YWAM MSA operates Australia’s only Training and Medical Ship in Papua New Guinea (PNG) helping to overcome significant health challenges in the nation.
YWAM MSA’s Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, said that the health challenges in PNG are extreme with 1 in 13 children not making it to their fifth birthday and five women dying in childbirth every day.
“What we’ve seen on the ground has been heart breaking.”
“For the last five years we’ve operated a 35-year old fishing vessel that has delivered over 249,000 health, training, and community development services in remote areas of PNG – what’s been achieved has been incredible, but there is so much more to be done.” Said Mr. Mulligan.
With the support of the Cairns community, YWAM MSA purchased a new vessel, the MV YWAM PNG, last year following the success of YWAM MSA’s public awareness and fundraising campaign which included a five-day visit to Cairns in August.
“The support we received from Cairns’ schools, service clubs, churches, the PNG community, and businesses during our last visit was quite amazing – we see Cairns as one of our strategic locations for ongoing partnerships.” Said Mr Mulligan.
The vessel has capacity to operate 11 months of the year in the entire southern region of PNG and the Huon Gulf, increasing YWAM MSA’s work by over 500% once in full operation.
YWAM MSA’s Cairns Community Ambassador, Yolonde Entsch said that it was a privilege to be taking on the Community Ambassador role at the start of a new chapter in the organisation’s history.
“Supporting YWAM MSA’s work in PNG is a natural fit for Cairns – 1.3% of our population are Papua New Guineans and we also have many strategic links with the nation including a sister city relationship with Lae in Morobe Province.”
“The YWAM Medical Ship gives us a unique opportunity to strengthen these connections – I’m excited about the possibilities, its an honour to be a part of the team.” Said Ms Entsch.
The vessel will be in Cairns next month for a number public awareness events and routine maintenance at BSE Cairns Slipway before making its maiden voyage to PNG in April.
Supporters of the visit include the Mayor, Cr Bob Manning on behalf of the Cairns Regional Council, Ports North, Advance Cairns, Tradelinked Cairns, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, PNG and Wantoks Association Cairns, and the PNG Consulate in Cairns.
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