20 Sep 2007

Catholic Bishops praise scheme to help orphans in PNG's squatter settlements

3:33 pm on 20 September 2007

The Catholic Bishops Conference in Papua New Guinea welcomes the establishment of a community based group that is to look after some of the estimated five to ten thousand orphans in the capital's squatter settlements.

There are no social welfare payments or orphanages in the country, and a group of concerned residents with the help of Catholic priest, John Glynn, has established WeCare to help the capital's orphans.

Volunteers currently care for about 150 children by teaching them basic skills and by providing meals and clothing.

The secretary of the Bishops Conference, Father Nick de Groot, says the orphans need the help urgently.

"I'm very heartened by the participation by the local women who are concerned, reaching out very concretely by getting the girls off the street, giving them care and they are being tought how to read and write. For John at his age of 71 to be able to bring these people together, it's really marvellous."

Father Nick de Groot, says the group is starting to raise awareness among officials.