TODAY is the first day of the school year but not every school-age child will be in the classroom despite the Government’s free education policy.
Among those who cannot make it to school are Port Moresby’s orphans and street children.
There are at least two non-governmental organisations which go out of their way to send some of these children to school by paying for the children’s project fees, buying them school uniforms, giving them money for lunch and bus fares to and from school.
But today they are in financial strife.
Life PNG Care, privately run by Collin Pake and his wife Freda, took 17 of these children under its care and had sent them to school last year.
This year, the number has increased to 40 children and they have found they could not afford their education, relying instead on kind-hearted business houses and individuals to come to the rescue, like they had in the past.
But as of the weekend, the Pakes had reported that they were not getting positive responses they had expected from business houses.
As a result, Life PNG Care had not been able to buy all uniforms, stationeries and project fees for the 40 children, some of them are enrolled at high schools.
"We are still expecting to raise K66,000 for all 40 children to go to school. If we raise K30,000 this will get them to the classroom but will not buy them lunch and bus fares.
"It will be difficult also because we don’t have a motor vehicle to drop off and pick up children after school,’’ Mr Pake said.
Friends Foundation Inc is another NGO which had helped vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS for many years.
FFI founder Tessie Soi has called it a day after struggling for years without government support. Son Rory Sitapai however, has indicated that he would continue the program for the orphans. Post Courier
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