About PNG – Papua New Guinea

In 2013 Paradise 4 Kids were invited to open a version or extension of its Charity in PNG by an Australian Mining Company to help distribute funds the mining company reinvested back into the provinces where their mining activities were active.

Papua New Guinea (PNG; Tok Pisin: Papua Niugini), officially named the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western portion of the island is a part of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua) and numerous offshore islands. It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region described since the early 19th century as Melanesia. The capital is Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. According to recent data, 841 different languages are listed for the country, although 11 of these have no known living speakers. There may be at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of about 6.3 million. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18% of its people live in urban centres. The country is one of the world’s least explored, culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of Papua New Guinea.

Strong growth in Papua New Guinea’s mining and resource sector has led to PNG becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world as of 2011.Despite this, many people live in extreme poverty, with about one-third of the population living on less than US$1.25 per day. The majority of the population still live in traditional societies and practice subsistence-based agriculture. These societies and clans have some explicit acknowledgement within the nation’s constitutional framework. The PNG Constitution expresses the wish for “traditional villages and communities to remain as viable units of Papua New Guinean society” and for active steps to be taken in their preservation.

Papua_New_Guinea_mapAfter being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975 after the demand of the United Nations that Australia cease to administer it. It became a separate Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II reigning as its Head of State.

Despite vast natural and mineral wealth, Papua New Guinea is a very poor country and poverty impacts on the daily lives of almost all of the population. Poverty is exacerbated by among other things; extreme rural isolation; high rates of crime and violence; a burgeoning HIV/AIDS epidemic and recent political turmoil.

Only about 40 percent of Papua New Guineans enroll in school, 5.5 percent of babies born will die before they are two years old and the average life expectancy is just 57 years at birth.

The PNG education system faces a number of challenges. These include poor access to schools, low student retention rates and issues in the quality of education. It is often hard for children to go to school, particularly in the rural areas, because of distance from villages to schools, lack of transport, and cost of school fees. There are not enough schools or classrooms to take in all school-aged children, and often the standard of school buildings is very poor.

For those children who do go to school, retention rates are low. Teacher quality and lack of required teaching and educational materials are ongoing issues. Church-run schools make a huge contribution to education in PNG with more than 50 per cent of elementary and primary schools administered by churches.

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