The road to Kokorogoro: celebrating 16 years of community development
Children`s Day is a huge annual community celebration which ChildFund organises in all of the communities we work with in Papua New Guinea. Aimed at the children, the day highlights the work and successes of child sponsorship in bringing about change in education, health, livelihoods and nutrition.
Kokorogoro is about three hour`s drive from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. Children`s Day in Kokorogoro brings together children and communities from six villages ChildFund PNG works with.
This year`s Children`s Day in Kokorogoro coincided with the National Primary Schools Book Week program, which was raising awareness of the importance of education. So we decided to focus the day on education and learning, with activities around public speaking, the arts and music.
We had a great turn out from all of the communities that make up the Kokorogoro area. The weather was fine and the day went off without a hitch, despite the challenges that led up to the event.
At the last minute the community decided to postpone the event due to local level government elections and a sudden death in one of the communities. Whilst postponing the event did cause inconvenience for all it was crucial that we listened to the wishes of community members and delayed the event out of respect for the deceased, his family and the whole community. The mutual respect and appreciation we hold for the communities we work in is very important to all staff at ChildFund PNG.
However, through persistence, hard work and patience we rescheduled the day. I feel proud of what the ChildFund team accomplished and I am very happy that this year`s Children`s Day was a success and enjoyed by all of the children.
Our day consisted of lots of dancing, singing and performing. We also had a display of reading books on offer to the children. Speeches were given by kids from four communities, ChildFund PNG staff and community representatives. Gift items, including healthcare packs, educational tools and equipment were also given to the children and their families, schools, local field staff and community members in recognition of their hard work and support.
As the day wrapped up members of two of the villages got up and sung a song they had written about ChildFund PNG and thanking the ChildFund staff for their contributions to making a difference in their lives. Varina, a ChildFund driver, also participated in the singing with his fellow community members. One of our staff members was even mentioned in the song, which surprised us all!
Their song was a wonderful way to end a great day. It made me feel proud of the work we do to support the children and their families of Kokorogoro.
At the end of the bumpy road to Children`s Day, I know we have made a difference in the Kokorogoro communities and I feel confident that ChildFund PNG can continue to help build brighter futures for their children.