Sunday, February 28, 2010

Great masala-chicken soup

This mom used to cook rice for the kids with a small pot. Last Saturday, when she arrived at the center for the day's cooking, she was pleasantly surprised to see two huge, shiny pots sitting together on the table, courtesy of John Whitfield, GM of Pacific Towing Ltd. She wanted to have a pic with one of them for posterity.

Two mothers begin the tough job of building fire to cook rice.

Three is better than two ... cooking 8kg of rice in a 30-liter pot over a makeshift, slow-burning firewood stove is never fun.

A long queue for the great Masala-Chicken soup, a special lunch meal of the day.

Kids await the Masala-chicken soup to be served.

Can't just wait for the steaming soup.

Nice to have a little picnic under the mango tree ...

Browsing our picture books while waiting for our soup ... we are told it's a new dish from Chef Uncle Fredo.

Melanie, 8, looks like she doesn't want this Coleman cordial cooler to be separated from her. Donated by our good friend John Whitfield, GM of Pacific Towing Ltd.

Hmmm ... what is left of the great Masala-Chicken Soup sponsored by our good friend CC Ang, GM for RH Hypermart, and his family. - All pictures by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

OUR SPONSORED especial Saturday lunch meal continues for the kids at the orphanage Tembari Children Center (TCC) Inc at ATS Oro Setttlement, 7 Mile, on the other side of the Jackson airport.

It was a great soup that we came up with last Saturday (Feb 26).

In fact, when I came home that afternoon from my cooking session with volunteer moms, I was inspired to repeat the recipe for my dinner. Yummmmy!

The volunteer moms are learning gradually the art of stir fry cooking, having been able to learn the new kitchen skill hands on. I have encouraged them to do the cooking themselves, closely following my so-called 1-2-3 cooking instructions.

The masala chicken soup was a great idea from my housemate Malaysian Narasiman Muniandy, our printing boss at The National newspaper. He suggested that I also introduce to the kids’ palates an Indian concoction.

Masala is actually a powder mix of various spices that included cinnamon stick, a favorite spice of mine and four other spices best-loved by Malaysians and Indians.

Volunteer moms and the kids couldn’t help but wrangle a third helping of the soup but, sorry, there were still a few kids that had yet to have their turn at the tall soup pot, waiting for soup cups in the hands of other kids to be emptied and cleansed.

The kids who had the first chance to get their scoops of the debut reddish soup must have taken a great time finishing their share, that when we ran out of cups, the kids on queue had to wait a few minutes.

The center is at the moment trying to organize what it needed in the kitchen, something it has never done until I introduced to the kids what I have called special Saturday lunch meal paid for, or shall we say, sponsored by kind-hearted, generous individuals.

Sponsors are doing this to let the kids enjoy at least once a week – on a Saturday – a delicious and nutritious meal.

Thanks a million to RH Hypermart general manager CC Ang and his family for sponsoring last Saturday’s lunch gig with the kids. It was his generous funding that enabled us to come up to the day’s menu – masala chicken soup, stir fry Chinese cabbage/carrots/mince pork, and the dish of the day – chicken wings in saucy sweet gravy and steamed rice.

The truth is that when he learned of my recipe, himself a food lover, he did not hesitate to chip in some more kina so I could achieve the great taste that the recipe packs.

From the previous Saturday’s attendance of only 51, our young diners shot up back to a high of 76 out of the 83 expected to show up, but didn’t for various reasons.

Two huge pots (30-litre capacity each) debuted for the lunch meal, along with a big water cooler (Coleman ski) courtesy of John Whitfield, GM of Pacific Towing Ltd.

John saw in a picture I emailed him earlier a small Coleman cooler that used to hold our cordial drinks. He thought that it won’t hold much drink to cover all the kids at the center, plus those others helping out in the soup kitchen.

Last week, John sent a 19-litrer Coleman ski and the kids were quite excited about it, knowing that their cordial will continue to flow without interruption.

Several new kitchen utensils, cups and bowls and plates were also used for the first time for this meal, with money used from the pocket of Robert Palomo, a manager with the Red Sea Housing Construction

Thanks also to John Villalba, a chemist at Pacific Industries, who sent bottles of Gold Point cordial drinks, a popular drink products the company produces here in POM and exports to our Pacific Islands neighbors. John and his wife Rachel are permanent Saturday sponsors and so is Narasiman, who has taken the second Saturday of the month.

Also, last Saturday was the first time that our young diners had steamed rice with delicious and nutritious side dish and a matching soup.

This was not the case before. They would only have sliced bread and tinned fish or cheap meat loaf for their lunch and watery cordial drinks, depending on how much fund TCC’s kitty would have for that particular meal. TCC is only getting K400 monthly grant from WeCare! for its operating fund, and another K400 monthly support for the children’s four-times-a-week lunch meal from vessel-towing company Pacific Towing Ltd. Naturally, this total grant of K800 is not enough to keep TCC afloat and provide decent meals to the kids.

We are happy that when myself, Rishabh, Hayward and Penny have approached different potential donors, they have been sympathetic to the nutritional needs of the children, and they have supported us by funding our Saturday lunches..

The K150 -- the basic cost of the Saturday meal -- from individual sponsors is doing great things to the center’s wards.

I know that these donors would be pleased to learn from this blog that their donation is directly helping improve the nutrition of the 83 orphans and abandoned children.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hurray to our Saturday feeding sponsors!!!

All of us at Tembari Children Care, Rishabh, Penny, Hayward and myself; would like to thank sponsors, for their generous support in making special Saturday soup kitchen a reality for the 83 orphans and abandoned children under the care of (TCC) Inc.

While the kids are provided four-times a week lunch meal, their intake of nutrition leaves to be desired, blame this on a meager budget allotted on each feeding day – an amount of K40 or so to cover all of them.

The food usually is made up of kawkaw, coconut-milk cooked greens, sliced bread and cheap meat loaf or black tuna meat and watered-down cordial drink.

On the Eve of Christmas, a Saturday, I decided to cook a special meal for the kids as my Christmas treat, and then again on the next Saturday, the New Year’s Eve. After this, all of us approached our friends and contacts and with their support, the Saturday soup lunch has become a weekend affair. Since February 6, 2010, the Saturday feeding has been paid for by sponsors.

The honor of being able to sponsor the first lunch meal went to Filipino expatriate couple John and Rachel Villalba, who paid for a specially-prepared Filipino dish “lomi” soup; and I did the cooking.

The rest of the Saturday sponsorships:
1) February 13 – Mr Narasiman Muniandy, The National Newspaper;
2) February 20 – Mr Robert Palomo, Red Sea Housing Const Corp, PNG LNG project;
3) February 27 – Mr CC Ang, RH Hypermart, and family;
4) March 6 – Sunday Catholic Choir Group of Port Moresby;
5) March 13 – Mr Narasiman Muniandy
6) March 20 – Ms Maileen Sulibit and the Yes Ltd staff;
7) March 27 – Mr Albert Rocero, Coral Investment Ltd

John and Rachel Villalba and Narasiman Muniandy are all permanent one-Saturday-a-month sponsors.

By the way, Filipino expat Robert Palomo of Red Sea Housing Const based in Qatar but with big jobs at the PNG LNG project sent in additional funds to cover two more Saturday sessions! Hurray!

A million thanks also to WeCare! PNG and Pacific Towing Ltd (Mr John Whitfield) for a monthly grant of K400 each, for one year. These grants are the ones supporting the three-times a day feeding sessions each week.

A special Saturday lunch meal basically costs K150, which covers soup, a dish and rice. However, a number of our sponsors opted to give some more, to some extra “flavour” for the kids.

If you feel like experiencing the Saturday lunch event and see the kids having fun, please feel free to contact us.

-- Posted by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ, a Friend of Tembari Care Center (TCC) Inc.

An opportunity to help

A friend of Tembari Children Care (TCC)Inc

IT IS easy to understand why certain individuals, in their own unique ways, would like to help those in need.
It is an opportunity for them, and they would like to do it because they have the opportunity to do so.

When I was asked why I helped somebody up to the point of using up all my lifetime savings, to the extent that I have been rendered broke for the next three years or so because of debts I have incurred, the best reason that I could give was: “I had the opportunity to do it.”

Although my willingness to help had stressed me up, the gesture has spared me from carrying a heavy heart later.
In most people, helping those in need is something that never comes to mind, and that is for a number of reasons. One of them could be that their minds have been preoccupied with something else more pressing that the whole process of laboring their minds on it has built a wall and blocked other things from entering their consciousness.

While this state of mind could persist, the spell could be broken easily with someone simply asking: “Would you like to help?”
It was only then, after hearing the explanation as to why they should help, that they realised they also wanted to help because, for them, it was an opportunity and that the chance of doing it is big.

It’s only that nobody had asked them before. I realised that the gestures of helping could come naturally to different individuals of different backgrounds with different sets of mind. While they may have reasons of their own for helping, the willingness to do so boils down to one thing: That they wanted to help because they have the opportunity to do so. And this opportunity is NOW here before them.

One Friday afternoon last week, while at the supermarket pushing a trolley heaping with goodies, I bumped into a long time acquaintance whom I haven’t seen for ages and who was surprised to see what I’ve gathered from the shelves.
“Hosting any party tomorrow?” was his surprised opening, to which I replied: “Sort of, but not really … ”

Then I explained: “I’m going to cook lunch meal for the kids in the orphanage tomorrow at the settlement and this foodstuff has been paid for, or shall I say, sponsored by somebody.”

I told him the “sponsor” for the Saturday feeding wanted the kids to enjoy a decent and nutritious lunch meal.

Then I told him a little story: These orphans survive daily by having only boiled banana, kawkaw, sliced bread with cheap tinned fish for lunch, washed down by flat-tasting colored- sweetened water four times a week – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

There’s not much nutrition from what they eat although it would keep them up the whole day. I don’t think they have seen a glass of milk at all.

And at home, however, there’s no assurance for another meal like this for dinner, because their guardian parents, usually their grandparents, would not have a morsel to put on the table.

And when they wake up the next morning, there’s no assurance they could break the fast. The only food they could see is at lunch, courtesy of the orphanage.

“That’s terrible,” he said, and then asked me: ``When is the next feeding …? I would like to sponsor one Saturday feeding … just let me know when I could …”

CC Ang, the general manager of RH Hypermart, happened to read my story on the orphans in my weekly website column “Letters from Port Moresby”. He emailed me to say: “My family would like to sponsor tomorrow’s (Saturday) feeding … how do we go about it?”

Albert Rocero of Coral Investment, Maileen S Sulibit of peso remittance outfit Yes Ltd and a group of Filipinos with global contractor Red Sea Housing Construction Co now doing a big job at the PNG LNG project have each sponsored one Saturday meal. Likewise, a Filipino Sunday choir group has sent funds to support the Saturday soup kitchen.

John Villalba, a Filipino chemist with the Pacific Industries, bottlers of Cold Point cordial drinks, saw the pictures that came with another story I wrote on the orphans, showing how we struggled with the makeshift firewood stove while cooking lunch meal – an especially concocted soup.

“Here it is …” he told me when I came over to their plant to pick up a box of cordial drinks donated by his company: “Just give me a little time till I find a heavy duty LPG two-burner cooking stove … it will cook your soup faster.”

John and his wife Rachel eventually became a permanent one-Saturday-a-month sponsor of the feeding program.

John Whitfield, general manager of Port Moresby-based Pacific Towing Ltd, had also seen the same cooking stove fashioned from a junk crude oil drum. But his eyes were more focused on the pot sitting on the dirty stove.

He told me on the phone: “I would like to buy you a better and bigger pot so you can do your cooking easier …” He knew the pot he saw in the picture will not hold enough soup to cover 83 kids.

The next day, the lady receptionist at my workplace rang me up: A guy delivered today two huge pots and he told me they are for you …”

Rushing down to the reception hall, I saw two 30-liter cast aluminum pots sitting behind the counter. A small tag sticking on their sides boastfully announced the price: K265 (US$97) …!

Well, another good news is that Mr Whitfield’s company last month pledged a monthly grant of K400 (US$146) for one year to help improve the kids’ nutrition.

The National newspaper’s production manager Narasiman Muniandy has booked the second Saturday of every month as his feeding sponsorship. Actually, he is my housemate.

One Friday night, he was amused to see me slicing, chopping and sorting out vegetables in plastic packs and boiling chicken wings.

“Any party coming?” was all he could ask.

And I told him the same story about the feeding program being carried out daily by the Tembari Children’s Care (TCC) Inc (, and that this foodstuff would feed the orphans in the next day’s lunch session.

I told him the food had been sponsored by a Filipino couple who learned about the soup kitchen at the ATS Oro Settlement at 7 Mile, outside of Port Moresby.

“How much do I chip in for the especial Saturday meal … I want to have the second Saturday every month?”

Last Saturday, a Filipino manager with the Red Sea Housing Construction Co with jobs at the PNG LNG project named “Robert” sponsored the pumpkin-rice soup dish that I cooked. Funny, he wanted to sponsor three more Saturday feedings, saying that it’s his little way of “trying to go back to being a good person”.

Sometimes, little stories like this can move mountains. Would you believe that the especial Saturday feeding for March have been booked already, all because of my little story?

But don’t you worry -- you could still join, by co-sponsoring the feeding session with the Saturday’s holder. This way, you too could help boost the nutrition that each of the 83 orphans and abandoned kids would get from the food you buy for them.

It’s true. The especial Saturday feeding whose basic cost is K150 (US$55) won’t compensate for what the kids lose from poor meals served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

But I can tell you it’s a good start for the kids; a good chance for everyone like you to help.

To see the original posting, please visit:

(Please visit the TCC blogsite:

For comments, please email the writer:;

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rishabh, Hayward, Penny and the deprived kids

TCC Founders, Rishabh Bhandari, Hayward Sagembo, and Penny Sagembo have big dreams for the settlement orphans and abandoned kids under their care, but to achieve them may prove difficult, as they only receive modest funding grant which is just barely enough to keep the TCC afloat.

Penny taking charge of cooking a Filipino dish called "lugaw" introduced to them by Port Moresby-based Filipino journalist Alfredo. P Hernandez

Hayward with kids ... small care groups like the Tembari Children Care have to fight for the attention of funding agencies and institutions because of the presence of bigger organizations that usually corner the funding grants.
Kids enjoying a specially-prepared lunch soup which they could have only on Saturdays as it is paid for by kind sponsors and donors.

These are the two community learning centers (CLCs) donated to TCC by the Digicel Foundation, PNG. At least 45 kids are benefiting from the facilities which are also provided with reader books, picture books, writing pads, pencils and other school materials.

Volunteer teachers at work at the CLC. She's one of the three teaching the kids how to read and write and to deal with numbers. -- All pictures by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ, Port Moresby, PNG

Rishabh Bhandari, Penny Sagembo and Hayward Sagembo; and the underprivileged kids

A Friend of Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc

THINGS that grew big usually began small. And those that showed persistence for growth despite all odds had no other way to go but up.

The Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc, an unassuming little entity that clothes itself as a Community-Based Organization (CBO), is one happy example.

Operating at ATS Oro Settlement at 7 Mile outside Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, TCC was born in 2003 when its founders, Rishabh Bhandari, and the couple Penny & Hayward Sagembo, incidentally met at Murray International School. Rishabh was a student at that school that time and Penny & Hayward were there to present a lecture about the plight of some unfortunate children. While Penny had discovered to her horror that the community where she and her family live was beginning to be populated by a growing number of young orphans and abandoned children. On the other hand, Rishabh could not sit at ease when he learnt what a large number of unfortunate kids were going through. He compared his & his school peers’ privileges with the conditions in which many children were suffering. Rishabh thought it was squarely unfair and he vowed to do his bit to bridge the gap for as many children as he could and as much as he could do. Rishabh immediately got in touch with Penny and they agreed to do something for those unfortunate kids. Although they did not know how far they could go, the concept of TCC was born.

Penny herself was a “give-away” baby as soon as she was born, and was given up by her parents to their in-laws as part of a bride price deal. Now 30, she knows how it was to grow and live with people other than her own parents
She could feel how the orphans and abandoned children in her community felt, especially when their guardians – often their grandparents – are themselves too poor to provide for their most pressing daily needs – food and parental love.

Growing up, she resented her environment and strived to get an education how little it might had been. But then, it gave her a good measure of exposure to theworkings of the Anglican Church, where she got opportunity to work.

When Rishabh and Penny decided to start TCC, at first Hayward, who was then a salesman at a hardware store, grumbled over what his wife had started, considering that they themselves had their own problems feeding their own children.

But with the help from other mothers in the settlement, who later became regular volunteers, Penny and Rishabh persisted. It was not long before soft hearted Hayward was also chipping in from his own pocket, just like Rishabh was doing from his small pocket money; to buy food for some 35 children in the settlement. (This number has since grown to 83 by now).

Since the trio had convinced themselves that they should really look after the orphans and abandon children in the settlement where Penny and Hayward were living, they began to gather them together – and painstakingly at that one after the other -- in their settlement home. Thus, they had initiated one challenging exercise that they knew would be like getting through the hole of a needle: Feeding the kids from meager resources.

Eventually, Rishabh, Penny and Hayward founded TCC in 2003 and continued their pursuit with their own resources, with some small assistance from here and there. Eventually, they managed to register Tembari Children Care Inc. with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) to formalize the existence as a charitable entity. While Rishabh, Hayward and Penny continued to work hard looking for donors and supporters, their trouble also began to pile up.

In March last year, TCC started to receive a modest monthly grant of K400 from a foundation – “WeCare! PNG” – after it took notice of its activities towards the settlement’s underprivileged children.

Fr John Glynn, WeCare! founder, said in an email to Rishabh that they began to subsidize TCC’s activities because of the responsibility towards orphan children the founder trio was already exercising.

Later, Fr Glynn introduced TCC to the Digicel Foundation, which supported with two community learning centers (CLCs) – classrooms fashioned from cargo container vans. And then followed, the learning materials, text books, reading books, picture books, writing pads and pencils etc. for the kids.

These two CLCs have been a big instrument in providing basic early education to the children. Since there are now more than 45 school-age children, TCC has been prompted to invite three volunteer teachers from the settlement to teach the kids writing, reading and arithmetic.

The exercise, however, is costing TCC at least K400 a month. Each volunteer teacher had asked an allowance of K50 a fortnight, making it a total bill of K300 per month. TCC also has to pay a K100-allowance to the caretaker looking after the learning facilities from Monday to Friday.

Due to the last two months’ allowances remaining unpaid, the volunteer teachers walked out. The founders are trying hard to convince the teachers to return to the school for the sake of the kids, promising them they would be paid their allowances as soon as money becomes available. As to when, they have no idea.

At the start of the school year this year, TCC has been able to enroll 42 children from the orphanage for schooling at various levels. They are scattered in some 16 elementary and primary schools around Port Moresby. All school fees have been paid by WeCare!

Thanks to the K400 monthly grant from WeCare!, along with an equal amount from Pacific Towing Ltd headed by its general manager John Whitfield, who immediately recognized the noble efforts it is giving to the kids, TCC is able to sustain the four-times-a week feeding session.

But the meal which is served at lunch is still very austere, as it only comes with kawkaw, tinned fish and slice bread and sometimes greens cooked in coconut milk. Not very much actually in terms of nutrition and we can blame this to the outrageous cost of foodstuff in Port Moresby.

My suspicion is that most of the kids have not seen a glass of milk in their entire life, and this is one thing that Rishabh and myself are trying to work on with some trading firms. Who knows? They might feel the urge to deliver and sponsor something.

On the eve of last Christmas (2009), I decided to cheer up the kids by cooking for them a dish that they would taste for the first time – the Filipino version of macaroni soup.

And then we realized that it is possible to provide them with a decent lunch meal once a week, on a Saturday, through sponsorships from individuals who would chip in at least K150 (US$60) each to cover the cost of the Saturday feeding, which would cover all the 83 children.

All of us, myself, Rishabh, Penny and Hayward brought this up with our respective friends and contacts, and some of them immediately responded by pledging to “sponsor” a Saturday feeding session. This exercise has been going on for more than a month now, since I it was started on Saturday, February 13, 2010, in which I shelled out K150 to treat the kids with a nice, nutritious soup lunch, on the eve of Valentine’s Day. I knew it was good because I cooked it myself.

After that, the Saturdays of the month that followed were immediately booked – courtesy of some generous friends and contacts.

The kids are quite lucky. The four Saturdays of March 2010 have already been booked by individual sponsors. The reason is quite simple: They believed in the noble gestures being shown by TCC towards the parental, educational and nutritional needs of the children.

But TCC, as an entity short in funding, but long in perseverance and heavy with love for the kids, needs a lot of things-- translation: funding -- to make its operations more beneficial and results-giving. And it all boils down to its cash-flow crisis.

While it strives to provide the kids with decent meals four times a week, thanks to WeCare! and Pacific Towing Ltd, to make this possible. However, TCC is continually saddled with the lack of other resources to really make its delivery of services to the kids more effective.

And the kids, being kids that they are and unaware of their struggles, continue to expect that they would get the best from what is available at hand.

But little by little, the three persistent founders are surely on the way to getting there – with a little help now and then from friends in Port Moresby.

And the way things are going right now, the Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc is on the right, but bumpy track.

For feedback, email the writer:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A soup kitchen without religion

A volunteer-mother reading a picture book to the kids while waiting for their lunch to cook. – All pictures by APH

TCC Co-Founder and Director Hayward Sagembo (left), explaining the “anomalous” situation in social services provided by NGOs in his settlement

Kids queuing for especially-prepared lunch soup

February 19, 2010
Letters from Port Moresby


AFTER making a headcount of orphans who came for last Saturday’s feeding session, he walked back to me and said: “Fredo, we got 51 kids today. Anyway, attendance is better today than last Saturday’s.”
Actually, this should be a big concern, but Hayward Sagembo was not worried.

“Guardian parents are now realizing that we are doing our best to serve these orphans, making the most of what we got here so they are again letting their kids to come back and have food from our soup kitchen.”
Hayward, 34, is the Co-Founder and Director of the Tembari Children’s Care (TCC) Inc, an orphanage looking after at least 78 children who reside with respective parent-guardians at ATS Oro Settlement at 7 Mile outside of Port Moresby.

Since 2003 when there were only 35 orphans under its care, TCC has been giving lunch meal to the settlement orphans at least four times a week, including a Saturday feeding session.

The past seven years were crunch years as the three founders, Rishabh Bhandari, Penny Sagembo, Hayward Sagembo; had spent their own money to pay for orphans’ food. These days, however, they are better off with some modest funding help from two foundations, a private vessel towing company and kind-hearted individuals.

But two Saturdays ago, the feeding attendance dropped to 45. Hayward knew why.

“You see,” he told me after a feeding session last Saturday: “We are having problems with some people in the settlement. They are spreading wrong information to parents and guardians of those orphans about TCC.

“I feel that they are out to ruin our program for these kids and I know their motives.”

“They” are those individuals who, after failing in politics, have recently started their own “feeding program” at the settlement.

But the trouble is that they are trying to “pirate” the kids from TCC’s so they could gather as much children as they could and use the statistics for funding proposals to foundations and funding institutions.

And this has upset Hayward. In their attempt to steal his wards, he said individuals are also allegedly spreading lies.

One such lie is that TCC is just holding feeding sessions to get funds and pocket them, an allegation which he vehemently denied.

He explained: As a community-based organization (CBO) registered with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), TCC is governed by laws and by its own constitution, with counter-checks from officers for transparency in all its activities, including its spending.

“But what is worst is that they are telling settlement parents that our kids are orphans of people who died from HIV/AIDS and that these kids are infected or HIV-positive, this is, of course, untrue!”

Such misinformation, says Hayward, has scared many parents and guardians that they prevented the orphans – about 28 -- from coming to read books at TCC’s learning center and to have lunch meals.

The fact is, Hayward and his wife Penny know more about HIV/AIDS than anybody else in the settlement, their being certified HIV/AIDS counsellors.

Hayward is a full-time HIV/AIDS counsellor with Simon of Cyrene VCT based at Hohola, while Penny is a technical officer for sexual health at the Save the Children, Inc, an NGO based in Boroko.

“Those parents, being ignorant that they are, are getting confused of the information fed to them by TCC’s rival groups, because if these were true, how come TCC is getting full support from foundations like WeCare and Digicel Foundation?”

Just to think that WeCare just spent more than K7,000 in school fees on TCC’s 42 school-age children who are now enrolled in 17 preparatory and elementary schools around Port Moresby.

Besides, WeCare and a Port Moresby-based vessel towing company Pacific Towing Ltd led by its general manager, John Whitfield, are each giving a monthly grant of K400 to pay for the cost of TCC’s four times-a-week feeding program and related expenses.

It is the consistency in the way Rishabh, Hayward and Penny, who are the TCC founders alongwith the volunteer mothers have pursued their services to the kids, that the kind-hearted individuals are now volunteering to sponsor TCC’s Saturday feeding where the orphans are given especially-cooked lunch.

Marina van der Vlies, chief executive of Digicel Foundation, a TCC benefactor,earlier described TCC as “visionary” for the great things it has done to look after the orphans’ education.

To neutralize the negative effects of misinformation, TCC’s volunteer-mothers went around the settlement, and are still doing so these days, explaining to guardian parents TCC’s welfare program.

Finally, doubting parents have seen the light, having been convinced of TCC’s earnestness in helping the kids.

Hayward said that being community-based, Tembari Children’s Care Inc, has its resources right in ATS Oro Settlement, and these resources are the children under their care.

“We are right here in their midst, we see each child’s problem at once and we try to deal with such and we have instilled in the minds of well-meaning parent-guardians that they should own TCC and support it. They should consider TCC as their own because it’s the one that will take care of orphans left to them by their deceased parents.”
While TCC sits right in the settlement, other social-oriented groups trying to operate at ATS Oro Settlement are Port Moresby-based. The settlement is home to 9,000 people of whom 3,000 are children.

“Those other groups are all based in Port Moresby … they come to the settlement to interview local people, gather facts and stats, submit their funding grant proposals to relevant institutions, and disappear for good once the cheques are released,” Hayward said.

“Their supposed resources – the poor people, particularly the children who are supposed to benefit from such grants, are here in the settlement but these groups are operating away from them, with no contact at all; and their only link is the fact that these children have been used by those groups to obtain such funding grants.

“I think this is not right.”

Because TCC is blind to churches’ denominations, it effectively serves the nutritional, education and parental needs of its children who are from 10 different religious groups.

But in the case of churches providing social services at the settlement, which Hayward declined to identify, the situation is “ridiculous”.

“Their delivery of services is ineffective, because not everyone gets the benefit from money these churches receive from donors, including the Government. Government funds should not discriminate anyone.”

“If you belong to a particular denomination, you are not welcome to receive the benefits, say medical or educational, and you don’t get fed, as in a feeding program despite your hunger because you don’t belong to their church. How could this happen to our people who are all children of one God?”

Well, there are many more “anomalous” situations floating around but TCC, through Rishabh, Penny and Hayward; and their volunteer-mothers, are determined to rise above them, for the sake of the 78 orphans.

Oh yes, last Saturday, two new guardian parents came to see TCC founders to “enroll” with TCC five newly-orphaned kids who were left to their care.

Five more mouths to feed add to TCC’s burden, but it’s all right. Rishabh, Hayward and Penny have always believed God will provide.

(If you wish to sponsor the special Saturday lunch meal for the 83 orphans and abandoned kids, which costs at least K150, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. After buying all the ingredients, I do the cooking myself. One reader of this column, Mr John Whitfield, GM for Pacific Towing Ltd, Port Moresby, has bought at Brian Bell two huge cast aluminum cooking pots (30 litre-pot) to make it easy for us to cook the food. The specially-prepared Saturday food would give the kids a decent, nutritious lunch meal, which they don’t get on weekday feeding sessions. Weekday lunch meals consist only of bread and a thin slice of cheap meat loaf or black tuna meat or a combination of kawkaw and boiled veggies as the budget for each meal is only limited to K40. So, nothing much when it comes to nutrition.)

Email the writer:

Expat donates two huge pots to TCC

Thanks, John … This is what these mothers seem to be saying as they proudly show off their new cooking pots donated to their feeding program by John Whitfield, general manager of Port Moresby –based Pacific Towing Ltd last week. Worth more than K500, the two 30-liter pot can each hold soup dish enough to feed the 83 orphan and abandoned children under the care of the Tembari Children’s Care (TCC) Inc, where these mums work as volunteers. Mr Whitfield was prompted to send the pots to TCC after seeing a picture emailed to him showing the mums in one of their cooking sessions while working on a small pot overflowing with boiling dish. He told a TCC volunteer-worker who sent him the picture: The pot is too small to hold enough soup for the kids and it looks like it will not last that long … let me buy you a bigger one so you could do your job easier.” The new pot was first used in cooking last Saturday’s especial meal – pumpkin-rice soup -- for the kids. The lunch meal was sponsored by a Filipino expatriate-manager who works at the PNG LNG project. The TCC orphanage is based at ATS Oro Settlement at 7 Mile outside of Port Moresby. – Nationalpic by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Profile: Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc

Executive Summary

TEMBARI Children’s Care Inc is an active local community-based organization (CBO) based and operating in Oro Province and in the National Capital District (NCD). The organization was formed to promote and improve the living standards of vulnerable children and to educate communities on children’s rights to survival, protection, development and participation. Based on the organization’s strategic focus, it is the initiative of Tembari Children’s Care to establish community learning centers (CLCs) in the rural communities and settlements to facilitate regular education and awareness programs that will foster children’s growth, development and participation especially orphans and abandoned children.

It is also the vision of the Tembari Children’s Care to seek and secure external assistance for funds, materials and skill from donors, governments and individuals to support the program for children’s growth and development.

TCC also recognizes HIV/AIDS epidemic as a threat in the rural areas where people have no access to reliable information. As such, programs and projects would be developed to carry out massive public awareness and education regularly among the people in their own dialects. The awareness would target people of all ages aimed at making them responsible, prevention-conscious and caring.

The organization has about fifteen trained volunteers who have been certified in different fields such as HIV/AIDS, counseling, home-based care, children’s rights, gender equality, child abuse, drugs and alcohol, STIs, and many more.

TCC seeks to work closely with civil society organizations, provincial AIDS councils, National AIDS Council, donor agencies and government agencies in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea.

TCC will always strive to become a leading community-based organization promoting children’s rights to growth and development and keeping them away from all forms of abuse regardless of their gender and religion. Special consideration is given to those who are infected with, and affected, by HIV/AIDS.

Remember, today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Please don’t leave them behind.

1. Organizational background

This profile is purposely developed to inform potential donors, sponsors and other stakeholders about the organization and its strategic focus.

Tembari Children’s Care Inc is a local community-based organization (CBO) originally from Oro Province. TCC is based and operates in Oro Province and NCD.

In short, TCC is a Day Care Centre for orphans, vulnerable and abandoned children.

Tembari, which means drifter in the Oro Province dialect, is registered with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) and is legally instituted in accordance with the Association Incorporation Act of Papua New Guinea.

The organization has been formed to established community learning centers (CLCs) in the rural communities and settlements where services, information and awareness are lacking and to encourage men, women and children to collectively and regularly participate in programs such as early childhood education, HIV/AIDS prevention, home-based care, counseling, STIS, drugs-and-alcohol-abuse prevention, gender equality, child abuse awareness and many more in their own local dialects easily understood by all age groups.

The organization is affiliated with Papua New Guinea Allied Civil Society Association (PACSO) and is strictly governed by its constitution.

2. Organizational Description

1.1 Organization Legal Name

Tembari Children’s Care Inc

1.2 Organizational Legal Registration

Tembari Children’s Care Inc is registered with Papua New Guinea Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) and certified on May 13, 2008 and allotted the registration number: 5-3374.

1.3 Organization Status

Tembari Children’s Care Inc is registered and operates as a non-government organization (NGO), or may otherwise be referred to as community-based organization (CBO), or non-profit organization (NPO).

1.4 Office and Contact Details

Tembari Children’s Care Inc
Oro Village, 7 Mile
P. O. Box 67, Gerehu
National Capital District
Mobile phones: 72619552


Mission Statement

TEMBARI CHILDREN’S CARE INC will always strive to promote children’s rights, welfare and to educate communities on all forms of abuse, discrimination and violence amongst all children regardless of race, gender, religion and physical conditions, with special consideration for children who are orphans and vulnerable.

Vision Statement

To become a leading child-focused community-based organization in PNG, serving the interests of children and creating a better environment for their growth and development by 2012 and beyond.

4. Goals/ Objectives


To create communities free of poverty, abuse, stigmatization, discrimination and violence against children, especially orphans and vulnerable children through communities that are contributing towards children’s growth and development.

1. To educate children and their communities on child rights as stipulated in the United Nations on Rights of a Child (CoRC) and to promote child protection issues without stigma and discrimination.

2. To teach, educate and protect children and the community against HIV/AIDS by establishing resource centers to conduct regular programs at community level.

3. To facilitate programs that will foster children’s growth and development such as early childhood development (ECD) pre-schools, counseling and spiritual.

4. To seek and secure external assistance where it is in the form of funding, materials or skill from the government, non-government organizations, donors and individuals. Such funds will be channeled to support child-focused initiatives or community projects for the benefit and advancement of children’s interests and rights.

5. To create partnership and network with child-focused organizations operating in PNG.

6. To facilitate and expose children’s potentials (God-given talents) through forums, exhibitions, competitions, etc.

7. a) To be transparent, accountable and focused, primarily on fulfilling its goals, vision and mission.

b) To enliven the organization’s on-going fundraising initiatives to sustain its programs and operations.
c) To ensure that the association will apply its profits (if any) or other incomes in promoting its objectives.

5. Program focus

Tembari Children’s Care Inc is mainly focused on providing opportunities for children to have access to early childhood development programs and to educate communities on children’s rights for survival, protection, development and participation with special consideration to children who are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as prioritized in our program focus list.

1) Education and Awareness
The organization will conduct regular awareness and education sessions in the communities and schools in its catchments areas on the following issues affecting children:
• Child rights
• Child abuse, stigmatization, discrimination and violence on children
• HIV and AIDS
• STIs
• Gender equity and violence, and
• Health-related issues

2) Early Childhood development (ECD)
The organization will advocate and provide better access to children’s early childhood development primary focused on the following areas:
• Preparatory schools (Pre-schools)
• Adult literacy centers for older children, mothers and adults
• Counseling and monitoring sessions for children and parents, and
• Spiritual development sessions

3) Organizing forums, expo/exhibitions, cultural events and competitions
The organization will facilitate the following activities to motivate and expose children’s hidden talents for sharing and learning while striving for improvement in their endeavors.
• Essay writing competitions in schools within our catchments areas
• Education forums for sharing and learning
• Observing International Children’s Day with displays, sports and other special entertainment events at the level of the school.

4) Income-generation for families
Securing funding to support individual families to have better access to income-generating activities to earn income for family’s basic needs and services such as school fees, clothing, medical and others in the following proposed income-generating activities:
• Poultry, piggery and fish faming
• Vegetable farming
• Cash crop rehabilitation
• Livestock
• Trade stores

5) Improve water and sanitation
Secure funding to provide access to clean water and improved latrines and practices for children and families. Priority will be given to communities.

6. Organization Management

Tembari Children’s Care Inc (TCC) is headed by three directors of the board who oversee the organization’s operations and management. They have all been passionate founders of TCC, and have these core issues close to their hearts. They are also, like all TCC members, strictly volunteers.

Rishabh Bhandari – Founder and Co-President
Rishabh was born in India, yet has lived in PNG his entire life. He is young and enthusiastic. Rishabh founded TCC in 2003 when he was attending the local middle school, Murray International. Initially focused on raising money for deprived children through fundraisers, he and TCC have now expanded their attention to also providing the actual services.Rishabh is currently schooling at Phillips Academy Andover, a boarding school in America Rishabh enjoys reading philosophy, history, and international relations, as well as going on hikes and collecting butterflies and orchids.

Penny Sagembo – Co-Founder and Co-President
Penny is Co-founder of TCC, along side Rishabh. She has the heart for the orphans and vulnerable children and is truly a mum to so many unfortunate children. She has worked selflessly for the cause of such children fora number of years. Penny is a trainer and has been a community advocate in social health. She commits her time and resources to ensure orphans and vulnerable children are given the care and support they need to grow and develop. Penny is an experienced community worker, especially in project planning and implementation.
Penny also has experience of working with different NGOs in positions like technical Officer for Sexual Health, and such other roles of community services..
Penny is an outstanding community leader and as such, she uses her influence to bring people together to participate and implement impact activities effectively. She co-ordinates the daily life and logistics of TCC with Rishabh when he is in America during the school year.

Hayward Sagembo – Co-Founder and Director
Hayward has been contributing his valuable services selflessly to TCC right from the inception. His involvement with orphans and vulnerable children in the community is the subject closest to his heart. Hayward is committed and strives to ensure that all children; irrespective of their family status, are accorded the respect and dignity they deserve and are allowed participation in issues that affect their lives and well-being.
Hayward involves himself, in addition to TCC, in many community programs including those dealing with HIV/AIDS training and awareness.

Hayward also has wealth of experience of working with NGOs in positions like Technical Officer (VCT Counselor) etc.

Alfredo P Hernandez - A Friend of Tembari Children
Freddie came to Port Moresby in 1993 and has been Executive Sub Editor for the daily newspaper "The National" since then. He has been a journalist since his university days in Manila back in the late 60s. Freddie came in touch with Tembari children at a Christmas function (2009) organised by a corporate donor; and Freddie has been in constant touch with the TCC children and has been impacting their lives positively. He has voluntarily taken up the task to ensure that he connects TCC with as many potential donors as he can. Besides this, Freddie has been tirelessly cooking Saturday lunch for TCC kids since January 2010. Freddie derives satisfaction from seeing satisfied smiles on the kids faces and only calls himself a Friend of Tembari Children, which he truly is.

Field Coordinators and Volunteers
The Tembari Children’s Care Inchas a few field coordinators and a few volunteers. The coordinators and volunteers are well-trained by AngliCare Stop AIDS in Port Moresby and other organization.

All the field coordinators and volunteers are certified with Certificates in various programs such as HIV/AIDS, counseling, home-based care, STIs, gender equality, women and children’s rights, domestic violence, pre-school teaching and adult literacy training. They offer their free services to the communities as part of their contribution to improve the lives of people.

7. Financial Accountability

Tembari Children’s Care Inc is legally registered and has a bank account with Bank South Pacific (BSP).

Account Name: Tembari Children Care Inc

Account Number: 1001481651

Bank: Bank South Pacific

Branch: Waigani

The CBO has very strict, transparent and accountable finance management procedures/processes. All payments and expenses are being screened and approved by the Advisory Board.


The CBO is managed by people with heart to serve the people to improve lives and reduce poverty amongst children and their families. The program is more tailored and focused on helping children to really address poverty through education of children and families on the rights of children.