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PNG Freemasons empower local youths with disabilities

Freemasons in Papua New Guinea have come forward to help with upgrades at a local centre for children and young people with disabilities. Their efforts will help ensure the second and final construction stage – a double classroom – can begin.

Madang Masonic Lodge No.380, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket, has donated AUD$6,000 to the Creative Self Help Centre. The centre is one of the only places of its kind in the remote northern province.

It provides vital education and rehabilitation services for local children and young people who live with disabilities, empowering them to lead independent lives.

Madang Lodge Secretary Ken McArthur said the funds raised would go towards purchasing materials and equipment required to complete the project.

“We’re really excited to see the double classroom come together,” Ken said.

“I personally have been involved with the centre for 20 years and can only describe their work as exemplary.

“Creative Self Help Centre is an independent organisation, with professionals and volunteers who are truly passionate about the work they do.”

“Freemasonry teaches us to look out for others in our community. So, by giving a hand up to an organisation that educates and empowers young people with intellectual and physical disabilities to lead independent lives, we are putting our values into action,” Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark congratulated the Lodge for its charitable efforts.

“This initiative really hit home for Hand Heart Pocket, because we strive to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“By helping with the construction of the second half of the double classroom, we will be enhancing not only the learning environment but clients’ overall wellbeing.

“This is the first time Madang Masonic Lodge No.380 and Hand Heart Pocket have worked together to make a difference in Papua New Guinea. We hope we can continue working together for the betterment of local communities in Madang Province,” he said.

As an independent charity founded by the Freemasons of Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket helps in areas of state-wide and local need that have limited access to other funding. We work with other charities to identify and fund initiatives that have real, life-changing potential. We also collaborate with Masonic Lodges all across Queensland and help individuals in times of extreme need to get them back on their feet. We use our funds wisely to give a hand up - to build potential, not encourage permanent dependence.

For more information about Hand Heart Pocket, visit www.handheartpocket.org.au
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