Thanks to Kokoda Angels

Written by Steve Blacket on Sunday, 03 March 2019.

Thanks to Kokoda Angels

Photo: Dorcas and Jeff Keough receiving a certificate of appreciation from Fulcrum Aid.

During 2018 Fulcrum Aid developed a strong partnership with Kokoda Angels as we worked together to source, sort and deliver seven shipping containers of medical equipment, educational resources and earthquake relief to Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

Kokoda Angels is a local charity run by Jeff and Dorcas Keough who for the past decade have provided medical support, emergency relief and education resources to communities in PNG. Through the charity Jeff was able to secure the use of a warehouse at Hackham that became the storage and distribution hub for several relief projects, including two from Fulcrum Aid. The Soil Child program has sent one shipping container of medical equipment and earthquake relief to the highlands of PNG and has one more container planned to be shipped later this year. Another 40 foot container of medical supplies is being sent to Lira in the north of Uganda. The two project leaders, Shila Yukuli Phopo and John Nelson Opio coordinated teams of volunteers to help move, sort and pack numerous truck loads of equipment.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the warehouse was emptied and we took the chance to say thankyou and celebrate the end of a productive and challenging project.

Jeff and Dorcas established Kokoda Angels just over ten years ago following the death of one of their friends at Kokoda in PNG. She died of malaria, which could have been easily treated if there was transport and medication available. The charity has since provided two ambulances based at Kokoda and has secured five acres of land for a marine medical base at Alotoa. Kokoda Angels is currently working on providing transportable emergency clinics, complete with solar water makers, that can be used for quick response to medical emergencies anywhere in PNG.

Even before Kokoda Angels was established Jeff was actively involved in humanitarian work in PNG, on one occasion sailing his yacht between two erupting volcanos to rescue 84 people who had missed the evacuation. 

Jeff and Dorcas worked tirelessly and at their own expense to complete the projects. They asked to publicly thank Mario Bollelo for his generosity in providing the warehouse, and CMV Group for the use of a truck. Much of the medical equipment was sourced from the old Royal Adelaide Hospital, donated by SA Health and facilitated by Rotary Donations in Kind.

Dorcas said “It has been amazing. This equipment will help thousands of people. For many people, they have to walk through two villages to get to a clinic. When they get there they don’t even have panadol. It can take months for medical supplies to come. But we also want to provide cocoa dryers so people can start generating their own income. We want people to be able to help themselves."

Jeff summed it up: “They didn’t forget us when we needed help, and we shouldn’t forget them now. We just want to keep this going."

You can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss supporting Kokoda Angels:

  • Donate, or call to discuss a business sponsorship
  • Provide administrative assistance
  • Join a work team that will rebuild a medical aid-post and nurses accommodation at Kokoda

 

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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