Papua New Guinea
Goroka Festival. © Ivy Wang/ABM 2017.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.

Over 800 languages are spoken throughout the islands, and the national population of 8 million are comprised from over 1,000 distinct ethnic groups.

Goroka Festival. © Ivy Wang/ABM 2017.

It is also a country undergoing rapid change, as people move away from their villages to seek work and education in the cities. Because of the complexities of land tenure and the lack of employment opportunities, many end up living in settlements on the edges of the towns.

ABM and AID have had a long relationship with the Anglican Church of PNG (ACPNG) to address many of these challenges.

The Anglican Province of PNG is made up of five dioceses – Aipo Rongo, Dogura, New Guinea Islands, Popondota and Port Moresby. Around 3% of Papua New Guineans identify themselves as Anglican, although in some provinces such as Oro, this figure is as high as 60%.

Beginning in 1885, Australian missionaries were first sent to support the church to deliver its mandate, before a partnership model was adopted with ACPNG to empower local, community-based development. Today, AID works with both the church and Anglicare PNG, the church’s social and development arm, to support the building of sustainable communities.

More than 38% of Papua New Guineans live in below the poverty line (receiving less than US$1.90 per day.) There is also high level of gender inequality, with PNG ranking 140 on the Gender Inequality Index among the 155 countries surveyed in 2014.

Almost 40% of people over 15 are illiterate (35% are male and 42% female). Only 10% of women and 12.5% of men have received some secondary education. The average number of years a child spends at school is 5.5 years for males and 4 years for females, mostly in primary school.

The current focus of the AID partnership is on building capacity to serve communities in especially rural communities and urban settlement communities in the areas of literacy and numeracy, social inclusion, safeguarding and disaster management. AID also works with the Anglican Church of PNG as it equips itself to provide leadership in addressing social and economic challenges. We also currently support work by Anglicare and ACPNG to address COVID-19, especially in schools and rural and remote communities.

Your support of AID enables this important work to take place.

In addition to the work of AID in building sustainable communities, ABM supports ACPNG’s Newton Theological College, contributing to building a church to serve Papua New Guineans in the 21st Century.

Papua New Guinea

Following the Way (2010 Papua New Guinea Documentary)

This 40 minute documentary made by filmmaker Steve Ramsden (son of the former Bishop of Port Moresby, Peter Ramsden and his wife Sue Ramsden) gives an informative introduction to the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea and to PNG in general. The viewer is taken on a journey around the country, visiting all five dioceses of the Church where the stories of many people can be heard, stories which are still relevant today.

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The site of the first Church at Gona. The Wooden Cross is all that remains, and still has bullet holes from the Japanese invasion. The current Church of the Holy Cross is a little further inland. © Jeffrey Driver, 2018.
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