Townsville-based charity, YWAM Medical Ships Australia & Papua New Guinea (YWAM MS) is delighted to announce that they are gearing up to re-deploy their training and medical ship, MV YWAM PNG, to Papua New Guinea (PNG) early next week.
When COVID-19 changed the world in March 2020, YWAM MS made the difficult decision to suspend their medical and training outreaches in PNG and bring the ship to its home port of Townsville.
The Port of Townsville welcomed the ship home by providing free wharfage for the unplanned return, which has been utilised for maintenance and program development over the last several months.
YWAM MS’ Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, said that a formal invitation to return to PNG has been received from authorities in Papua New Guinea for the purpose of strengthening the delivery of essential healthcare in rural communities.
“While the COVID situation is continually evolving, we plan to have the vessel in a state of readiness to respond flexibly in 2021 as circumstances evolve. The ship will initially dock in Port Moresby, with plans now underway to resume rural healthcare patrols to Western Province,” said Mr Mulligan.
YWAM MS also has a number of new land-based ventures underway for 2021 that will help strengthen the sister city relationship between Townsville and Port Moresby.
“As a registered training organisation here in Townsville, it has been a dream for a long time to establish a satellite vocational training campus for young people in Port Moresby. I’m pleased to share that we are in the process of establishing a vibrant campus there at the moment that will combine vocational training with character development and service opportunities.
“Approximately 90% of Port Moresby’s young people are unemployed. Our desire is to work in collaboration with PNG to help provide the skills, knowledge and innovation needed for PNG’s sustainable development.
“We also recently acquired a fitted out dental and medical semi-trailer. We are actively working toward bringing the trailer into Port Moresby for the purpose of providing dental services, training opportunities, and health education to schools throughout the city,” said Mr Mulligan.
Mayor of Townsville, Cr Jenny Hill, said both of the ventures will strengthen the links between Townsville and Port Moresby.
“There has always been a special relationship between the two cities. In fact, Port Moresby is Townsville’s oldest Sister City and I am proud that YWAM MS is based in our city,” Cr Hill said.
“I am thrilled that MV YWAM PNG is able to return to PNG so her crew can continue their lifesaving outreach to residents there. On behalf of the residents of Townsville, I wish safe and successful travels.
“The addition of the two new land-based ventures is great news. Quality education and training makes a positive impact on the lives of young people as well as the communities they live in, while oral health is integral to general health.”
The MV YWAM PNG and her crew are due to set sail from Townsville early next week. To support the upcoming deployment, donations can be made at www.ywamships.org/donate
YWAM MS is proudly supported by Australian Aid, PNG National Government, Puma Energy, Henry Schein Halas, Network Communications, Port of Townsville, Morobe, Gulf, Western, Central, Oro and Milne Bay Provincial Governments, Townsville City Council, 1300SMILES, Honeycombes Property Development Group, Parkside Group, Pacific Islands International, PVW Partners, Dawson & Associates, Lions Recycle for Sight, Manolos Aviation, AkzoNobel, Gearbox Solutions, PNG Ports Corporation, Sohe District Development Authority, Kiriwina-Goodenough District Development Authority, Haymans, Ela Motors, Trukai, Ports North, Luminell, Northern Management Group, Lancini Property & Development, Mitsubishi Electric, Coutts Redington, Medical Dental Solutions, Stanley Hotel and Suites, Pro-Ma Systems, Pacific Marine Group, Universal Cranes, Rotarians Against Malaria, Alcon, Mun Global, Sentry Medical, Hu-Friedy, Kingdom Air Conditioning, Alphapharm, Septodont, Essilor Vision Foundation, Mocom, Days for Girls, GE Healthcare, 3M, Pacific Towing, Austal, BuzzOff, Wilson Ryan Grose Lawyers, PwC and Mylan.