BUSEKI COMMUNITY AID-POST

VOLUNTEER – COMMUNITY HEALTH

Andrew Poloa is a first time volunteer serving as a community Health Worker at Buseki Aid-Post. He hails from Obo in the Middle fly of Western Province.  He has previously spent thirty three (33) years in community health as a public servant.  He took up volunteer placement in 2015 with National Volunteer Service to serve his two (2) year contract at the Buseki Community Aid-Post.  He has a wealth of experience and professionalism as a health officer

The Buseki community Aid-Post is a recipient of 2016 NVS Placement program, one of the thirty Host communities awarded with a community health worker volunteer posted to Buseki Aid-Post.

Buseki Community Aid-Post is located in the Middle fly District of Lake Murray LLG, Western Province.  The area is covered with vast water-land, rivers and lakes that limit accessibility to the remote community. The Buseki Community Aid-Post serves a population of two thousand (2,000) plus, who come from five surrounding villages along the lake Murray.

The community has a high rate of water-borne diseases affecting the lives of the mass population.  Malaria and diarrhea, with other skin infectious diseases caused by contaminated water are common in the area.  These preventable diseases have also been the common cause of health deterioration

and deaths in the area.   The rivers and water ways has become home to mosquitoes that carry malaria parasites and other micro-organisms.  The issues have prompted the community to create a need for a CHW officer to serve the affected community.

The purpose of the project is to provide health services to improve community health standards.  The project is expected to decrease high mortality in the community, having accessibility to good health and safer living environment.

The volunteer does normal clinical duties and treatment of sick patients daily.  He attends to emergencies when there is a call for help.  Children are immunized from chronic diseases and infections.  Health awareness in the community is ongoing; the dissemination of information on the prevention of curable water borne and air borne diseases is paramount in the area..  Sick patients are given health information to comply with when getting treatment.

There has been a drastic drop to mortality rate and other chronic infectious diseases in the community.  The perspective of people on super natural powers that relates to unnatural deaths and fear has subsided; the community is now made aware of signs and symptoms of illnesses impacting the community.  The clinic has seen increase of sick patients treated for common and preventable illnesses. The clinic gets direct supply of medical drugs from Port Moresby Medical Drug Stores.  There is sufficient supply of necessary medical drugs for daily operations of the clinic.

The community is isolated and is only accessible by dinghy and traditional motorized dugout canoes.  The volunteer   take trips to visit his family at Obo, along the Fly River where he comes from.  Housing for the volunteer is still an outstanding issue for the host community, and is expected to be completed soon.

Communication is limited due to poor reception in the area, the volunteer only communicates with stake holders when he gets out of Buseki.  The seasonal drop of water level has an impact on the delivery of services in the area; movements of motorized vehicles are warned of sand dunes.

Net-working with partners and involving people in the community is sustainable and now working on three (3) key areas for sustainable development.

  1. The Local Level Government in the area to recognize and support the efforts of volunteers working in the area, to benefit tangible development.
  2. Plans are under way to train Village Aids (VA) and Village Birth Attendants (VBA) to sustain health programs in the Buseki area.
  3. To negotiate with the Oktedi Authorities to use its community initiative funding to equally benefit health services in the Western Province, to sustain heath programs in the North Fly district.

 


BETHLEHEM ADULT LITERACY

VOLUNTEER – ADULT LITERACY TEACHING

Paul Opal is a first time volunteer serving as an Adult Literacy teacher at Bethlehem Adult Literacy School in Banz, Jiwaka Province.  He is a local from the area and he is serving his own community.  He is at the peak of his career, full of life and enthusiasm to help reduce the illiteracy rate in the community.  He has wealth of knowledge and skills to impart to make a difference in the community.  He is now midway through his two year term of service.

The Bethlehem community is a recipient of the National Volunteer Service 2015 Volunteer Placement.  The host community plays an equal role in the joint partnership program, in ensuring project activities are accomplished within the time frame.

Bethlehem Community is accessible by road and other Government services, yet futile to tribal wars and law and order issues that has

disadvantaged and marginalized the community.  Destruction to properties, loss of lives, drug addiction, and law and order issues has caused fear and insecurity to the lives of people in the community.

The community has a high rate of illiterate adults who are not able to read information to advance their ethical and rational thinking capacity to better their lives.  The community will make changes to their lives if they are educated and have access to information.  The social disorder in the community has prompted the need to engage a Volunteer Literacy Educator, to help educate adults above school age to be able to read and write information.

The purpose of the project is to educate illiterate adults to have access to information and improve living standards.  The project is expected to decrease social disorder and ethnicity that has plagued the community.

The volunteer has started Adult Literacy classes and also coordinated literacy classes in surrounding communities that share the same need.  Mr Opal has also included workers from the Kimil coffee plantation who have identified and indicated interest in the program.  Paul works tirelessly to educate and coordinate literacy classes in different locations in Jiwaka.  The project has attracted the need for people to develop skills and gain knowledge to better sustain their lives.

A pioneer graduation is due soon, on November 19, 2016,it  is the passing out of the first batch of students.   He has set a mile stone in his career as a volunteer educator in the area.  He also mediates peace ceremonies when the rival clans take on each other.  His volunteer role in the community has won the hearts of people whom he has touched their lives.  Many young people have turned away from crime and are now involved in positive life changing activities.  The crime rate has dropped in the community, and the environment is now safer for development and for people to progress.  People can now read life changing information they were deprived of in the past.  He has achieved a lot in a short span he took the role of a teacher.

The School is a private entity and does not get funding from the Government; it gets support from its stake holders.  The community is still impacted with free handout mentality, impeding their own development to utilize their limited resources to benefit themselves.  Communal

support for the project is gaining momentum.

The volunteer is working on key areas to benefit the sustainability of the project.

  • There is a need to increase net-working with potential partners and stake holders, to sustain the literacy project.
  • To train more literacy teachers to meet the demand for adult learning.
  • The government to recognize and support bottom up development in the rural area.