YWAM’s Training and Medical Ship, the MV YWAM PNG, was docked in Cairns for two days for public tours and the launch of the 2016 Cairns Corporate Challenge (CCC) on Thursday night.
The CCC is an annual fundraising initiative that invites local business leaders to trek the historic Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea (PNG) while raising funds for the 2016 nominated charity, YWAM Medical Ships.
YWAM Medical Ships Cairns Community Ambassador and CCC Trekker, Ms Yolonde Entsch, said that the funds raised from the CCC will be used to purchase equipment for the MV YWAM PNG’s onboard laboratory to support Tuberculosis, Malaria, Leprosy and other essential diagnostics in remote areas.
“PNG is a nation just off our coast, yet it is facing some of the most significant health challenges in the world. I saw this first-hand when I volunteered on the MV YWAM PNG last year.
“Over 80% of the population live in remote, rural areas; the MV YWAM PNG has the ability to overcome isolation by giving thousands of people in remote areas access to primary health care, dentistry, optometry, ophthalmology and training services.
“Our goal is to rally the Cairns Community in supporting this fantastic cause – we are aiming to recruit 30 trekkers, raise $100,000 for the lab and also fund twelve young people from Cairns to volunteer on the MV YWAM PNG before signing up to be a CCC Youth Ambassador in their school, university or workplace,” said Ms Entsch.
CCC Founder and Managing Director for Getaway Trekking & Adventures, Ms Sue Fitcher, said that six people have signed up to be CCC trekkers so far.
“I encourage others to join us – trekking Kokoda is a memorable, amazing adventure. While the trek is very challenging, the reward is great as we commemorate the special relationship between Australia and PNG and experience the culture.
“I’ve trekked Kokoda many times, and I still find it to be a quite emotional experience,” said Ms Fitcher.
The CCC Kokoda Trek is planned for October with a number of fundraising events planned over the coming months.
Supporters of the CCC include Getaway Trekking & Adventures, Grant Broadcasters, Grunt Media, Win Television and Ports North.
Those interested in participating in the Cairns Corporate Challenge can visit www.cairnscorporatechallenge.com.au.