Kokoda Track Foundation

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The Kokoda Track Foundation
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Type Educational Charity

The Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF) is an Australian philanthropic non-governmental organisation founded in 2003. The KTF supports an indigenous people of Papua New Guinea who were known as Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels for their assistance to Australian troops during the World War II Kokoda Track campaign in New Guinea. The Foundation provides education, health, and community service programmes such as disaster relief, microbusiness promotion and sustainable ecotourism.[1][2][3]

History of the Kokoda Track Foundation[edit]

The Kokoda Track Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that works with the communities living along and around the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Following its formation in 2003, the KTF funded and prepared a Strategic Plan for Tourism for the Kokoda Track. The Kokoda Track Foundation lobbied for, and on 11 June 2003, the PNG government established, the Kokoda Track Special Purpose Authority (KTA). The KTA's first action was the development of an ecotrekking strategy to enable the people along the track "to optimise the benefits from tourism and enable them to take a leading role in their own development".[4] The Foundation initially started provided young children in PNG with school scholarships. Over the years, the Foundation increased its support to include other areas of health, education and welfare.[5]

The Chairman of KTF is Patrick Lindsay and Dr. Genevieve Nelson is the Executive Director of the foundation.[6][7] Board members include Yahoo Serious and Bill James (co-founder of Flight Centre).[7]

KTF in Papua New Guinea[edit]

The foundation currently works in four main areas: education, health, community development and micro-business.

Education programs[edit]

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Scholarships[edit]

The Foundation supports elementary, primary, secondary and tertiary students with Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Scholarships.[5] The scholarships cover students' tuition fees, educational resources and uniform, food, and boarding (where applicable). In 2014, the Foundation provided more than 450 students with Scholarships.

Kokoda College[edit]

The Kokoda College is a planned state-of-the-art training facility based in remote Kou Kou village. It will offer courses in Elementary & Primary Teaching and Community Health Work.[8]

Elementary and Primary Teacher Training[edit]

The Foundation has trained more than 60 elementary teachers and assisted members of the communities to train as primary teachers via the PNG Diploma of Primary Teaching.[5] These teachers will return to their home villages to operate the schools after they have graduated from the course.

School Resource and Infrastructure Support[edit]

In 2014, KTF continued to support 43 elementary, primary and secondary schools with educational resources including textbooks and library books, stationery, teacher resources, furniture, and general maintenance for classrooms.[9][5]

Archer Leadership Scholars Program[edit]

The Foundation's Archer Leadership Scholars program, funded by the Fred P. Archer Charitable Trust, annually awards scholarships to six tertiary students in PNG who have demonstrated exceptional academic abilities, promising leadership skills and a desire to go on to future leadership roles in PNG.[10][11][5]

Health programmes[edit]

The Kokoda Track Foundation is currently supporting nine students from villages along the Kokoda Track to train as Community Health Workers at various schools of nursing throughout the country. Once qualified, these community members return to their home village and operate the local aid post. The foundation funds the salaries of Community Health Workers along the Track to ensure that aid posts and health centres remain open and health services are available to local villagers. The foundation also funds and delivers vital drugs and medical resources to aid posts and health centres in the Kokoda Track catchment area including the Kokoda Memorial Hospital. [12][13][5]

Microbusiness[edit]

This year the foundation is continuing the Pawa Givim Meri project in eleven villages along the Kokoda Track. Via Pawa Givim Meri, small business workshops, cooking classes, and literacy training are run with women's groups in villages, assisting them to earn an income from the trekking industry. The women are establishing permanent shop fronts from which they can sell their food and products like solar lights to passing trekkers.[14][15]

Community development programs[edit]

Lighting Up The Track[edit]

The Kokoda Track Foundation delivers solar lights – to date this has been a total of 4,500 lights – one for every adult along the track! Solar lighting has enormous benefits for communities and helps to alleviate poverty, improve health, and enhance educational opportunities for young children. Communities have been given a vital source of light that is changing lives.[16][5]

Disaster Relief[edit]

The foundation has responded to disasters including flooding and cyclones in the volatile Oro Province. In January 2013, KTF responded to severe flooding that submerged the food gardens of thousands of villagers. KTF arranged the delivery of rice and tinned fish to hundreds of villages during the crucial periods when their food gardens were submerged and couldn't be accessed.

Sustainable Ecotourism[edit]

Immediately following the formation of the Kokoda Track Foundation, KTF funded and prepared a Strategic Plan for Tourism for the Kokoda Track and lobbied for PNG government support of the plan.[4] The plan focuses on the environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects of tourism development. KTF now partners with key groups to ensure appropriate implementation of the plan and to ensure that local communities benefit from the growing trekking industry.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What We Do". The Kokoda Track Foundation. The Kokoda Track Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Oxford Business Group (2012). The Report: Papua New Guinea 2012. Oxford Business Group. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-907065-62-0. 
  3. ^ Stephen Wearing; John Neil (9 April 2009). Ecotourism. Routledge. p. 142. ISBN 978-1-136-44084-7. 
  4. ^ a b Wearing, Stephen; Wearing, Michael; McDonald, Matthew (23 July 2009). "Understanding local power and interactional processes in sustainable tourism: exploring village—tour operator relations on the Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea". Journal of Sustainable Tourism: 6. doi:10.1080/09669580903071995. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Ross, Vincent (October 28, 2012). "Walking with heroes at Kokoda". The Herald Sun (News, Ltd.). Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Lindsay, Patrick. "Biography". www.patricklindsay.com.au. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Board". The Kokoda Track Foundation. The Kokoda Track Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  8. ^ http://kokodacollege.com/
  9. ^ Lynn, The Honorable Charlie. OF NEW SOUTH WALES "Kokoda Track Foundation - 12/11/2003 - ADJ - NSW Parliament". Parliament of New South Wales. State of New South Wales. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Hibbert, Zoe (24 November 2011). "THE TRUST COMPANY ANNOUNCES 17 STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS IN THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR WORTH OVER $5 MILLION" (Press release). The Trust Company Limited. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.businessadvantagepng.com/opinion-mentoring-papua-new-guineas-next-generation-of-leaders/
  12. ^ http://www.kokodatrackfoundation.org/community-health-worker-scholarships.aspx
  13. ^ "Kokoda Track Foundation". Papua New Guinea Department of Education. Government of Papua New Guinea. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.iconadventures.com.au/uploads/doc/Kokoda_Track_Foundation_-_12_months_of_achievements_FINAL_email.pdf
  15. ^ "The Kokoda Initiative". Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Australian Government. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  16. ^ http://flexiwaysolar.com/thoughts/lighting-up-png-kokoda-track-foundation-and-flexiway-solar/
  17. ^ http://paulinevetuna.wordpress.com/tag/stella-magazine/
  18. ^ http://www.noroadsfoundation.com/project-the-kokoda-track-foundation-ktf.html

External links[edit]