My mission at Callan Services
My mission at Callan Services I E RC (Inclusive Education Recourses Centre) for persons with disabilities at Gerehu.
This centre is one of the Port Moresby Arch diocesan programs, run by the NGO Callan Services, and supported by the Inclusive Education Division Unit PNG. (Started 2012). In 2018, I joined the Providence Community, and I choose, in accord with my profession as special educator and speech therapist, to support persons with speech disorders. Thus, it is our charism too. Even though it is a long distance every day to travel (more than 40 km) and it is tiring, I feel satisfied.
Four years ago, the institute was still undergoing the beginners’ troubles. There were four teaching positions, but due to individual differences, they left one by one, leaving the coordinator alone to manage everything. Then, everything was beyond control. Children with different disabilities were coming in the morning but there was no monitor so they played all over the places, hurting themselves then they went home.
I really felt sorry for this situation and I took hand to fix the mess with the help of Callan National unit. The following year we had four teachers and four auxiliary staff. We separated the children into different Classes and I look over those with speech disorders. There was also kids with many developmental delays (autism}. While working in two different resource centres I came across with more than 75 children. Many already integrated to mainstream schools. (Today we, the staff, are happy to work together for the betterment and the progress of these children)
Hence, to support the children and parents I realised that doing individual therapy alone is not enough to progress. They needed to be few hours daily together in a classroom atmosphere. Then there was not enough facility. With the permission of the coordinator, we started writing Funding Proposals and informing the people about our needs. Hence, one of the parents who came to enrol her daughter was Staff member of CBC. She immediately declared that could deposited to the centres account k 20,000.00. With that help at the end of 2021, we renovated one of the old facility and used it as a classroom for autism kids. Even though the full plan is not accomplished, at least we have a classroom and a program for them.
Since three years, we are asking to the Department of Education to send one or two more teachers to work with me but they delay. By chance one teacher joined this year from last team onwards. That is not a solution for the upcoming children with multiple developmental problems.
Meanwhile, my first proposal was acknowledged by BSP who helped tiling; painting of the whole building, ruff repairing and levelling the ground. It was their great contributions to the centre and we will continue this year looking for different means.
The country has nobody to do the assessment of the children and to explain to their parents what exactly the difficulty of their children is. The parents really find it hard and the number of children in need is increasing. I am really getting busy with enrolment, assessment, and advice that are going day to day beyond explanation. We are really looking forward for someone who has experience and knowledge to work with them.
However, when I was appointed as a national speech therapy trainer, I had the chance to give training to 50 teachers and more or less the same number of parents and guidance staff.
At present parents, staff and students are very happy, because they thought their child would never go to school or make progress in their life.
Sr.Shiny Mary DW