Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hopefully, 2011 would be better than 2010 for Tembari kids

Preschool children playing in their classroom while waiting for their special Saturday lunch.

Tembari’s grown-up children browsing picture books in a makeshift classroom used by preschoolers while waiting for lunch. Tembari is raising funds to build an appropriate classroom for use of its preschoolers.

A friend of Tembari Children

HOPEFULLY, 2011 would be better than last year.

And 2010, no doubt, proved to be the best in all the years that the Tembari Children Care center had existed, from the time it was founded in 2003 up to December of 2009, when fate led me to the doorsteps of the center at the settlement and saw what I believed many people had failed to see: the Tembari children and their needs.

And seeing all this pushed me into doing something outside my orbit: looking for, and communicating to, people who were able enough, willing enough to shell out their precious kina to help a group of unfortunate settlement children rise above the poverty they were in and show them that there were still lots of people out there looking for an opportunity to help.

The key words then were: Would you like to help?

And help came and the year was 2010.

From my point of view, the Tembari children were truly better off last year than any time in their lives at their impoverished homes or at The Center.

They had, and still have until today, sufficient food; they were in school – both in preschool, elementary and primary; they lived in an atmosphere where they were treated like family; they had, and still have, modest amount of funds in the bank and they had a number of people who would always be there to help – just holler to them, as they say.

This year though would be tough because the needs of the Tembari children are increasing and the mood of our supporters could swing from “will donate” to “not this time”.

This is one scenario I have to anticipate, but anyway….

A third of our preschoolers – about 20 of them -- needs a decent classroom or something better than a space under the mango tree. During those days, when rain threatened, the kids had to be sent home as The Center did not have enough space to shelter them should there be a downpour.

We need a decent dirty kitchen where we could cook the meal of our 114 beneficiary children in little comfort. Cooking in the open under the beating heat of the sun is, by all standards, even here in Papua New Guinea, primitive.

That’s what we did six days a week for the entire 2010 – cooking on makeshift stove of three rock boulders or on a pair of cement blocks.

We need a small office where we could discuss with guardian parents problems relating to their foster children, and not under the shade of the tree which the administrators of the facility did.

We need a small office where we could keep the individual records of our beneficiary children, such as their profiles and those relating to their education.

Housing these three – a classroom, an office and a dirty kitchen – would require a multi-purpose, cement-floored structure occupying a space of 60sqm and costing and estimated K50,000 (US$18,000) to build.

It is money we don’t have, that’s why I recently launched a fundraising drive towards this endeavor to boost the initial K7,000 earlier donated to Tembari by AP Engineering Ltd of Takubar, Kokopo, East New Britain province for this purpose.

We need electricity. Although the PNG Power Ltd committed last to connect The Center to the power grid, it has yet to make good the promise.

While we are now about to complete the installation of a water supply facility comprising a 1,000 gallon tank and the needed attachments, the pressure of water being served to the settlement leaves much to be desired.

I am afraid water pressure won’t be able to bring water to our storage tank at The Center. So our water problem would continue.

I hope that the people, entities and business houses that supported us last year would continue to do so this year.

I should say their assistance last year made a big difference in meeting the needs of the Tembari Children, especially food.

Last year, the children had better nutrition from meals served twice a day from Monday to Friday, and a special meal on Saturday.

The food served was better because it consisted of rice and protein from fish or meat, compared to the time in 2009 and the years before when they only had meals four times a week, consisting of kaukau (sweet potatoes), greens, sliced bread and flat-tasting cordial drinks.

As a soup kitchen serving 114 hungry children, the Tembari feeding program has been a big success compared to the rest of some 15-like programs operating around Port Moresby.

It is something our benefactors could be proud of because their efforts to help improve the nutritional needs of the Tembari children did not fail.

And for all this, I owe them a BIG ONE.

If you think you are able to help us build a new classroom for our preschoolers, please credit your donation to:

Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc,
Bank South Pacific
Waigani Branch, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Bank Account #1001481651

For more information about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact me:

Office landline: (675) 3246-712 / cellphone: 72231984



  1. I hope some other private sectors could help this children to build their future.

  2. I want to be a volunteer to this foundation!