The Black Pearl English Course (BPEC) is striving to offer a high level of English language tuition to local Papuan children and adults free of charge.
The courses are currently offered in five locations, with two more in the pipeline.
The BPEC does more than just teach English. It has also become a community development program engaging the adults to become involved as well.
Members of the BPN travelled several times to the mountain village of Angguruk to assist with the upgrading of the health clinic and hospital there.
Solar lights, a brush-cutter, blankets, mattresses and medical instruments were donated to the clinic and an Australian engineer, David Scott, conducted a preliminary survey of the site and prepared a report to assist the community in applying for Indonesian government grants to fund the extensive upgrades necessary to improve the health facilities in the village.
For the first few years of our work with Papua BPN worked closely with The University of Ottow & Geissler (UOG) formerly STIE (Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi- Ottow-Geissler) to assist their English language department.
Teaching resources such as books, DVDs and laptops were sourced in Australia and provided for the use of students and teachers.
The Australian Papuan Cultural Exchange Program (APCEP) aims to immerse West Papuan students, aged 18 – 25 years, in the Australian culture and language to give them the best possible opportunity to develop fluency in English whilst learning about Australian culture and our way of life.
Whilst visiting Papua in May 2018, a group of BPN members became aware of a group of 40 students studying for their Masters’ of Business and Management from UOG who were planning a study tour to Australia in July.
After meeting Ross Gobby, one of the inaugural members of the BPN they decided to switch the venue to Perth and the BPN, under Ross’s indefatigable leadership swung into action to facilitate their visit.
Days for Girls
In 2017 a relationship began between the BPN and the Perth chapter of Days for Girls. Days for Girls is an international organisation providing health education and reusable menstrual hygiene supplies to disadvantaged girls in order to empower them in education, employment and life.
The BPN has maintained a warm relationship with Mr Herman Saud and Mrs Mary Saud, a Papuan midwife and nurse whose Sara Clinic in Abepura provided a valuable service to Papuan people in the area. Ibu Mary has been a cultural mentor to members of the BPN and a firm friend and the BPN has been able to support her work in the city and the remote villages by providing minor financial assistance and second hand Australian medical instruments. Sadly, the Sara Clinic burned down in April 2017.
The BPN has formed a strong relationship with the Sentani Klassis of the GKI TP church in Papua. Through the involvement of engineer, David Scott, the regency has requested assistance with the development of a program to improve water quality in the regency and BPN is lending what limited support we can to this end.
In 2012 a party of representatives from the Sentani Klassis visited Perth and firm friendships have been formed. Friendships such as these allow BPN members to negotiate the pitfalls of cultural differences and give us invaluable insight into the local situation in Papua.