Frequently Asked Questions
It’s great that you use volunteers for your programs, but do you pay large salaries for your staff?
YWAM MS staff, including the Managing Director and senior leadership program managers, are self-funded; they raise their own funds outside of the organisation to support the work they do in PNG. In addition to this, there are a limited number of critical positions which must be remunerated externally at times to maintain operations (i.e engineer and bookkeeper). Every volunteer joins YWAM MS with an understanding that they give their expertise and goodwill with no remuneration.
Does YWAM MS only offer short-term assistance?
We have a development model that builds on cooperation and collaboration at a grassroots and national level. This means that while many of our volunteers come for a short time, it is in the context of a long-term strategy that has been organised with relevant authorities.
Where possible, we encourage our returning volunteers to consider volunteering in the same region so they can build long-term relationships as these real person-to-person relationships are key to the long-term capacity building we aim to achieve!
How does YWAM MS address the culturally specific health and social needs involved in this sort of venture?
YWAM MS aligns itself with relevant national and provincial/state plans and strategies, such as the National Health Plan in Papua New Guinea.
Volunteers are oriented to the cultural and social standards of the communities we work with, and work in partnership with local contacts that help navigate the complexities of language and culture.
Does YWAM just go to communities whenever it pleases?
YWAM has been building a network of relationships across North Queensland, Papua New Guinea, and beyond. We work by invitation, seeking to work in collaboration and respect with a non-partisan approach at the national, provincial/state, district/regional, and local level.
Our outreaches are carefully planned in partnership with relevant leaders. In the case of medical ship outreaches, detailed reports are submitted to national and provincial authorities at the completion of the outreach.
What happens when YWAM leave and people still have needs?
Our goal is not to create an independent or parallel system, we come alongside existing structures with the aim to strengthen and build capacity.
In the instance of delivering healthcare, each case is unique and we do our best to ensure we provide as much care as possible; however, we also do our best to ensure that the local health worker is informed and equipped to deal with cases after our departure.
Who supports YWAM’s work?
YWAM works with a vast network of supporters. We have two Patrons – the Right Honourable Sir Rabbie Namaliu CSM KCSG, former Prime Minister of PNG, who serves as the PNG Patron, and the Honourable Mike Reynolds CBE, AM, former Speaker of the Queensland Parliament. We also have a grassroots support network of individuals across Australia and PNG.
What structure and accountability does YWAM MS have?
As a Company, YWAM Medical Ships Australia & Papua New Guinea (YWAM MS) has a Board of Directors which is accountable to its members. YWAM MS is also a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development Code of Conduct and is a member of Missions Interlink. All YWAM MS medical volunteers are required to apply for a PNG medical/nursing registration. There are a number of external accountability bodies as well, which cover our maritime and medical operations. Our services and findings are reported to PNG’s National Department of Health and Provincial Health authorities.
YWAM Townsville is an association with a management committee who oversee all activities associated with the association. As a registered training organisation (RTO Reg. No 30614, CRICOS Provider No. 02205D), there are number of external accountability bodies that YWAM Townsville is required to report to regularly.
Both entities also undergo annual external financial audits.
The constitution of YWAM Medical Ships – Australia Ltd is available here.
Do you have policies around key issues?
Yes, in addition to our Child Protection Policy and Complaints policy, YWAM MS has a number of other policies around other key issues, such as Privacy, Non-Development Activity, Transparency and Conflict of Interest. A full list of policies can be accessed here:
How do I give my feedback?
YWAM values feedback from volunteers, partners, and the general community in order to improve the work we do in Papua New Guinea and Australia. If you wish to give your feedback, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you’d like to view a copy of our complaints policy, please download at this link.