KUNDIAWA - In an emotional presentation on Saturday, a Kundiawa company operated by brother and sister Andy and Josephine Siure, Greenland Limited, has presented a cheque for K5,000 to the ‘Simbu for Australia Bushfire Appeal’.
Appeal patron and Simbu provincial administrator Michael Bal Temai received the cheque on behalf of the fundraising committee.
“I wouldn’t be here like what I am now if it wasn’t for Australia,” said Greenland Motel managing director Andy Siure.
“It was Australia who taught me to speak English and groomed me to be who I am now. And I speak for most of my fellow Papua New Guineans across the country.
“Australia is like a mother to PNG. In good times and bad times, Australia is always here for PNG and there is no better time to show them our appreciation when they are faced with this devastating bushfire.
“This is the right time to show them that we Papua New Guineans have not forgotten them.
“We must show them that we care and are with them through small financial support like this,” Mr Siure said as he handed the cheque to Mr Temai.
He also thanked and commended the small group of volunteers who initiated the fundraising appeal. When Andy mentioned the amount, it was a shock to the volunteers and they couldn't hold their tears back.
Mr Siure added that it would be good if other business houses in Simbu and the Simbu politicians also gave support also to this noble cause.
In receiving the cheque, Mr Temai thanked Greenland Limited for donating a huge amount of money to the appeal. He said since fundraising started two weeks ago, this was the first time a donation of this size was received.
“A good portion of Australia and its people are affected by the bushfires,” Mr Temai said. “Australia is capable of rebuilding itself. However, we Simbus, as Simbu people always do to others in need, must show Australia that we do care and our hearts are with them at this time of their greatest disaster.
“We are geographically, politically and historically close friends. We must support them however small it may be. It is a gesture of kindness that we must show them.”
Mr Temai said he would talk to the seven Simbu MPs this week for their support.
Simbu for Australia Bushfire Appeal chairman Mathias Kin also thanked Andy and Josephine Siure and said most of the K10 thousand deposited in the account was in toeas, one kinas and two kinas, which showed that most of the money came from thousands of villagers and ordinary Simbus.
Only a handful of people denoted larger amounts, Mr Kin said, referring to Dr Ga’allah Peter Kora, Robert Muka and Derbbie Kapal of Jiwaka who each donated one thousand kina.
“Greenland is the first private sector entity to donate such a big amount boosting our effort and we really appreciate very much your kind heart,” he said.
Mr Kin challenged all government agencies and business houses in Simbu, saying: “Every Simbu, whether government or villager, benefited from Australia in many different ways. If Greenland Limited with Simbus from the informal sector and a few kind hearted people can come forth with such generosity , why can’t the others?”
The Simbu appeal was the first in PNG to start fundraising to support Australia in its effort to rebuild from the most devastating bushfires.
So far the group has raised nearly K15,000.
The tentative date for winding down the appeal is on Friday. In the remaining days, any Simbu or friend of Simbu who wish to support the fundraising can donate to BSP account number 7108 875 471. The account name is Simbu for Australia Bushfire Appeal.
You can contact the organisers on 675 71122365 or 675 73294147.
At the end of the fundraising, the amount raised by the Simbu and Jiwaka communities will be presented to the PNG government through prime minister James Marape who will then direct it to the Australian government in one pool with funds raised elsewhere.