Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our sponsors and donors we can afford to ramp up our efforts and are now sending boxes and boxes of these essential items to the mothers, women and girls of Kiriwina ready for their VBA meeting to be held in early June. We are so grateful for this opportunity to help! @DFAT, @FriendshipGrants, #DFAT, #FriendshipGrants.

Condition 190613:
The doctors can not do anymore. The bones can not join together and the flesh has grown in between the broken bones.

She is now on crutches and training herself to walk. She will be discharge from the hospital this Friday and fund her own way to Kiriwina.

CFK will assist Ruth to travel by plane to Kiriwina with her sister who accompany her to Alotau. Travelling by sea would be very difficult and inconvenience for Ruth.

She mention she still feels the pain from the legs, however, is trying her best cope. She will return in September to Alotau for review and if the leg does not improve, she will have her legs amputated.

Condition update 190527:

Toks contacted Ruth this morning and she informed him that the doctor on ward round this morning removed the plastic water bottles and elastic plaster from her leg due to swallon leg up to her knee. She will be informed for an x-ray sometimes this week. In the meantime she is on pain killer tablets awaiting for an x-ray.

Condition update 190524:

CFK’s in-country head spoke to Ruth yesterday and he reports that:

‘the plastic that was inserted into her leg was removed and nothing was inserted however only elastic plaster was tied around her leg. Two bottles tied to hold her legs or cause her bones to rejoin. She feels a bit better now than last week.’

Thanks to our sponsors and donors CFK has sent some funds to Ruth in Alotau to assist her. We have bought her a phone and balance of money will be used to assist her while in hospital.

‘She can sit up but not able to sit straight. The doctor that provided medical assistance to her is surgical doctors for bones and major cuts. His name is Dr James. She is given a month to stay in hospital for doctors to examine her before next cause of action is determined.’

reported Toks Bwaina

Below: Photos of Ruth in Hospital yesterday. Isn’t it wonderful when the internet connection is working.

May 2019




Caring for Kiriwina Health & Hygiene Committee formed to combat growing waste issue.

Hygiene is a critical issue on Kiriwina affecting all the inhabitants most importantly pregnant women and children. The maintenance of hygiene both environmental and personal is integral to health and the lack of clean water and facilities on Kiriwina is critical. To help address this issue we have formed the CFK Health & Hygiene Committee. There are 16 members (7 women and 7 men with one male and one female co-ordinator) all based on Kiriwina. The committee meets monthly to collate data and allocate points to the cleanest village. At the end of the year there will be a celebration and the awarding of prizes for the best kept village.

“This program instills team work and pride within the community. There have been improvements in lifestyle and it has created a sense of ownership of healthy living and clean community,” explains Toks Bwaina (In-country CFK manager)

As there are no dedicated toilet facilities we are researching the installation of compostable toilets and more water pumps for each village. Part of the VBA training includes emphasising the importance of infection control through hand washing and the utilisation of clean equipment during a birth. This information is supported by the provision of single use birth kits to the Kiriwinan VBA’s.  

In addition to the distribution of Birth Kits CFK is trialing a new strategy in the supply of washable menstrual pads and underpants to women on Kiriwina. UNICEF says that adolescent girls in school suffer the most when they are menstruating.  Many schools report absenteeism among adolescent girls due to a lack of private changing rooms and no access to soap, water and sanitary pads. Some stay away from school for a few days. This hampers girls’ learning as they miss classes and they re-attend with reduced self-esteem and dignity. 

In response to the new initiative Ruth Boaz, our co-head VBA reports that…

“The women say the reusable pads have been used and they are very helpful as they wash them to be used again and again. The underpants given to women have also been very useful.” Learn more

Help save the lives of the women and children on Kiriwina

We are so excited to announce that our next VBA training session with our beautiful midwives Shea Caplice and Jacqui Andrews is planned to leave Sydney mid  September 2019. We will spend three days of intensive training for 30 experienced VBA’s allowing 3 to 4 VBA’s from each circuit to attend, followed by two days with the larger group of 210 VBA’s allowing the trainees to become the trainers. Thanks Shea and Jacqui for being such extraordinary human beings. Love yah!

The Kiriwina VBA’s formed an association to mobilise all VBA’s on Kiriwina to share ideas and work as a team to deliver support and assistance to the pregnant mothers, women and girls in many areas especially in teen age pregnancy. It is the first association of its type on the Island combining women from all villages working towards the same goal. The association also addresses many other issues affecting women and girls. They had their first meeting in March at Kaibola Kaibola Village.

Their second meeting was held at Okupukopu Village, Luba Circuit on 2 May 2019. As the women walk to the venues for meetings CFK has assisted some with the cost of transport to allow women from more distant circuits to attend these meetings.

We would like to send a big shout out to the Australian Government for supporting CFK efforts. This support has enabled us to think bigger and act on expanding our projects to really make a difference to the lives of the Kiriwinan people and they sincerely thank the DFAT FriendShips Grant team for that!

“The VBA’s asked me to convey their appreciation and thank you to all CFK officers and supporters for their support and assistance. CFK is the only means of support the VBA’s are receiving now. CFK support is making a progressive impact in helping the VBA’s assist pregnant mothers deliver successfully. The VBA’s report that they are doing a good job helping women deliver at their respective villages and that this is the only help they receive.”  Toks Bwaina

Thank you so much to the Australian Government! 

The Village Birth Attendant Training Project is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by Caring for Kiriwina.

Thanks again to all our donors for your ongoing support!

Caring For Kiriwina
Please help the women & children of Kiriwina

Ruth is one of our VBA’s who feel victim of the strong wings. A mango branch fell on her resulting in broken left leg. She had to endure a horrendous sea voyage to get to a hospital. They make their women tough on Kiriwina. Seen here in Alotau General Hospital undergoing surgery and where she is still recovering – thanks Wendy Stein for sharing this photo. We wish Ruth a speedy recovery. The CFK Team x

Main Photo from Wendy Stein at Kula Babies Rotary, thank you for sharing on FB.
Above photo of Ruth attending the 2017 VBA Training program.

Continuing sad news received on Ruth’s condition. Our In-country manager who visited her in Alotau Hospital this morning.

She has a broken leg (big bone holding her hip and legs together). She has already undergone two operations with an insertion of metals and screws into her leg (first operation) and is not working. They have inserted plastic materials (2nd operation) to see if it can hold the bones together for another month.

She can not sit, walk or be in a wheel chair. She is just lying on her hospital bed. If the plastics can not hold her bone, the last option is to amputate her leg.

She seemed to be in a very critical condition.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ruth and her family.

Photo 2 from May VBA meeting on the Island

First Photos of the VBA meeting in May. Keep your eye out for out latest e-news coming soon…@DFAT, @FriendshipGrants.

…and the Classic Strings, please play these videos and listen to her stunning voice and the beautiful music played at the CFK Midwife day fundraiser. Our heartfelt thanks to Shea Caplice for organising this special get-together and all those who contributed to this great day. @DFAT,@FriendshipGrants

Thank you to Shea Caplice and Jacqui Andrews from the bottom of our hearts, two extraordinary midwives who are prepared to risk all for others. Humanity at its best!!!!
Thank you for agreeing to our third training trip in September this year!

Shea pictured with CFK VBA’s during our Oct 2018 training trip.

@DFAT, #DFAT, @FriendshipGrants, #FriendshipGrants

International Midwife Day fundraiser

Thank you to Shea and everyone who came and donated to Caring for Kiriwina. It was a wonderful event and even the rain managed to stay away.

Thank you Hannah Darling for preforming, what an amazing voice, also the strings and Cheryl’s band. Amazing!