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Meeting Mary* has probably been the most testing part of outreach for me. At the end of each day my thoughts always end up making their way back to her direction. To say my heart was stirred by this young Papua New Guinean woman is an understatement. I met Mary last week when she turned up to the ophthalmology clinic in Kikori village, although I have wanted to write about her, since then I’ve found it hard to appropriately express the way my world has shifted and the way my heart has been broken.

Two volunteers facilitate a men's group, discussing a variety of topics.

Two volunteers facilitate a men’s group, discussing a variety of topics.


Each day at the ophthalmology clinic a small crowd gathered outside. I noticed Mary straight away, wearing a thick hoodie on a 28 degree day really did look conspicuous. She wore a pair of dark sunglasses, the sides of which jutted from her thin face; at certain angles you could glimpse the plum purple and raised skin around her right eye. She waited for hours at the edge of the crowd; it was only until late in the afternoon that she tentatively approached one of the nurses.
Sitting inside the clinic Mary finally removed her sunglasses. The skin around the right eye was black and purple. The eye was closed shut with swelling. I went and sat with Mary in order to fill out her patient registration form. When I asked what had happened to her eye she told me that her husband had hit her.
The doctor led Mary to a room in order to analyse her eye under a microscope. Although I knew that Mary had been badly hurt, I was totally unprepared for what I saw. Bill, our ophthalmologist, pried Mary’s eye open. The sclera (the white part of her eye) was a dark brown, with patches and twists of crimson red. In contrast, her pupil was a light blue. Mary had been punched so hard that her retina had been detached. She had been blinded in her right eye.
Domestic violence is prevalent in all societies. Even though I know it occurs back home in New Zealand I guess I was not particularly aware of it, with the issue always being kept behind closed doors in someway regarded as taboo. After meeting Mary I quickly learned that domestic violence is somewhat accepted within Papua New Guinea society. When I talked to a community health worker in one of villages she told me that she sees cases of domestic abuse everyday, that it is normal here and widely talked about. She explained that if a woman has not made dinner by a certain time, a “beating” can be the punishment.
Some of the male volunteers on the Medical Ship go into villages and run ‘men’s talks’, where a range of issues that are relevant in Papua New Guinea are discussed, including domestic violence. After meeting Mary, I asked if I could come along to one of the talks in order to get some perspective.
The men talked about how it is important to think before you act; that when you are overcome with anger you are no longer in control. At the end of this talk the volunteers asked if anyone had any questions or anything to add. A softly spoken man, sitting near the front of the room slowly raised his hand, “If men are the boss of the house and the woman misbehaves then how are we supposed to deal with it?” A discussion ensued about how men and women are both created equal in God’s sight, and the importance of mutual respect. It is discussions like these that can help stop the cycle of domestic abuse.
My heart has been broken after meeting Mary and with the knowledge that there are many others that are just like her. After the doctor informed Mary that she will now be permanently blind in her right eye I spent some time talking and praying with her –that she would understand her true worth, that she would know that she is beloved beyond her understanding. I guess this has become my heart for this whole outreach; that the women of Papua New Guinea will come to know their true value.
 
Written by Lucy Kyle
*Name changed for privacy

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Discipleship Training School - Townsville Campus

Our Discipleship Training School (DTS) gives you the opportunity to set aside five and a half months of your life to grow in your faith while serving the world around you. After 13 weeks of training and discipleship at our campus in Townsville, Australia, we take you on nine weeks of cross-cultural outreach. The DTS is a life-changing experience! 

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship 

Dates
  • 28 January - 28 June, 2024
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 13 October, 2024 - 14 March, 2025
  • 26 January - 27 June, 2025
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025
  • 19 October, 2025 - 20 March 2026

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Discipleship Training School - Port Moresby Campus, Papua New Guinea

The DTS will run from our satellite campus in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The DTS will include a unique combination of discipleship, hands-on missions experience during both lectures and outreach, and the opportunity to make history as we establish a new campus in Port Moresby for generations to come.

Dates
  • 28 January - 28 June, 2024
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 26 January - 27 June, 2025
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025

 

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Introduction to Global Health & Development

Be immersed in a powerful combination of essential basic healthcare knowledge and community development training, with a focus on preventing illness, promoting holistic wellbeing, and empowering communities to develop their strengths.

Townsville Campus

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Port Moresby Campus
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025
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HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

 

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Global Health & Development Gap Year

Our Global Health & Development Gap Year calls those whose heart beats to see communities thriving - physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. The Global Health & Development Gap Year is designed for both those that have experience in the health / community development industry, and for those who are starting out on their journey of healthcare in missions.

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship

HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

Dates

28 January - 13 December 2024

26 January - 12 December 2025

 

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Discipleship Bible School

During the course, you will have an opportunity to dig deep into the Bible, reading through all 66 books, gaining an overall perspective of God’s story. You will learn techniques for effective Bible study, and your speakers will help unlock the Bible’s fascinating content.

You will also be taught on topics. For example – you will look at Worldview and Origins as you study through Genesis, Exodus, and Job. Or you might look at Leadership and Worship as you study the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Chronicles, and the Psalms. Each book is filled with insights to be discovered!

Dates

28 January - 28 June 2024

26 January - 27 June 2025

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Introduction to Radio & Media

Good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families, and communities! Our mission is to train and equip effective communicators to share good news and influence positive community growth.

CUA31020 Certificate III in Screen and Media

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Our wide range of registered training courses are designed to help equip you for your field of passion.

We combine elements of informal, formal, and non-formal education to not only impart knowledge and skill, but also good character, important life skills, and the motivation to serve and invest into the lives of others.

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Join YWAM Staff

Our volunteer staff team is a diverse mix of different nationalities, ages, skills, giftings, and backgrounds. Their dedication and passion makes what we do possible and we are always looking to expand our team!

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Pathways with YWAM

We have a range of pathways within our training and ministry that allows you to specialise in your area and grow your skillsets. From Hospitality to Global Health you can upskill yourself while impacting those around you

 


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Resources
Joining us for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) or Gap Year with us soon? We have compiled a few resources to help prepare you for the amazing journey that’s ahead!

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For Parents
Do you have a child that is interested in a YWAM DTS or Gap Year? We have created some resources for you as your child navigates their YWAM experience. 
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YWAM Precinct

Our recently developed YWAM Precinct located in Townsville’s CBD is the perfect hub for youth to find belonging and empowerment. A high, medium and low ropes course, brand new cafe, and multi-purpose warehouse space for seminars and other activities allows youth the opportunity to flourish through adventure based learning.

 

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Youth Ambassadors

As a Youth Ambassador you will have the opportunity to lead your peers and the wider community in helping to support the work of YWAM Medical Ships in Papua New Guinea.

 

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Work Experience

We offer the opportunity for students to complete their work experience at our city campus in Townsville. This unique opportunity gives students the ability to not only explore a future career pathway, but also get a taste of working with a local charity that is dedicated to serving the community.

 

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Schools & Youth Leaders

We know that really quality, committed youth workers, teachers and families are some of the best things young people can have in their formative years. Our hope is to make your job a little bit easier by offering adventure based learning, mentoring resources, leadership and training pathways, and service based learning opportunities for youth. 

 

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Transitional Accommodation

YWAM operates a home in Townsville for at-risk youth. YWAM receives tenant referrals from local collaborating youth support organizations.

 

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Vision & Approach

We have the hope to create a safe environment for the youth of Townsville to be, believing everyone has the right to hope for an abundant and healthy life physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. YWAM works in partnership and by invitation through Australia and Papua New Guinea.

 

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School Seminars

Our school seminar programs are designed to empower and motivate youth to live full and productive lives. Book these engaging and interactive seminars to strengthen your young people. 

 

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Youth Adventures

Youth Adventures is the ultimate service based learning opportunity for young people. We do all the work for your school or youth group so you can do the mission!

 

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Impact Summer

Make an Impact during your Summer as you engage in epic adventure, learning and serving. 

Gain valuable skills through hands-on learning experiences at The Stable and the new YWAM Precinct, complete with hiropes and rock climbing wall.

 

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VET in Schools

Vocational education is one of the best ways for young people to explore their passions and get equipped. We offer several registered training programs for youth. In addition to all of the expected elements of a training program, our courses have an emphasis on building good character and the soft skills needed to be employable, while also giving students the chance to practice their skills within our organisation. 

 


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Adventure Based Learning
Adventure based learning programs are complete with a high, medium, and low ropes course, cafe, and multi-purpose youth space to run programs with a ‘learn by doing’ and ‘challenge by choice’ philosophy.
 

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Precinct Cafe

Help build healthy lives and communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea while dining at the YWAM Precinct Cafe

YWAM Precinct Cafe is a not-for-profit cafe located at 312 Walker Street in Townsville’s CBD.

 


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Dental Trailer

YWAM Medical Ships is now operating a Dental Trailer in collaboration with key stakeholders in Port Moresby with the purpose of providing dental services, training opportunities, and health education to schools in the National Capital District.

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Small Boat Patrol Outreaches

YWAM Medical Ships is collaborating with key stakeholders in the nation by utilising small boats to bring health and training services right to the doorstep of those who need it most. These patrols have a specific focus on empowering the youth of communities to live healthy lives to contribute to a healthy nation.

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Ship Outreaches

YWAM Medical Ships - Australia & PNG has been operating medical and training vessels in PNG since 2010.

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Our Footprint

Delivering basic services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) poses enormous challenges with 84 percent of the population living in remote, rural areas.

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Annual Reports

Read or download our annual reports. 

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Advocate

Join the YWAM Medical Ships team by becoming a Community Ambassador or Youth Ambassador in your local community.

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Mission Build
Mission Building is a volunteer program that gives you the opportunity to experience life at our campus all while supporting our work in Australia and PNG. Join us for two weeks to three months at a time that suits you!
 
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Youth Adventures
Youth Adventures is the ultimate service based learning opportunity for young people. We do all the work for your school or youth group so you can do the mission!