Your Kokoda Trail trek – most of what you spend stays in Papua New Guinea
Firstly, a lion’s share of what you spend on the cost for your Kokoda Trail trek stays in Papua New Guinea. Apart from tour logistics and administration, a large portion is spent on paying local employees, and meeting tour-related service expenses. And that’s one thing we’re really focused on – helping Papua New Guinean families benefit from employment and income generating opportunities.
Helping the children in PNG
Secondly, but most importantly, some of the money goes towards helping the children in PNG, through their fathers, brothers, uncles and cousins, who we employ as our local guides and porters.
Here’s how doing Kokoda helps
These are some of the areas where your money is put in to very good use in helping PNG children:
You’re helping parents afford school fees for their children so they can have a better education. According to UNICEF, close to 50% of primary school-aged children do not have access to education, with more boys attending school than girls. This is mainly caused by the lack of financial and parental support, and better school facilities, especially for girls. PNG’s net enrolment rate of 63% is the lowest in Asia Pacific region.
Basic learning skills
You’re also helping the children to acquire basic learning skills to progress through school and life, such as learning to write, read and comprehend, and solve simple math problems. Only a third of the children in PNG are taught basic learning skills, and those in urban areas are more likely to benefit than their rural counterparts.
Early childhood learning
Early childhood learning for babies and toddlers isn’t recognised by the PNG education system at the present time. So your money will go a long way in helping parents to afford and create self-learning opportunities for their children at home at an early age, such as buying second hand books, stationaries, and learning to read, write and count
The country’s education system doesn’t fully cater for the needs of children with disabilities and special needs. In PNG, this group of children are less likely to receive an education, stay longer in school, go on to a higher grade, or find a job. By visiting the country, you’re helping them, through their parents, have access to vital services such as education and health. It’s been reported that around 15% of the country’s population are living with some form of disability without proper support.
Your help may also be used to support husbands and partners of pregnant mothers afford and have access to better health facilities, such as health centres and hospitals, staffed by trained doctors, nurses and health workers. Mothers in rural areas have to be transported long distances and over several days, to get medical help, due to the ruggedness and remoteness of the country. But your support will ease the burden of related expenses, such as plane tickets and hospital fees, and get them to the nearest hospital on time to give birth without any qualms.
Health support and nutrition
Besides child birth, having access to proper health support will ensure children are immunised and parents get proper advice on better nutrition for their babies and children. This will protect them from major diseases such as tuberculous, hepatitis and typhoid, prevent malnutrition, and help with the growth and health of their children.
By helping children, you’re indirectly creating the self-awareness that children have rights which need to be protected. They share the same rights as adults do, in many cases, such as education and health. Despite the country’s rapid economic growth in recent times, PNG children continue to suffer from neglect and abuse.
Your decision to walk the Kokoda Trail will do so much good in the lives of the children in PNG. This will give them hope for the future and help them to be better citizens and leaders in their communities.
Helping and making a difference
Finally, this world is about helping and making a difference in the lives of others.
There are governments, organisations, groups and individuals committed to helping as well.
The Kokoda Track Authority, with whom we’re a licensed tour operator, also helps out through funding and development programs for the Kokoda Trail communities. Part of this money is from the trekking fee you pay to walk the Kokoda Trail.
Another significant assistance worth mentioning is Kokoda Initiative. The KI is a joint partnership between the PNG and Australian governments, aimed at developing and protecting the Kokoda Trail, including areas around the Owen Stanley Range. Part of its commitment is improving the quality of life of the communities living along it, managing the trail, and keeping it open for you.
Trek for the children
So join a Kokoda Trail trek today and help the children and their families. Click this link to view our broad range of treks and tours on offer led by expert Australian and PNG trek leaders.