Reach Out Across the Blue Project.
At a recent Franciscan Schools Australia gathering, there was an expressed interest in joining with Franciscans to support outreach and project initiatives.
As it happens, the Missionary Franciscan Sisters had just begun a new initiative to support the foundation of an early childhood learning centre in Aitape in Papua New Guinea. Our Sisters in Canada funded the building of a double room learning centre on our property in Aitape.
Sr Clara Watak, (pictured below) the current Leader of the Sisters in PNG, wrote earlier this year: Regarding the Early Childhood school, we will be enrolling children from age 3—6 years. However, for a start we thought we will start with 3-4 years of age and we expect 80 children as first intake for 2023.
It will be of great help if you can send young childrens’ pre-playthings like balls and ropes, picture books and easy story books for teachers to read to the children. Charts, blank drawing books, coloured crayons, plasticines, pencils, cubes or blocks and educational toys such as animals, fruits, different shapes and colours would certainly assist the early learners.
CAN YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY ASSIST TO RESOURCE THE CENTRE?
If any of the FSA members schools would like to support this project we would be very grateful regardless of how large or small your assistance. The MFIC Sisters are very aware of the huge needs facing many families in our own communities, particularly those affected by the recent floods. Thus, your school is invited to assist in whatever capacity you can. Your prayers for the success of this project is welcome!
PNG is a very poor country and educational standards remain low. With a literacy rate of 64.2%, Papua New Guinea has the lowest literacy rate in Oceania. Primary school attendance is at 63.4 percent for boys and 56.5 percent for girls. A staggering 41 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s population under the age of 15 years.
Fundraising can happen throughout this term with donations due by Feast of Saint Francis, 04 October.
If you have any questions about this project, please don’t hesitate to contact us or fill in our contact form. We can’t wait to hear from you!