Sunday, February 26, 2012

Homeguard Construction donates K1,000 towards Tembari feeding program

       Tembari children having soup while waiting for the main course of rice and 
       chicken stew during one of their Saturday feeding activities. – Photo by AP 

A Friend of Tembari Children

THE Homeguard Construction based in Port Moresby has donated K1,000 towards the feeding program for Tembari children.

The cheque for the amount was delivered to me last Thursday.

It would go a long way towards the daily feeding activities at the Tembari center located at Oro settlement outside of Port Moresby.

Having checked the prices of foodstuff such as noodles and biscuits in one of the supermarkets around, I learned that the fund would buy at least 17 cartons of cheap biscuits and at least 15 cartons of instant noodle soup.

You see, these items would support the daily noon snacks of our beneficiary preschoolers, who, this school year would number close to 40 aside from some 90 preschool children from the Oro community.

What I am trying to say is that we are expecting at least 40 beneficiary preschoolers from the community who are orphans, neglected and abandoned.

After their classes which begin at 8am are done by noon, the kids are served snack foods such as noodles or biscuits along cordial drinks and fresh milk if it’s available.

The rest of the preschoolers who would be numbering 90 this school year would go home for lunch. They are children from families with means to support them through school.

But the Tembari preschoolers don’t usually go home to their bubus, guardians and relatives.

They stay put at the center through afternoon doing some educational activities including watching DVD kiddie programs until the main feeding activity for the day takes place later in the afternoon. This is the late dinner comprising rice and protein, which could be tinned meat or tinned fish cooked with veggies.

About this time, the Tembari beneficiary children attending schools at two major elementary schools in Port Moresby – one is the Wardstrip Elementary School -- would be homing in for the early dinner, which they share with the preschoolers.

This year, we expect to have about 116 elementary and primary school children plus 40 preschoolers. The rest of the kids would be those of non-school age – from 4 to 2 years old. All in all, we are expecting to serve close to 200 children this year.

After the feeding, they go home for the night to come back the next day for school.

Since Tembari preschool is the only one operating at Oro settlement, many parents have decided to send their young learners to our school.

As a CBO, or community-based organization registered with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), the Tembari Children’s Care (TCC) is mandated to take in learners from the community if their parents decided to have them schooled at our facilities.

It is just unfortunate that our facilities could no longer handle some 130 preschool children coming to us this school year.

So far the center has only three classrooms – one of these is a 20-footer junked container van converted into a classroom to accommodate at least 30 kids sitting like packed sardines.

Actually there used to be two fitted out container vans from Digicel Foundation. But since Tembari did not have an office space and some place to store foodstuff donations, the TCC management has opted to use one of the two containers for this purpose.

This school year, two small classes of at least 20 each will hold classes in two makeshift classrooms on both wings of the container van, which serves as the main classroom.

The rest would be holding classes under the tree nearby.

Three teachers, who are paid monthly stipends, handle the classes.

Meanwhile, Tembari’s school building project has been put on hold pending the issuance of a title covering the 3,500sqm-property on which the centre stands.

The main classroom project sponsor – the Australian High Commission – has required a legitimate land title to the property before it finally gives the go signal for the classroom building construction.

The cost of the project is more than K100,000 and the funds are just waiting to be tapped.

One of our early school project sponsors is AP Engineering Ltd based in Kokopo, East New Britain, which donated K7,000 to start off the funding raising drive. APEL is owned by Filipino-PNG citizen Engineer Ariel Parro.

The other sponsor is the AkzoNobel, a paint maker.

If you think you are able to help the Tembari kids with foodstuff to sustain the center’s daily feeding program, please don’t hesitate to contact this blogger through the email addresses provided below.

Meantime, I would like to thank HomeGuard Construction for its generous donation.

As you would know, HG would pop once in a while a generous cheque to cheer up the Tembari children.

The company just did last week and I would relay this  gesture to the children once I delivered the foodstuff to the center.

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