International Projects

Madang School Desk Project
For many years Rotary clubs in Australia have had a strong association with Papua New Guinea.  Our nearest neighbour and one of the largest islands in the world, PNG is a fascinating place; a very heterogeneous society with a rapidly urbanising Melanesian population now over six million – and some 700 different ethnic spoken languages.
Despite its growth and natural resources, PNG struggles and often falls well short in providing its population with the services we in Australia normally regard as essential.  At the request of, and in collaboration with, the Rotary Club of Madang in PNG, the Rotary Club of Stirling originally made a contribution of $2,000 dollars to cover the cost of construction of twenty school desks; desks that were allocated to a needy school in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. (in this case the Lutheran mission day school).  The desks were made by local tradesmen using very durable kwilla timber, with each desk seating two students.
Whether they are “State” or “Mission” schools, many schools in PNG find it hard to secure resources to equip themselves adequately. The problem is exacerbated by the huge migration rate; migration from rural to urban areas, that is occurring in PNG and most other Pacific countries. It is not uncommon for children to take their lessons seated on the ground.  Mission schools mostly rely on donations while public “state” schools (small in number when compared to Australia) compete for limited government resources, along with other important social expenditure needs, e.g. hospitals and medical centers.  While there are many choices that can be made when it comes to Rotary assisting our neighbours, school desks and the ability to sit in a seat at school and write from a level surface makes life a little brighter and more comfortable for some.

In 2013 in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Madang in PNG, the Stirling Rotary Club continues to play an important ongoing role assisting financially with the provision of school desks; desks that are placed in mission schools within the Madang Province.  Many PNG schools cannot afford to buy desks so students simply sit on the ground, which makes writing difficult.  The desks we provide continue to be made by local tradesmen to a high standard using local durable Kwila timber.  To date we have funded some 50 double desks providing seating for around a 100 students.

Ron Malcolm,  Director of International Services


More of the international projects our club engages in are:

•   Supporting the Australian Rotary Health Research Foundation especially in mental health research
•    Supporting Polio Eradication
•    Hosting Group Study Exchange
•    Disaster Relief Programs - Shelter Box
•    Timor Leste water and sanitation project
•    Donations in Kind Project in the Philippines
•    Cusco (Peru) Bus “Access to Education” Project