Sunday, August 22, 2010

Holiday Inn, Coca-Amatil, Rotary Club POM and Hi-Lift join growing rank of our benefactors

A Friend of Tembari Children

THIS past week, three corporate entities and a rotary club joined The Center’s growing rank of our benefactors.

Hotel expert Holiday Inn POM, beverage giant Coca-Cola Amatil PNG, brokerage (trucking) firm Hi-Lift and the Rotary Club of Port Moresby have found merit in supporting Tembari Children’s Care’s (TCC) thankless job of attempting to effect positive change in the lives of its beneficiary children.

Right now, we have 97 kids under our care and as they grow in number, the pressure of putting up with their everyday needs also grow.

The first effect of an increase in the number of mouths to feed would show on our food supplies.

While we have relatively sufficient supply of rice that makes us able to feed them lunch everyday from Monday to Saturday, our capability to feed a number more than we have budgeted for is one challenge we now confront.

When two individual donors decided to provide us rice on a monthly basis, and from their own pockets at that, they did so based on the food budget that I had presented them, trying to justify the amount of food I requested.

And this was sometime last March when we had only 78 beneficiaries. Since then, the picture has drastically changed.

And over the last eight months, it appears that more and more street children are popping up at ATS Oro Settlement where The Center operates.

TCC is aware those kids need to be plucked out of their predicament. It wanted them in but its resources could only support a limited number.

I have maintained my stand whenever I discussed with Hayward Sagembo, TCC president, our food resources that we can only take a maximum of 100 kids. For now.

Beyond this, would be trouble. I would have to do a lot of explaining to our food donors why we should experience food shortage when what they send every month should be more than enough to feed them.

We have to reconcile our wish to help more street kids with our ability to manage our limited food supply and this one is a tough balancing act.

CCA last week came on board, after a month of waiting for the company to come down with a decision to donate its cordial drink product.

Aware of my growing impatience why the management had taken so long to decide whether or not to give to Tembari children, CCA’s national marketing manager Louise Maher explained that the process involving donations to charity group usually is usually lengthy, something that has to get through layers of management red tape.

The company wanted to ascertain that the donation goes to where they should. In fact, early last month when I lodged my request, Louise asked me to show proof of our legitimacy. And I showed her.

CCA’s modest assistance comes in the form of cordial drink. Over the next three months till November, the Tembari children will receive a regular supply of 8 cartons of cordial drinks a month under the brand name Golden Crush, particularly the new products the company is now promoting nationwide.

This quantity would be a big relief as far as our daily petty cash fund is concerned over the next three months. I explained to Louise that six days a week, the children would consume a total of 24 liters of cordial, costing us at least K107 a week for a total of K430 plus every month.

This amount, which is quite too big for us to sustain every month, could go to other things that The Center would need to improve its operations.

Holiday Inn’s financial comptroller Sean Craig said that his company would help us with some of our urgent needs. Immediately, I presented him four items that we badly need – items that we would have to install at The Center as soon as power service is installed at its premises.

PNG Power is now working the power line extension that will link The Center to the village power facility.

Sean said he finds the items workable. But of course, he has to present the request to management for evaluation as they would cost money.

Knowing my justification for each of the items being requested as Holiday Inn’s corporate donation, Sean said he wished the management would accommodate.

The Rotary Club POM through Hi-Lift Ltd, a trucking company servicing cargoes loaded and unloaded at the Port Moresby port area, has donated two boxes of children’s books – those illustrated readers that a kid would enjoy browsing.

A delivery truck driver at Hi-Lift who happens to live at the settlement told her boss, Susan Chan, director-owner of the firm, about the Tembari children, particularly the preschoolers numbering 45.

Ms Chan quickly remembered two boxes of books that the Rotary Club imported from Sydney which were just lying at the company’s storage room. The children's books came from various public libraries in Sydney and had been imported for distribution to charitable groups looking after unfortunate children.

Having delivered it yesterday (Saturday), Susan thought she would like to do more to help improve the plight of the Tembari children.

Luckily, I was at The Center when it came and was happy to receive the two boxes of books.

If you think you have something already discarded but could be of use to our children, please don’t hesitate to donate it.

It’s one way of relieving your home of pollution caused by the piling up of many unwanted belongings you love to hoard.

To Coca-Cola Amatil, Holiday Inn POM, Hi-Lift and Rotary Club-POM, thanks a million for considering us as worthy of your help.

Wagi (center), The Center’s caretaker-volunteer, serves cordial drinks to the children shortly after lunch on Saturday.

Hayward Sagembo, TCC president, showing off some of the children’s book readers donated by the Rotary Club of Port Moresby through Hi-Lift Ltd.

Children show off the new book readers donated by the Rotary Club of POM through trucking firm Hi-Lift Co owned by Susan Chan while waiting for lunch to be served on Saturday.

Children brows the book readers while waiting for lunch to be served on Saturday.

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