forest people do not usually get a chance at high school education. Hopefully in my next trip I will be able to get more details on how it will be possible to get these children an education as well. Some are just bush schools like the one in Sibidiri but their teacher has a different level of teaching. In 2010 there was only 1 child going to Daru High school getting a normal standard of education. In 2011 The Tribe hopes to have 3 children going to Daru High School. The Tribe farms yams to trade as well as weaving baskets & making bows & arrows for trade at the Daru Island markets. It is a long way to Daru in a dugout canoe, 20klm downstream to the Macassar River mouth, then another 130klms along the coast to the Island of Daru near the mouth of the Fly River, which is the central port for the South & West of Papua New Guinea. These trips do not happen very often.
Some of the teenagers in the Tribe have a year off school if their family cannot gather enough items to trade. I asked one boy if he was going to school & he hung his head as he was having a year off as he couldnt afford it this year. The children & Tribes people like to learn & want to learn. They see it as their way forward. The education costs are not expensive to us & include food & accommodation but it is very difficult for Tribes people to gather the extra items for trade & then to make the often dangerous journey along the coast in their wooden dugout canoes to the market in Daru Island.
If anyone would like to sponsor a child & help the Tribe of Sibidiri I have a list of the children, their schools & other details below, it will be rewarding to aid one of these special children:
Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details & the child that you would like to support with a school sponsorship. I will liaise with you any further enquiries & give you the bank details. I will take no fee from this service, 100% is going to the child & not on government administration costs & I will personally see that your money is going directly to the family of the child that they wish to sponsor. If the child that you select has not been sponsored then you are welcome to send me a letter to be delivered to that child & I will endeavor to have a reply for you from the child when I visit them next.
Photos of the above children were not possible for me as they were away at their schools at the time of my visit.
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Mental as Anything
Trailer Boat Club
Mental As anything
Sex in the Desert
The Bloody Marys
and The Hiri Girls cultural dancers
All funds raised will go to Friends of PNG as Crackers heads off for his third trip to support the remote Sibidiri Tribe
Thanks to all the people who supported the evening. See some photos here