A group of four students from Cairns and Cooktown are packing their bags today in preparation for their departure to Papua New Guinea. They will spend their school holidays volunteering onboard the YWAM Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG. The four students from Cooktown State High School, St Monica’s College, St Augustine’s College and Peace Lutheran College are joining the outreach as Youth Ambassadors for YWAM Medical Ships, a North Queensland based charity that delivers healthcare and training in remote areas of Papua New Guinea.
The year 11 students will be joined by YWAM Medical Ships Cairns Community Ambassador, Ms Yolonde Entsch. Ms Entsch said that the Youth Ambassadors trip has been sponsored by the Cairns Corporate Challenge, a local fundraising initiative that has raised over $30,000 for YWAM Medical Ships work in PNG. “Papua New Guinea is just off our coast, yet it is one of the hardest places to deliver healthcare in the world. “Over the last 12 months a team of us have been raising funds, engaging schools and raising awareness in regard to YWAM’s work in PNG.
“I believe that giving young people the opportunity to serve and experience a different culture to their own can really help give a broader perspective as they’re considering future decisions about their life. I’m really proud to be leading this team of local young people, and look forward to serving our nearest neighbours alongside them,” said Ms Entsch.
The team will join 90 or so other healthcare, marine and general volunteers from 14 different nations. Together the team will deliver primary health care, dentistry, optometry and health education to remote communities in Gulf Province. MV YWAM PNG Ship Manager, Mrs Anna Scott, said that the crew onboard was looking forward to welcoming the Cairns team.
“The ambassadors have been representing us in their schools for the last 12 months – collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, glasses and raising funds. It will be really special for them to see first-hand what they have been helping to support. We love having young people volunteer with us – their energy, zeal and enthusiasm really adds a special dynamic,” said Mrs Scott.
The team will depart for PNG tomorrow, and will be aboard the MV YWAM PNG for two weeks.
To follow the MV YWAM PNG’s journey in Gulf Province, follow YWAM Medical Ships Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ywamshipsaustralia. Local supporters of the Cairns Corporate Challenge and YWAM Medical Ships include Getaway Trekking, Ports North, AkzoNobel, My Pathway, Industry One Coffee, Century Cranes, Grunt Media, Blackwoods, Forty Winks, Cairns Taipans, Seven News, Cairns Floral Supplies and Cornetts Supermarkets.