By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
A Friend of Tembari Children
FOOD supply at Tembari is relatively stable at the moment.
With the number of our beneficiary children exploding from 78 at the start of 2010 -- when I first met them -- to 215 these days, sourcing our foodstuff has since been my biggest worry.
But I have always believed that God will provide.
For more than a year now, food flow at the center has remained constant. This has been made possible by two regular donors who have been chipping in an average of 30 bags (10kg) or rice every month.
We are also getting a monthly supply of 10 cartons of tinned fish from RD Tuna Foundation. Each carton contained six 1.8kg of white tuna meat chunks which RD Tuna Canners exports to institutional users in Australia like hospitals, restaurants, fast-food, care-giver facilities and the like.
We are also receiving a monthly supply of 10 cartons of flavored milk from SVS supermart and another 8 cartons of 1-liter fresh milk from an anonymous donor.
A corporate supporter, the Pacific Industries, also supplies us with 4 cartons of 2-liter cordial every month. Plus foodstuff from other manufacturers like Hugo Canning Co which delivers tinned meat and other stuff once in a while.
With all this, Tembari’s food outlook has never been better.
But then our population boomed, and we are now feeding more than 200 mouths a day – in fact, twice a day – noon snacks and early dinner.
And right now, we are consuming 15kg (1.5 bags) of rice every day from Monday to Saturday for a total of 9 bags. On a monthly basis, we consume 36 bags, or 360kg or rice.
With only 30 bags of regular rice donation a month, we therefore run short of 6 bags every month.
But with help from a British expat who has been actively helping Tembari find new ways to boost its food supply, the Australian High Comm came into the picture.
Sometime ago, Lynne Saunders, a high-ranking staff at the High Comm, brought up Tembari’s food supply concerns to his boss -- High Commissioner Ian Kemish, AM -- who did not waste time to help Tembari.
In early July, Ms Saunders facilitated the delivery of the first 100 bags (10kg) of rice from Truikai Industries, which were good for at least 66 days (two months and 6 days), based on Tembari’s current rice consumption.
The truth is, the last five bags from the first delivery were consumed middle of last week.
The first 100 bags worth more than K3,500 were part of the 3.5 tons (350 bags) that the Australian High Comm had pledge to deliver.
The next deliveries are now being processed.
The delivery has to be done on staggered/installment basis as we don’t have proper and safe storage space for such a big volume of foodstuff. This is also the reason why the 100 bags of flour which the Aust High Comm has pledged couldn’t be brough to the center.
We really need a safe food storage space, one that the village thieves couldn’t breach.
One night last year, the baddies tried to break into our food storage facility and almost got away with our stocks.
Maybe one of you out there has a spare 10-foot container van which you could donate to Tembari for its food storage.
It would also provide storage space for materials like cooking wares, dining utensils and other kitchen materials.
Tembari urgently needs a safe place with which to store its foodstuff and a container van, which could easily be secured with lock and is strong enough to foil any attempts of break-in, is just the ideal facility for this.
Dear readers, if you think you can help us on this one, please don’t hesitate to call me on my cell phone 72231984.
In closing, I would like to thank the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby for finding merit in the services that Tembari provides to the village’s abandoned, unfortunate and orphan children.
This one goes also to RDTC, Hugo Canning, SVS mart, Pacific Industries and to our anonymous supporters and to individuals who, on occasion, would drop by at my workplace at The National newspaper to turn over foodstuff and materials for our children.
More power to you all!