The Black Pearl English Course (BPEC) strives to offer a high level of English language tuition to local Papuan children and adults at a nominal charge. Scholarships are available for those unable to afford to pay.
The courses are currently offered in seventeen locations across the Papuan provinces.
BPEC does more than just teach English. It has also become a community hub engaging the adults and wider community to become involved as well.
The Australian Papuan Cultural Exchange Program (APCEP) aims to immerse Papuan and 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.
Clean Water Program
The clean water and sanitation program developed by Black Pearl Network (BPN) was one of our foundation programs and was directed though a small Papuan group (LEMAK) to provide clean water (wells) and sanitation to needy communities.
More recently the program has shared with Papuans the technology of building First Flush
Clean Water collecting systems and is now partnering with local universities to spread the uptake of
this simple, economical and durable method of collecting clean water.
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 the Papuan provinces.
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.
In response to a request from BPEC teachers for a high level of professional development training to fulfil their annual training requirements, BPN brought twenty administration staff and teachers to Perth and financed their attendance at an English language teaching course at Milner International College of English.
All members of the travel group were accommodated free of charge by BPN members and supporters for the duration of their visit. Many lasting friendships and useful working relationships were formed and nurtured.
Vocational Training Program
Since late 2021 the BPN has employed a Vocational Training manager to set up a program of vocational training to prepare Papuans for involvement in the developing tourist industry.
With the heavy emphasis on English language teaching, BPN is already preparing Papuans to work with tourists but there is so much more to do. Training in the areas of food preparation, accommodation, tour guiding, record keeping and financial accountability will help Papuans to take their rightful place at the forefront of providing hospitality to tourists in their homeland and to benefit from the development of this industry in a sustainable way.
We look forward to seeing this initiative bear fruit for indigenous Papuans in coming years.