Callan Services for Disabled Persons, Papua New Guinea
Callan Services for Persons with a Disability is a Papua New Guinean NGO founded by the Christian Brothers in 1991. Originally based in the town of Wewak, there are now nine Callan centres around the country helping people with disabilities.
Callan Services trains people all around the country in areas such as disabilities, community-based rehabilitation, eye and ear health and special education. They have numerous resource centres and clinics which provide physical, eye and ear care.
Gary & Helen Wolhuter
Palms will place Helen and Gary Wolhuter to work for Callan Services for Disabled Persons for two years.
Helen brings with her over twelve years of experience as a physiotherapist. She has training in all aspects of physiotherapy including sports medicine, aged care, rehabilitation, women’s health and musculoskeletal care. Helen’s role will include extending physiotherapy beyond the main centre of Wewak and also in training local staff in Community Based Rehabilitation.
Gary has worked since 1997 providing therapeutic massage, pilates and personal training. He has previously worked in the construction industry where he developed administrative and management skills. As Logistics Manager he will provide training local staff in finance matters, specifically in project funding. He will assist in the coordination of some building projects.
Together they will contribute to reducing poverty in Papua New Guinea, by increasing services available to people with disabilities, reducing stigmas and misunderstandings associated with disabilities and training local staff to continue the work after they return home.
June 23, 2009
One story this year especially highlighted the importance of a Community Development approach — that is, one which is driven by local initiative as much as possible.
“I’d been in placement for just under a year when I was asked to take some visiting Australians up to see a gravity fed water supply system that was not functioning.”
“They identified what they thought were the problems (some holes in the pipes), and promised to return in six months to patch the holes.”
“I found out later that they were totally inexperienced in working with gravity fed systems and didn’t understand the concepts, and that it was going to cost about $13,000 to send them up. I felt I had to challenge this approach.”
“I was able to convince the Australian partner organisation that a local Timorese company, with the appropriate expertise, could be employed without spending so much on flights.”
“We also employed a Timorese NGO (non-government organisation) to manage community expectations and understanding of the project and to provide education about the appropriate use of the system.”
“Doing it this way reduced the cost significantly. The skills of the local experts were respected and used. The project demonstrated the local capacity to solve local problems. Overall, the project this way has a good chance of being sustainable. My opinion is that sending Australian plumbers up to fix the system, at best, would have achieved nothing.”
Thank you to all the returnees for sharing their stories and to Sr Marlene Hixon, who once again facilitated the process.
October 23, 2008
Just as Australia is more than just the Opera House, cricketers, kangaroos and beer, there is so much more to our northern neighbour than popular images give credit to.
In the last edition of Palms Post, as part of our celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the Paulian Association, we reflected upon the memories and achievements of Palms volunteers and staff from the 1960s, 70’s and 80’s. In this edition, we move into the 1990’s and the first decade of the new millennium.
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Papua New Guinea
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 […]