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  • Nigel Akuani 

West Papuan Children receive Hygiene Kits

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Port Moresby: More than 224 children residing in the West Papuan Refugee Camps in Port Moresby were the proud recipients of hygiene kits courtesy of the Catholic Church’s covid-19 response activities.

Colgate Palmolive Ltd, who donated oral care sets and soap for the hygiene kits were also on hand to carry out demonstrations on the proper techniques to effectively wash hands using soap and water, brushing and flossing teeth.

Ms Charlotte Vada, Disaster Management Coordinator of Caritas Australia, stressed the need to promote good and safe hygiene practices especially amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, and said access to water was fundamental in its implementation. "Access to water is a basic human right, and critical to ensure protection against covid-19. Sadly, many of our rural villages and city settlements do not have proper access to clean water,” she said.

She added, “We hope that by providing Hygiene Kits, that children in these vulnerable communities can have some form of protection, even if it is for a short term."

Mr Donatus Nahak, West Papuan Refugee Resettlement Officer, expressed his gratitude to the awareness team for their informative demonstration of staying safe from COVID-19 but admitted that the living conditions of the West Papua Refugees in PNG still remained in languish and unresolved. “For West Papuans to have a better chance of keeping safe from COVID-19 and maintaining proper hygiene practices, their living conditions first and foremost, need to be addressed. We live in the poorest conditions in Port Moresby and this includes health, hygiene and sanitation,” he said.

Samuel Inggamer, representative of the Rainbow Camp, said the awareness was crucial especially for the early growth of their children and called for more of such to be held. “This program is preparing us for the future, and we want our children in future to be better than us, to be raised around proper values and principles. There has to be more awareness programs carried out across the various camps in the city that target young people involved in unsafe practices,” he said.

Community Leader of the Hohola Refugee Camp, Dolf Marjen, extended his thanks for the important lesson imparted and urged for everyone present to embed the practices into their lives.

The Rainbow Camp, less than half the size of a rugby field, was established twelve years ago in 2007, and currently has 53 families residing in it.

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