“What is Papua New Guinea coming to when thieves rob those who try to help the most helpless?” HOPEworldwide(PNG) Country Director, Tessa Te Mata asked angrily yesterday when surveying the wreckage at their 3-Mile office in Port Moresby.
Thieves broke in on Sunday and stole medical equipment, computers and staff belongings and trashed the office.
This is the third security incident in less than a week for HOPEww(PNG).
Last week, two of HOPE’s staff at the 9-Mile clinic were attacked by a member of the public.
Patients fled in terror and staff were traumatised by the incident.
Nine-Mile is one of the busiest clinics in Port Moresby.
HOPE also operates a HIV/AIDs outreach and counselling clinic (the “Helvim Bilong Yumi Project”) at the Lawes Road clinic.
Operations were temporarily suspended last week after the husband of one of the main clinic’s staff was car jacked in the car park.
“HOPEworldwide(PNG) is not a rich organisation” said Ms Te Mata.
“We survive on donations and grants from overseas and here in PNG.
"We barely have enough each month to pay our staff.
"Yet every year our staff have to endure robberies and attacks, sometimes at gun point.
"Every year thousands of people depend on HOPEworldwide(PNG) for medical treatment and awareness about HIV/AIDs, diabetes and TB; we sponsor hundreds of children who would not go to school otherwise; we help dozens of farmers earn a living; and we have put millions of library books into schools across the nation. Stealing from us is stealing hope and help from people like this.”
Ms Te Mata called on the public to remember the work of faith based organisations, NGOs and volunteers who work tirelessly for little or no pay.
“There is poverty and hardship in PNG.
"But instead of robbing each other we need to help each other.
"NGOs are here to help communities.
"But communities need to help us too - do not shelter the heartless cowards who did this and do not buy cheap medical equipment or computers off the street because that encourages them to keep stealing.
"One day it might be your child or your mother we can’t help because of break-ins like this.”
HOPE worldwide (PNG) is a Christian non-government organisation founded in 1994. Our mission is to bring hope and change lives by providing medical, educational, and social services to underprivileged Papua New Guineans.