Care, Connect, Serve, Build
YWAM Medical Ships
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is a worldwide movement operating in more than 180 countries since 1960. YWAM is decentralised in structure; each centre is financially and legally autonomous, allowing locations to adapt and serve the specific needs of the community.
YWAM Medical Ships Australia & Papua New Guinea (YWAM MS), a Christian charity, works in partnership with relevant national and provincial health authorities around a shared vision: healthy villages, and a healthy Papua New Guinea.
The World Health Organization defines health as being not simply the absence of disease but rather the presence of wellbeing.
In line with this holistic approach, YWAM MS endorses the Healthy Islands Framework and works with communities to pursue the shared goal of healthy villages building a healthy nation.
YWAM MS’ values are summarised into four main actions, to care, connect, serve and build.
Healthy Village – Healthy Nation
YWAM MS believes that every individual has the right to live a full and productive life, including:
The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is the peak Council for Australian not-for-profit aid and development organisations. YWAM Medical Ships is a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, which is a voluntary, self – regulatory sector code of good practice. As a signatory we are committed and fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting our work with transparency, accountability and integrity. Information about how to make a complaint can be found at www.acfid.asn.au
What we do
YWAM MS’ model is centred upon the value of the individual and their right to receive healthcare. With over 84% of PNG’s population living in rural areas, the isolation and lack of infrastructure makes delivering healthcare and training very challenging.
Via the use of a training and medical ship (MV YWAM PNG) and land-based teams, YWAM MS and PNG’s rural health workers work together to achieve the following right at the doorstep of coastal and inland villages across the Southern region and Morobe:
- Strengthen rural health facilities through the delivery of supplies, in-service training, and infrastructure support
- Increase healthcare delivery to remote communities (immunisations, maternal health services, dentistry, eye care, diagnostic services, outpatient services, and health promotion)
- Advocacy on behalf of rural areas currently under-serviced
YWAM MS works by invitation, seeking to work in collaboration and respect with a non-partisan approach at the national, provincial, district, local level government, and village level. The program is guided by the vision and priorities of key policy documents including PNG’s National Health Plan: helping to ensure YWAM MS is not creating an independent or parallel health service.
YWAM MS’ staff, including the Managing Director and senior program managers, are self-funded; they raise their own funds outside of the organisation to support the work they do in PNG. In 2017 alone, YWAM MS’ volunteers’ donated time and labour had an estimated value of 10 million PGK. Approximately 25% of YWAM MS’ volunteers are Papua New Guinean.
YWAM Medical Ships’ vision is based on the need for a respectful and collaborative partnership with the people of PNG and Australia. The aim is to see major, sustainable health improvement and education in PNG while simultaneously seeing relationships strengthened between Australia and PNG.
To see improved quality of life for the people of PNG through development-focused programs, with current emphasis on the health sector, while also building Australians’ capacity to serve through volunteering.
YWAM MS first started working in PNG in 2010 with their first ship, the MV Pacific Link (Japanese fishing vessel built in 1979). It soon became obvious that the vessel was too small for the task set before it and that a larger ship with greater capacity to support PNG’s health system was needed.
In 2014, YWAM MS acquired the MV YWAM PNG, a small cruise liner built in 1999 by Austal. The vessel was refitted into a training and medical ship after a series of developments. It is equipped with a dentistry clinic, day procedure unit, laboratory, four patrol tenders, and accommodation for 130+ volunteers. The vessel acts as a mother ship, that is, a mega-patrol platform supporting extensive land-based activities (multiple patrols running simultaneously).
In this way, the MV YWAM PNG is an innovative tool shared with provincial and district health teams to deliver healthcare services, supplies, and support to rural health workers. The vessel provides access to hundreds of remote villages every year.
MV YWAM PNG’s SPECIFICATIONS
Board of Directors
Ken Mulligan OAM, OBE
Hon. Mike Reynolds AM
Patron – Australia
The Rt. Hon. Sir Rabbie Namaliu GCL CSM KCMG
Patron – Papua New Guinea