Our Volunteers: Barry & Yvonne Dunne volunteering in Bougainville

Callan Services for Disabled Persons, Papua New Guinea

Buka public transport
Callan Services is a Catholic organisation working with people with disabilities in Papua New Guinea.

Based on Buka island in the newly autonomous Bougainville Province of Papua New Guinea, Callan Services provides Community Based Rehabilitation for the disabled.

In addition to the health problems usually associated with the developing world, the ten-year civil war known as the “Bougainville Crisis” left many local people with a variety of injuries and disabilities. Callan Services for Disabled Persons works throughout Bougainville to provide physiotherapy for and education about disabilities.

Diocese of Bougainville

The Catholic Diocese of Bougainville has played an important part in helping the people of Bougainville return to a peaceful existence. Its offices in health, education, justice and peace, HIV/AIDS, women’s affairs and youth affairs provide vital services and support to all Bougainvilleans, not just the 80 per cent who are Catholic.

Bishop Henk Kronenberg, SM, placed a request with Palms Australia to provide volunteers to work with and train diocesan staff in administration and governance and Callan Services staff in natural therapies.

Barry & Yvonne Dunne

Barry and Yvonne

Yvonne will establish a natural therapy program in close relationship with the staff of Callan Services incorporating training of local staff, volunteers and nurses in a side-by-side mentoring role. Yvonne has previously volunteered for Micah Projects, an outreach program which involves using touch therapy with the homeless of Brisbane, many of whom are mentally, emotionally or physically disabled.

Barry will train and supervise a number of diocesan staff in proper administrative techniques and procedures. He will emphasise and encourage accountability, better cooperation, effective governance and responsible financial management. Barry has previously worked for the Queensland Government managing their Taxi Subsidy Scheme for disabled people.

Re-Entry: Living cross-culturally presents a mix of emotions.

July 23, 2008

Is re-entry to our own culture even harder

“…Our time in Bougainville PNG was wonderful, exciting, frustrating, educational, happy, sad and sometimes infuriating; some or all of these emotions likely to occur on the one day. However we gained a greater understanding of what it’s like to live in another culture and developed wonderful relationships with some of the Bougainvillean people as we lived and worked among them. It was a valuable experience, hopefully for them and certainly for us. Since our return we have shared our story and experiences with many people through the Catholic Leader, our community church, friends and family in an effort to increase knowledge and understanding of our northern neighbours.

To our amazement, it has been quite difficult settling back into our culture and Palms, with their wealth of experience and the re-entry programme, have assisted and supported us along this path.”

(Barry & Yvonne Dunne, Buka, Bougainville, PNG, Jan 2006 – September 2007)

Barry & Yvonne Dunne’s CommUNITY News no. 4

August 12, 2007

We are getting really excited about going home and seeing all our family and friends again, but at the same time we are sad to be leaving here. So we are a bit up and down as you can imagine.

Click here to read the full article

Barry & Yvonne Dunne’s CommUNITY News no. 3

April 11, 2007

On Thursday a family arrived from south Bougainville to be tested for HIV/AIDS. This may not seem anything special, but here, and for the AIDS team, it is a big move forward. For a start, there is a huge stigma attached to AIDS and not a lot of knowledge. For this family of a man and his expectant wife and a three or four year old child to be prepared to come all the way to the centre for testing is a very big thing.

Click here to read the full article

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Papua New Guinea

PNG Flag

Population: 7,656,959

Area: 462,840 sq. km.

Median Age: 21.5

Literacy: 57.3 %

Languages: Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin), English, Motu, c.820 indigenous languages

The terrain of Papua New Guinea varies from its rugged mountainous spine to its beautiful beaches to its volcanic islands to one of the world’s largest swamps and the large river systems of the Sepik and Fly rivers. These geographical differences have created a unique country with many diverse cultures. The ties within a family […]

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