Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group comes in

Ivan Lu, executive director of Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group with Penny Sagembo, co-founder of the Tembari Children Care (TCC), a care group, and the children during his visit of the center last Saturday.

Ivan, with Penny Sagembo, TCC co-founder, and Hayward Sagembo, TCC chairman, poses for a picture.

Ivan points to something while taking a look around the premises where The Center operates as a care group.

The RH Group executive director stresses a point while Hayward listens intently.

Ivan talks to the parent-volunteers while the kitchen's pot steams in the foreground.

Penny talks to a kid shortly before the day's special lunch is served.

Volunteer-mom struggling to build fire that will boil some 25 liters of soup to go with the day's special lunch.

Children queuing to wash their hands before eating their lunch. Hand-washing is one of the health practices that they learned from The Center.

Kids queuing for their special Saturday lunch which is sponsored by individuals who wanted to give the kids a nutritious meal.

A long que for the day's special lunch.

Soup of the day: onion-egg soup. The Saturday special lunch always comes with steamed rice, dish of the day and special soup -- cooked by the writer.

Lunch of the day ... This curry chicken dish is almost done; it is something that the kids would have for lunch for the first time.

Lunch is ready to serve! These are mom-volunteers who serve the food to our hungry kids.

Kids enjoy their lunch.

Other kids prefer to enjoy their lunch in the comfort of their classroom.

A little patience while on queue is all they need ...

Lunch is taking time to be served ... but anyway.

There are also a number of "gate-crashers" during Saturday's special lunch, prompting The Center to provide ID tags to TCC-registered beneficiaries. We learned that they have been sent by their parents to partake of the day's lunch.

This is the premises of The Center made up of some shady trees and two Community Learning Centers (CLCs) that serve as children's classrooms. The CLCs were donated by Digicel Foundation.

A Friend of Tembari Children

LAST Saturday, Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group’s executive director Ivan Lu visited The Center with great news: His organization has sent him to find out how it could help boost the welfare of the 83 orphans, abandoned and neglected children being looked after by the Tembari Children Care (TCC).

Ivan told me that he was sent by the RH Group management after a meeting held the night before. The Group has decided to come in through the RH Foundation.

Actually, I learned about this RH decision to help The Center on Friday night after my boss at The National newspaper instructed me to pick up Ivan at the RH Group’s HQ on Saturday morning. Ivan wanted to see the site where TCC operates.

And also to find out how the Group “could come in”.

The truth is, I had already anticipated this development several days ago. I had a talked with CC Ang, general manager of RH Hypermart, about our feeding program.

He felt that RH could help The Center in one way or the other, and told me to keep my fingers crossed. Earlier, Mr Ang sponsored one special Saturday lunch for the kids.

Then, a few days ago, a staff of RH Foundation emailed me, referring to an article I wrote about our feeding program.

Ms Dinolla Tion said the foundation would like to know how it could help with feeding the kids.

I told her “like this and like that”, and furnished her with a long list of what The Center needs, for which I felt the foundation could help us out with.

TCC, a care group registered with the Investment Promotion Authority, looks after the nutritional and educational needs of the children at its makeshift facility at ATS Oro Settlement, Seven-Mile, just outside of Port Moresby.

During that Saturday meeting, Ivan told TCC chairman Hayward Sagembo and TCC Co-founder Penny Sagembo that RH Group had learnt a lot of their activities in promoting the welfare of the beneficiary-children and that it (RH Group) had seen new opportunity to help.

"It is one of our concerns as a corporate citizen of Papua New Guinea," Mr Lu said.

Mr Sagembo has given Mr Lu a list of what TCC urgently needed.

"The facilities are badly needed to help TCC do its job efficiently and productively towards promoting the welfare of the orphans.

"For instance, we have no access to electricity and that the water needed to cook meals for the children is collected from a distant tap," Mr Sagembo said.

Mr Lu told The National that would also personally be extending help after "seeing the dire needs of the orphans".

He said RH Group was very active in helping various charity groups in the country through its foundation.

TCC provides the orphans lunch from Monday to Friday aside from cooking for them a special meal every Saturday which is sponsored by individuals and corporate entities.

The centre also looks after the education of its pre-school and school-age children.

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