FOUR HUNDRED street children in Port Moresby will go to school this year through an education program initiated by a charity organization.
The total cost of educating these 400 children is just under K500,000 money that was raised entirely from public and other donations, the charity organization says.
Life PNG Care, which has been helping unfortunate children get a second chance through education since 2013, said these 400 include 85 children in elementary, 223 in primary, 86 in secondary and six in tertiary institutions. This figure is an increase of 100 from last year’s figures of 300, Life Care PNG figures show. It said the total cost to educate all these 400 students this year is K480,000.
Life PNG Care director Colin Pake said the figure could have been 500 for this year, but 100 children dropped out because it could only afford to send 400, a tough scenario it has faced since the inception of the education program in 2013, when it started with only eight children.
“Initially, Life PNG Care had registered 500 children this year but we are able to assist only 400 children due to limited resources,” Mr Pake said last week.
“Unfortunately, 100 children have been left out. We do not know what these 100 unfortunate children will do, as the school year has started. I think they will add on to the statistics of the out of school children in PNG.
“I believe one factor affecting these 100 children left out of school is because of the government’s introduction of school fees components for this year. Special children under this category, especially orphans and unfortunate ones should be assisted by the government. They are fully registered to benefit under our SPEP but they are left out,” Mr Pake said.
Elizabeth Kalop, 18, is one of the lucky 400. She is in grade 11 at the Marianville Girls Secondary School in Moresby Northeast. When the Post-Courier visited her last week, she was full of gratitude for Mr and Mrs Pake, who she now calls mum and dad….
Tears welled up in her eyes when she recounted the love and care the Pake family gave her when she needed it the most. she is very determined to complete her education and pay back the help, and be the big sister to other children at Life PNG Care.