Thursday, April 8, 2010

To our Dear Benefactors:

I WILL be away in Manila for my annual work break starting Saturday, April 10, but activities at The Center will continue to progress, thanks to the warm support that the Tembari Children have been getting from all of YOU over the past two months.

My Saturday special feeding, in which lunch meal is sponsored by generous individuals at a cost of K150 (US$51) or so per meal, and of which I cook personally right at The Center, is being postponed in the meantime. However, feeding at lunch will be a regular activity from Monday to Saturday.

So far, we have enough rice to cover the month of April (until I return on May 10) but we have to make do with whatever food assistance such as tinned fish/meat and frozen fish donation to go with the daily rice meal. And the usual veggies.

The milk-serving program will go on every Saturday until the donated milk is consumed by Saturday, April 24.

The first milk-drinking of the 83 kids took place on Saturday, April 3. The donated milk is to cover four Saturdays, starting on April 3.

Ideally, milk-serving should be made once a day, which requires at least 21 liter-pack of milk to cover the 83 kids on record, with four kids sharing a liter of milk (250ml per serving).

Or for a total of 126 liter-packs for six days (Monday to Saturday) or 10.5 dozens. The daily milk-serving would certainly boost and sustain the nutrients that every kid would get from the food served to them everyday.

There are some projects in the pipeline being pursued by one benefactor, that include the installation of water supply system, the procurement of 40 kiddy classroom chairs and drinking cups and plates.

We are also looking forward to having a high-pressure LPG cooking stove that would make cooking the daily meals faster and more efficient. Right now, we could only make do with firewood and makeshift dirty kitchen fashioned from a junk crude oil drum to cook at least 9kg or rice and 25 liters of soup – a SMOKEY exercise that could take an hour or so.

The Center also needs electricity to operate some gadgets like laptop, printer and basic lighting. We are looking at having a Honda gen-set, or maybe, a solar power panel, depending on their feasibility as determined by one of our benefactors who is looking at it.

I wish that all this could materialize soon enough so that the life of our kids would find some drastic change for the better, and to make the job of our volunteer mothers and fathers easier and more efficient.

The latest news is that there are ten (10) new orphans/neglected/vulnerable children who are now being processed for admission to The Center.

The new ones come from the ATS Oro Settlement. This brings to 93 the number of kids that The Center would be looking after from here on.

And the immediate effect is that whatever food supply – rice, tinned fish/meat, frozen fish and milk -- The Center has at present would have to be re-apportioned, re-programmed, with every kid being covered properly, so that it would last till the next donation comes along.

In case, you wish to communicate with The Center, please get in touch with Mrs Penny Sagembo, the founder of Tembari Children Care (TCC), through cell phone 7261-9552, or Mr Hayward Sagembo, the TCC president, on 7638-7526.

For feedback or comments, I could be reached through yahoo email: or

Thanks a million for the many wonderful things YOU have started for the Tembari Children.

Right now, their lives are looking up.

A Friend of Tembari Children

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thomas Kuo’s concern for the kids

A Friend of Tembari Children

THOMAS Kuo, one of our benefactors, became quite concerned about the Tembari kids when he learned that I was going away on Saturday for my yearly work leave.

“Who will pick up the fish?” Thom asked me in his email yesterday.

“The kids might run out of food during your absence … I can arrange some 20kgs (of frozen fish) from our new catch,” he said.

Thom, for all you know, is the general manager of High Energy Co Ltd, a fishing company and fish exporter based in Port Moresby.

Sometime early last month, he stumbled upon my blogs at where I wrote about the plight of the children under the care of the Tembari Children Center (TCC), a day-care center at ATS Oro Settlement, Seven-Mile, outside of Port Moresby.

In his first email to me to respond to my call for food assistance for the 78 orphans, neglected and abandoned children (the number is now 83), Thom immediately offered to supply us with at least 50kgs of frozen fish.

He said his company cannot do much for TCC, but could do much for the children in terms of protein supply.

I told him 50kgs were too generous for us not to take but we had, and still have, storage problem. So I requested for only 20kg every time.

Since then he has supplied The Center with frozen fish which in turn was cooked for the children’s meal.

Now, with me going home to Manila, Thom was quite concerned that no one would take care of his next delivery of 20kg, a volume which I have requested because it is easy for us to handle.

The 83 kids normally consume 10kgs of fish in one sitting, which is lunch.

The Center has no storage facility, much less electricity to babysit a freezer where we could store much bigger volume of fish donation. So, we just rent a freezer space for a day or two in a freezer owned by somebody at the settlement.

I told Thom he can withhold the delivery until I come back on the second week of May, but he did not budge, worrying that our kids might not have something to go with rice for lunch.

“The kids need protein,” Tom said, and pressed me to have the next delivery done before I disappear.

He won.

I relayed his message to Hayward Sagembo, TCC president, who said he will take care of the delivery himself.

So, it’s a done deal.

I normally would take care of Thom’s frozen fish, which he delivers to me every other Friday at our meeting place in Konedobu.

Then I would bring the two boxes of frozen delights to Filipino store Yes! Grocery at Gordon where they are stored in a freezer along with other frozen foodstuff. I would pick up the goods as soon as I am ready to take them to The Center.

Yes! Grocery, under its manager Mai Sulibit, is also among our small circle of supporters.

I can’t help but admire Thom’s sincerity in promoting the welfare of the Tembari children. He has found an opportunity to help the kids and he’s doing it with enthusiasm.

Email me:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to sponsor milk for Tembari kids

A Friend of Tembari children

A SIGNIFICANT foodstuff delivery arrived at The Center finally last Thursday.

It was the first of the monthly supply of foodstuff pledged by an anonymous executive at RH (PNG) Group comprising 16 bags of 10kg rice and 85 liters of fresh milk.

Yes! Fresh milk.

With the milk supply, the 83 kids would be served a glass of the complete liquid food during a special feeding session every Saturday.

Actually, the kids have already started getting milk since two weeks ago, courtesy of an American in California, who sent several kilos of powder milk through American air hostess Diane McLea who was at The Center two weeks ago.

My goal is to see them have milk as often as they could – and not only every Saturday.

I want to see them drink milk everyday – which is a costly exercise for The Center, but otherwise peanuts to others.

The milk provided by our generous friend at RH Group will cover four days (four Saturdays) of milk drinking, consuming 21 liters per day, with four kids sharing a liter (250ml per glass).

Under the schedule I proposed to our benefactor, the children will be served each a glass of milk every Saturday; this amounts to 84-85 liters consumed in four Saturdays of the month.

Well, that’s the volume of milk supply I personally requested from our benefactor – and he generously obliged to provide, with TLC (tender loving care), based on the number of kids registered with The Center to date.

Had I asked for more, perhaps he could have delivered just the same without second thoughts.

But my idea is to spread the PLEASURE and OPPORTUNITY of serving the kids among other kind-hearted individuals, however indirect the gesture would seem.

The good news is that they would be serving the kids through me and the dedicated volunteer mothers who are present at The Center every day, looking after their food needs.

I am certain would-be donors have long-wanted to help the needy like our kids, but there is just no opportunity for them to do so.

Now, I am giving them this opportunity, and this opportunity has decided not to go away for it could wait for any generous takers however long the wait is drawn out.

A prospective donor has three (3) bundles to choose from:

1) Sponsorship for the entire week (five weekdays, from Monday to Friday) for only K383 (105 liters at K3.65 per liter);

2) Sponsorship for four weekdays, meaning he could pay for the milk to be served every Monday, or every Tuesday and so forth, at a cost of K310 (84 liters at K3.65 per liter); or

3) Sponsorship for one day for only K76.75 (21 liters at K3.65 per liter)

I wish for more people who could help The Center in its milk program, which aims to serve a glass of milk everyday to every Tembari kid.

I think this is the way it should be. This is another way to boost their health.

Many of our kids are not in good state of health after long periods that they had missed meals for most of the time, like breakfast and lunch.

SUDDENLY, this litany brings to mind the need for me to find somebody who could lead me to someone who could organize a group of at least two GP physicians, two nurses and two pharmacists, along with a lot of medical and drugs and healthcare supplies, for a medical mission to The Center.

I am certain most of our kids have not seen a doctor in a long while, or not at all.

Well, this is all for now.

Happy Easter to all!

Email me: alfredophernandez

Oxen&Palm delivers goodies

A Friend of Tembari Children

DAVID SLAPE, the general manager of Hugo Canning Co Ltd, emailed me the good news:

His staff delivered to The Center last Thursday 10 cartons of canned goods, which his company produces and/or distributes.

The foodstuff consisted of sardines, pork luncheon, curry chicken and tuna.

On phone last Thursday, Dave told me his company may be able to provide the kids with protein on regular basis. I cross my fingers to that. Cheers!

He said Hugo Canning usually gives assistance to many Care Groups in the country as well as foundations that included the PNG Children’s Foundation.

The PNGCF is the latest benefactor, along with Hugo Canning, to support the activities of Tembari Children Center (TCC), a day-care center at ATS Oro Settlement at Seven-Mile, outside of Port Moresby.

And The Center is the latest Care Group and community-based organization (CBO) that PNGCF has assisted with funding to pay for the fortnightly allowances of its three volunteer-teachers.

This means that with Thursday’s foodstuff delivery, our 83 beneficiary children comprising orphans, neglected/abandoned and vulnerable children are now getting improved diet everyday.

The Ox&Palm delivery came very timely as it would go with rice and veggies that the children will be having every lunch time, six days a week.

Rice is being supplied on a monthly basis by two generous business executives based in POM.

Until late February, the kids were only having kawkaw (sweet potato), boiled veggies and sliced bread and cordial for lunch. The reason is that The Center did not have enough cash to buy rice for their lunch.

In terms of nutrition which rice provides, the day-to-day meal wouldn’t have much at all in terms of nutrients, although it could satisfy the children’s hunger for food.

So far, with more people coming forward to help us with cash and goods, the acute nutritional deficiencies of the children are hopefully being covered a little bit at a time.

I would say that getting the kids in top health would be tough job for us overseers of The Center.

Considering the long period in which these children did not have proper regular meal – a decent meal at that -- certain health anomalies could have uncoiled in their fragile systems -- like malnourishment a.k.a. undernourishment.

Malnourishment means to ways – it’s either a kid is eating a lot but it’s the wrong food – e.g. junk food, or, that he is getting a lot of food but it’s lacking in the required nutrients needed by the kid’s for a healthy body and wellbeing (example, the previous kawkaw-sliced bread-boiled green daily lunch of the Tembari kids)

Undernourishment is when a child gets less proper food (balanced diet/healthy food) than what he should take normally.

But I can tell you by the looks of it that we are slowly inching on but surely getting to wherever that goal of ours hibernate in the wilderness of funding and resources crisis.

Thanks a million Dave – may your tribe and that of Hugo Canning’s continue to prosper so that more and more needy Papua New Guineans could continue benefiting from the good fortune.

Well, this is all for now.

Happy Easter to all of you folks.

Email the writer: