Anyone who has sailed to the Louisiades at the whip end of the PNG 'tail' knows the struggle these villagers have day-by-day.
Many people pay respect to these islands by providing goods, food, medicines and services when they can and Cruising Helmsman is more than willing to promote where possible.
One such person doing great work is Hans Clemmenson who has been organising his Solar Light Project for two years. Here is his story and your opportunity to assist.
“My name is Hans Clemmensen. My yacht Seagoon and I have been sailing the Pacific island waters for 24 years.
The Papua New Guinean people of the Louisiade Archipelago islands are very special to me. What I enjoy most about my sailing solar project is being able to train the locals and teach them skills to maintain the solar panels and batteries I install. My hope is that the lights will help children to read and study in the evenings and also assist the hospitals when delivering babies and attending to emergency cases at night.
It is very important that we provide sustainable solutions while using this wonderful natural resource the islands have plenty of….. sunshine.
In 2013 I started the Solar Light Project, whereby I collect second-hand solar panels, batteries and volt regulators. I sourced cable from recycle shops and bought LED lights and all the other items I need for installing the lights. This enabled me to easily install lights in the villages, hospitals.
On this trip I met a friend Dayna Russell who was also sailing the island chain. She had sourced donations from family and friends and businesses such as Bunzl, Russell Athletics, IGA Emerald, Master Home Improvements, Kincrome and Sportspower. A community group in her local town called Emerald Junior Football Club (Victoria, Australia donated jumpers, shorts and hats for the island kids.
Since this trip Dayna and I have built a friendship and share the same passion for the beautiful natural island life and its welcoming people. Dayna and I both agree they are very capable people who don’t need a ‘hand-out’ just a helping ‘hand-up’ to sustain this peaceful island life that they live.
2014 was another busy year helping the people as Cyclone Ita destroyed their food supply gardens and their houses were washed away. A Tasmanian nurse named Ingrid Salmon joined me on this trip and she assisted with much needed healthcare.
Ingrid also raised funds prior to arriving and the Hobart Private Hospital matched every cent. Emerald Junior Football Club and Dayna continued their support and the club donated their gate takings and other friends donated cash also. These funds were given to Ingrid Salmon prior to her departure from Australia so that food and supplies could be purchased from Misima Island to distribute to the villages.
Even though rebuilding and food supplies were our main concern we still managed to install lights in 8 villages.
I will be departing Cairns for Papua New Guinea in August 2015.
In 2015 this project will keep going as I have been given private funding to buy 10 solar panels, 10 x 35 amp batteries, volt regulators, LED lights and cable.
Further donations would assist greatly with the travel costs and food supplies for the local people. Tish Traster, from Florida, USA will be joining Seagoon this year, her medical experience will be a great help for the people.
We are looking for soccer boots for the guys, netball shirts for the women.
If anyone would like to support my project with small cash donation this can be done via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can direct debit to: Hans Clemmensen – Phone: +61417454187
NAME: PNG Solar Project
Feel free to empty your wallets …