KAILUA-KONA — A mission of support is embarking.
YWAM Ships Kona, a local nonprofit operating Hawaii’s only medical and training ships, signed a memoradum of understanding with the Autonomous Bougainville Government this week in Buka, Papua New Guinea.
The understanding, or MoU, outlines a mutual desire to work together for the development of Bougainville via YWAM’s medical ship, the MV YWAM Liberty.
The ship’s initial involvement will include a six-month pilot deployment to the province in July.
“We are grateful to extend out aloha to Bourgainville where there is only one dentist per 100,000 people and 11 eye surgeons for its entire country of 8 million,” said Brett Curtis, founder of YWAM Ships Kona. “Families continue to struggle with an 80 percent unemployment rate and 30 percent of their children never attending school. We anticipate thousands of people will benefit from this relationship and look forward to sending the MV YWAM Liberty on her mainden voyage in just a few months, along with crew members ranging from medical providers to local youth.”
President John Momis of the Autonomous Bourgainville government praised the agreement.
“Health and education are two of the main priorities of my administration. We are delighted to join forces with organizations such as YWAM Ships Kona to find innovative and effective ways of delivering much-needed services to our people. We look forward to what’s to come through this collaboration.”
Over the last two years, YWAM — Youth With a Mission — Ships Kona has delivered 130,000 services to 248 villages in some of the most isolated islands of Papua New Guinea.
More than 895 volunteers have provided services including eye surgeries, dental care, primary health care, malaria and TB testing, water development and immunizations.
YWAM is a global, volunteer-based and non-denominational Christian movement operating in more than 1,200 locations and 180 countries.
To volunteer: 757-9100