Students from James Cook University Cairns Campus have donated toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap for YWAM Medical Ships – Australia’s (YWAM MSA) Medical Ship operating in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
YWAM MSA’s medical ship, the MV YWAM PNG, delivers primary health care, dentistry, eye care, and training in some of the most remote coastal communities in PNG.
The fifty Year One and Year Three Anthropology students heard about the work of YWAM MSA when YWAM MSA’s Cairns Community Ambassador, Yolonde Entsch, made a presentation on YWAM’s work in PNG during their lecture.
Ms Entsch said that she was pleased the JCU students were supporting YWAM MSA in such a practical way.
“Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to volunteer on an outreach on the MV YWAM PNG in remote villages in PNG.
“To see the health challenges in PNG first-hand, a nation right on Cairns doorstep, really impacted me. I’ve made it my mission to raise awareness and support for YWAM’s work in PNG amongst the Cairns community.
“While a toothbrush or a bar of soap seems like a small thing to give – I’ve seen the impact that the lack of basic hygiene has on the individual; preventable diseases and horrible tooth aches.
“Every toothbrush and bar of soap given is matched with culturally relevant teaching. The MV YWAM PNG also visits the same villages every year – allowing opportunity for the message to be continually communicated,” said Ms Entsch.
Since the presentation, JCU Anthropology student, Jacob Entsch, has decided to sign on as a student Ambassador.
“Cairns has a lot of strategic connections to PNG – I’d really like to help rally the support of our student-body in strengthening that relationship,” said Mr Entsch.
The MV YWAM PNG will be visiting Cairns in early February on its way to PNG for a five-month deployment. During the voyage, the recently built dentistry clinic and day surgery will be making its debut.
For more information on YWAM MSA, or to apply as a volunteer, visit www.ywamships.org.au.