The Church Partnership Program launched its third phase yesterday with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis at the Gateway hotel.
The ceremony, held under the theme: ‘Collaborative Implementation and Strategic Partnerships’, was attended by Assistant Secretary Office of Religion, Warren Marape, representatives of the 7 mainline churches and their counterparts of the Australian Church-based NGOs.
The purpose of the Church Partnership program is to build the institutional capacity of PNG’s Churches to engage as civil society actors and improve their contribution to health, education and social service delivery in PNG.
Papua New Guinean churches play a significant role in local community development, from urban communities to the most remote parts of the country. They are known to influencing public debate and building a momentum of positive social change.
The 13-year journey for the church partnership program reflects a long standing partnership between the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is a significant achievement that has touched and changed the lives of many Papua New Guineans.
By way of improving the services they are already offering to the communities, this next phase, explores options for enhanced collective action.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed by Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) PNG (a project arm of the Seventh Day Adventist Church) and the Baptist Union to formalise the roll out of the first-ever adult literacy curriculum in Papua New Guinea. A program that paves way for illiterate persons’ to take phonics classes.
Once the illiterate person(s) graduate, they can move on to further their education at the primary or vocational school level.
The adult curriculum has also caught the attention of other churches who are very much interested in carrying out the program as well.
ADRA PNG’s focus now is to set up one system so that all churches are taught to train level one, then level two of the curriculum, to ensure there is coordination and efficiency in the program.