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Oceania

2003-11-17

OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - VANIMO DIOCESE HAS FIRST HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS: INCREASING EFFORTS BY LOCAL CHURCH FOR THE EDUCATION AND PROMOTION OF WOMEN

Vanimo (Fides Service ) – The Catholic diocese of Vanimo has launched a bold plan for the education and promotion of young girls in Papua new Guinea. The plan will cost about 3 million Euro which Bishop Cesare Bonivento is determined to collect with the grace of God and the generosity of people.
Vanimo regional government asked the Catholic diocese to take charge of a new Senior Technical Boarding High-School for Girls. This school, the first of its kind in this area where traditionally girls learn only domestic work and have little opportunity to study, will prepare girls for university.
According to the school project, teaching and administration staff will be paid by the state, but the government has asked the local Church to contribute towards the construction of the building. Bishop Bonivento accepted willingly “with total confidence in Divine Providence ”.
The compound which will accommodate 320 girl boarders, will have 6 two story buildings housing class rooms, laboratories, dormitories, kitchens, refectory, recreation rooms and sports ground. The project includes about 15 homes for teachers. The total estimated cost is about 2 million Euro.
School children in Vanimo have to travel as far as 200 kilometres to reach the nearest school and there are only two middle schools in an area of 30.000 sq. km of forest. To relieve the situation the government recently raised 8 church run elementary schools in the diocese to the rank of middle school. To meet the new needs the schools will have to build new class rooms and separate dormitories, for boys and for girls as well as kitchens and refectories, for an expense of about 1 million Euro. Bishop Bonivento and the diocese of Vanimo and Mons. Cesare Bonivento have been assured help to collect the needed 3 million Euro, by the Associazione Progetto Pace established in 2002 in Modena, Italy. The APP has already supported the building of a family-house project in Bukavu in Democratic Congo with collection of funds and adoptions at a distance. A leading member of APP Devis Dazzani, told Fides: “With the grace of God and the generosity of many men and women of goodwill we hope to be able to help poor girls and women in Papua New Guinea ”. (PA) (Fides Service 17/11/2003 lines 45 words 508)

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