Newcastle-based charity ship – s/v Ruach – will return from its stint in Papua New Guinea next month hoping to garner the support of the Hunter ahead of its second voyage later this year, the Newcastle Herald reports.
The Ruach, which was docked at Queens Wharf last year before leaving for PNG in October, is run by YWAM Ships – a Christian charity working with the PNG Government to achieve health and training outcomes.
Their work is aligned to the PNG Government’s national strategic plan, “Vision 2050”, which aims to make “Papua New Guinea become a smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy society by 2050”.
YWAM has been working in PNG for eight years, but Newcastle’s ship is on a maiden nine-month voyage.
Based in the Milne Bay Province, an area of over 600 islands, the Ruach is working with the Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority to deliver services in primary health care, dentistry, optometry, and vaccination, as well as training locals in ship roles.
“There are about eight, possibly nine million people in Papua New Guinea and there is critical health needs, absolutely critical,” Mike Reynolds, YWAM Ships’ Australian patron told the Newcastle Herald.
“One in thirteen children die before the age of five, five women die in childbirth everyday, there’s one dentist for every 100,000 people.”
YWAM, working with the PNG government, hopes to see such statistics improve in the next few years.
The Ruach departs Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province, in early June. After a stop in Townsville, it will arrive in Newcastle around June 30.