Christmas; there’s no holiday quite like it. Most people spend their holiday with loved ones cooking, singing, dancing and exchanging presents. While others prefer traveling, as this was the case for a group of East Sepik students attending the University of Papua New Guinea.
A group of 7 students from UPNG was part of a team of ten volunteers from the UPNG Avisat Students Association who visited five remote schools in Angoram District and donated 300 Solar Buddy Lights to these schools.
The Schools are:
- Kambaramba Primary School;
- Samban Central Elementary School;
- Bopaka Primary School;
- Kambuku Lutheran Primary School; and
- Magendo Primary School.
The Solar Buddy Lights were donated by Solar Buddy International through their distributing partner in PNG – Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF) and later airlifted to Wewak by PNG Air Services free of charge.
Elvansen Boas, a third-year political science student, and six other students from UPNG spent their Christmas holiday along the mighty Sepik River in East Sepik.
The journey as described by Elvansen was tough but life-changing. For most parts of their journey, they traveled on a dinghy and trekked for hours to reach the schools.
“When we visited Kambuku Lutheran Primary School, we had to change to dug-out canoes because the low-tide prevented the dinghy to go further,” says Elvansen.
The team later trekked for two hours to reach the School. Their long walk paid off in the end when the villagers of Kambuku gave them a warm traditional welcome with ‘singsing’ and dances.
For young Elvansen and her team, the four days spent along the Sepik River would definitely go down as a ‘life-changing’ event.
“Although this trip was not an easy one – It was an honor to go rural and reach out to all these kids who are in fact the future of Sepik Wara & Papua New Guinea as a whole,” says Elvansen.
“This trip has taught me so much and I am grateful that I have left a positive impact on the lives of the kids that we’ve visited.
“I have hope that they will be the next lot of generation that will bring in the change they wish to see in their own villages,” she added.
The students also conducted awareness on Law & Order issues, Human Rights, Business & SME, and the importance of Education.
A total of 300 Solar Buddy Lights was distributed to the five schools the students visited; 50 for each school except Kambuku Lutheran Primary School which received 100 solar lights.