After bringing hope to thousands of Papua New Guineans (PNG) in remote areas of Gulf and Western Provinces since 2010, and at the end of a full 7 months of successful outreach voyages in 2014, the YWAM Training and Medical Ship, MV Pacific Link, is currently sailing from Port Moresby to Townsville toward its likely retirement.
The replacement vessel, MV Ammari, is currently the focus of a major fundraising campaign, with approximately $4.8million AUD still to be raised by 4 December to secure its purchase. The vessel is destined to be dedicated fulltime to serve isolated villages in the Southern Region of PNG and also extend into the Huon-Gulf of Morobe Province, PNG.
Mr. Ken Mulligan, YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, commented on the end of an era and the opening of a new chapter for the organisation’s work in Papua New Guinea.
“We can all be immensely proud of what the MV Pacific Link has achieved, having delivered over 249,000 health, training and capacity building outputs since 2010. But at this point, our work has outstripped the capacity of that vessel. The MV Ammari will allow for a 500% increase in our program activities and bring hope to more communities in honestly quite desperate situations in remote areas.”
The final outreach voyage completed by the MV Pacific Link was a pilot program into Milne Bay Province where, among a wide range of activities, 72 people received sight-restoring eye surgery as YWAM volunteers worked alongside the local ophthalmology team.
Another youth, Mina, had her vision restored through spectacles. As this teenager sat with YWAM staff at the clinic, she shared her dreams of following her education right through to university. But sadly, her vision was so poor she was struggling to read a simple paper in front of her.
“After receiving the very strongest glasses our team had in stock, Mina can now read her texts much more clearly and pursue her schooling with confidence. Restoring that sort of hope is what our work is all about,” said Mr. Mulligan.
As the date for securing the MV Ammari looms closer, the deposit of $1.5million AUD deposit on the new vessel has been secured from the PNG Department of National Planning and Monitoring in 2013. Discussions are ongoing regarding a range of other funding opportunities to see the remaining funds secured.
Mr.Mulligan also mentioned his gratitude to local stakeholders such as Port of Townsville who will facilitate the Ship’s berth in Townsville, and others including Townsville City Council, Pacific Marine Group, 1300 SMILES, Honeycombes Property Group, and Parkside Development Group. A full list of partners and sponsors of the program is available at www.ywamships.org.
“This is not just a YWAM project,” Mr Mulligan said, “Its very much facilitated in partnership with PNG and with huge support from the Townsville community. 64 volunteers from the Townsville community joined us on outreach this year.”
For photos or further information please contact Jennifer Rentsch on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 0401 166 769