JIMMY DREKORE, founder of Simbu Children Foundation, has been awarded what has been termed the 'Nobel Prize for Child Advocates'.
The World of Children Award is the highest recognition for people who contributed exceptionally to the betterment of children and Papua New Guinea is the first country in the Pacific to receive this global accolade.
Jimmy Drekore is well known to PNG Attitude readers as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and an established poet.
As well as his vital work with the Simbu Children Foundation, he is PNG’s Digicel Man of Honour and President of Simbu Writers Association.
He comes from the rugged mountains of Giu-Emmai in the Sinasina Yongomugl District of Simbu Province and this internationally honour reflects his commitment to improving the lives of sick, orphaned and otherwise disadvantaged children in Simbu over the last 12 years.
Jimmy started SCF in 2004 while working at the Newcrest gold mine on Lihir Island. In May 2013, he resigned from his lucrative job as an analytical chemist to work fulltime on the foundation raising and deploying funds to help children receive specialist medical services that were not available locally.
Through Jimmy’s work, many children with heart disease have been saved by cardiac specialists from Australia who come each year to Port Moresby. SCF also addresses other health issues affecting children’s health and wellbeing like providing CT scans and preventing parent to child transmission of HIV.
“I didn’t think it was real,” Jimmy said when asked how he felt about the award. “It took a while for me to digest and when I accepted it I showed the email to my wife and we were humbled.
“The Drekore family dedicates this World of Children Award to Simbu and all who have supported Simbu Children Foundation,” he added.
“I am glad I have supported SCF,” said Wera Mori MP, Member for Chuave, vice minister for mining in the PNG government and the only local MP who consistently supports the work of SCF.
Jimmy and his wife, Merlyn Waim Drekore, the invincible force behind the success story of SCF are flying to New York City this month to receive the award.
The award is worth $US50,000 and there is also a matching grant that SCF can obtain.
For every dollar raised by SCF, World of Children will match it with two dollars until the total reaches $US30,000.
To begin the fundraising in Simbu for the matching grant, a wheelbarrow push is planned for next Wednesday in Kundiawa Town.
Anyone interested in supporting SCF in its bid to raise the matching component can contact Jimmy at: [email protected].