Townsville’s Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG, deployed for Papua New Guinea on Saturday to deliver healthcare and training services to remote coastal communities. The deployment will take place thanks to the backing of Optus Charity Mobile Plan customers who have raised over $270,000 for YWAM in the past three years.
Optus customers have supported the venture by nominating YWAM Medical Ships to receive five percent of their phone bill each month at no extra cost to them. This delivers a sustainable income for the not-for-profit organisation, which relies on partner support for their work in our neighbouring country.
Optus Regional Market Manager Dave Morrissey said, “It’s great to see so many Optus customers donating to a great cause.”
“Optus supports several charities and we are pleased to provide funds to improve the health and deliver vital training to our PNG neighbours,” Mr Morrissey said.
Since commencing its work in 2010, YWAM Medical Ships has delivered over 911,000 healthcare and training services to PNG, including direct care to over 176,000 patients in collaboration with PNG’s national and provincial health authorities.
Services delivered by YWAM Medical Ships include immunisations, maternal health services, dental procedures, optical services, health education, and training and support for PNG’s health workforce.
YWAM Spokesperson, Anna Scott, said the support of Optus customers has been essential to the success of YWAM’s work that has touched so many lives.
“Optus’ support has enabled us to reach thousands of remote communities in PNG that have limited to no access to healthcare and training. People’s sight has been restored, women have been saved during childbirth, thousands of children have been immunised against life-threatening diseases, and hundreds of local health workers have been up-skilled and equipped in their profession.”
“The Optus Charity Mobile plan is a wonderful initiative that enables customers to give toward our work in PNG at no extra cost to them. It is such an easy way to give and makes a significant difference to people in PNG,” Mrs Scott said.
The MV YWAM PNG has been in Townsville since July undergoing renovations and routine maintenance. The completed works onboard the vessel include the construction of a multi-purpose training room/lounge and increasing the accommodation capacity from 116 – 130, which will enable YWAM Medical Ships to deploy more teams from the vessel at once.
More information on the Optus Charity Mobile plan can be found at www.charitymobile.com.au