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White Australia Has A Black History

Friday, 26 June 2015

The challenge of Papua New Guinea landscape makes travel to remote communities difficult

Accessing remote areas core challenge of 
Anglican ministry in Papua New Guinea
 Photo Credit: Anglican Board of Mission 

The Anglican Board of Mission – Australia (ABM) has hosted a number of visitors from the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea throughout the first half of 2015. Many of them spoke about the challenges of accessing remote areas to deliver training, ministry and community development programs.

Archbishop Clyde Igara highlighted in particular the need to travel to other diocese to visit clergy but also to gather clergy together for training and professional development.

“The clergy tell me in their feedback that they miss that a lot. They miss training or refresher courses and workshops greatly,” he said.

ABM is working with the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea to support this need through the Archdeacon Training program in Popondota Diocese which has ten Archdeacons who have been selected to be trained for a month to better carry out their duties to assist the Diocese in providing pastoral care to each priest within its Deanery.

The project aims to allow clergy to do their pastoral work more effectively so that parishioners will respond positively in their Christian faith and ultimately build the faith of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.

Travel to remote areas is also a challenge in other programs such as the Building Local Skills project in which local people build their skills and improve their agriculture and community infrastructure, and education.

Jeffrey Kaka, one of the Program coordinators said, “Up in the highlands of Papua New Guinea that’s where most of our adult literacy activities are implemented, only apart from walking, you can only fly into some of the areas where the schools are implemented.

“So you either fly or you walk for a few days. So that is some of the challenges of working in the program; geographical remoteness of some of the locations where activities are being implemented, so you have to be pretty fit,” he said.

In Papua New Guinea only 59 per cent of females are literate and ABM is a supporter of Anglicare PNG's work which strengthens literacy rates through classes.

Learn more about the work in Papua New Guinea on the ABM website.