Breaking Cycles of Poverty in Remote PNG

Written by Steve Blacket on Monday, 04 April 2016. Posted in Soil Child - Papua New Guinea

A bold vision is beginning to take shape for a comprehensive poverty reduction program in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Breaking Cycles of Poverty in Remote PNG

The Soil Child project is the initiative of Shila Phopo and aims to provide full access to primary education and basic health care, as well as development of agricultural practices that boost nutrition and the local economy.

Soil Child will commence in Pakura, in the highlands of PNG where Shila was raised, and is designed to be replicated throughout rural PNG. Little has changed in Pakura since Shila’s childhood, but recently the community has been mobilised to establish a basic pre-school, and building has commenced on two classrooms for the primary school. Fulcrum Aid is gathering resources to be sent to this and other primary schools throughout Hela Province. (Read our Blog to see the progress towards re-opening Pakura Primary School).

Academics and health professionals in Adelaide are collaborating with Fulcrum Aid to increase the capacity of the regional health system, with a focus initially on training and resourcing maternal health care workers. The project is to be implemented in partnership with Women In Development Foundation PNG, ensuring opportunities for the empowerment of women in a strongly patriarchal society.

The design of Soil Child is shaped by Shila’s Doctoral research through Flinders University exploring socio-cultural factors related to the development of a thriving society in rural PNG.

Would you like to know more? Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive regular updates on Soil Child.


About the Author

Steve Blacket

Steve Blacket

Steve is the Managing Director of Fulcrum Aid, an organisation dedicated to sustainable freedom from extreme poverty with partnerships in four countries across Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Steve’s urban ministry in South Australia led to lifelong friendships among the South Sudanese refugee community who requested Steve’s assistance with community development in their homeland. Working with a faith-based organisation Steve initiated and managed various projects in South Sudan including Darfur refugee support, training and resourcing Traditional Birth Attendants, an intervention program for war affected children, a Midwives Training School, a program for girl’s education, and a community agricultural enterprise. Steve also initiated education projects and social enterprises among the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Steve returned to Australia in 2013 with a vision of how a small, non-aligned aid organisation committed to assisting early stage, locally initiated projects could make a difference. Partnerships and project opportunities continue to grow, including slavery rehabilitation in South Sudan, social enterprises in Bangladesh, independence schemes for vulnerable young women in Uganda and South Sudan, holistic care for HIV affected children in Bangladesh, and resourcing a Nurse and Midwife School in Juba, South Sudan. Steve’s vision drew support from across Australia and in 2014 he led the founding of Fulcrum Aid, dedicated to supporting in-country leaders and harnessing Australian partners and resources so that local communities could move towards sustainable freedom from extreme inequality and poverty. Today Fulcrum Aid has a dedicated team of Directors and an expert staff including Business, Project, Publicity and Research consultants, supported by Steve in his role as Managing Director.

Contact Steve by email here.

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