Kiriwina is the name of the biggest island in the Trobriand Islands Papua New Guinea.
The Trobriand Islands are an archipelago of coral atolls off the eastern tip of New Guinea. They are situated at the northern edge of the Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. The largest island in the Trobriands is called Kiriwina Island. It has a population of about 55,000 indigenous inhabitants, who live by subsistence gardening and fishing.
‘Caring for Kiriwina’ is a charity set up by the late Margaret Lawton, wife of Dr. Rev. Ralph Lawton, who was stationed on Kiriwina for 12 years; Ralph and Margaret became fluent speakers of the Kiriwinan language, and ultimately aided the Kiriwinan people to translate the entire Bible into the Kiriwinan language and have also been working on creating a Kiriwinan Dictionary, this work has taken approximately 50 years to complete. By creating ‘Caring for Kiriwina’ the Lawton’s have dedicated their lives to the care and advancement of the Kiriwinan people, and their family has committed themselves to continuing to advance this good work for the people of Kiriwina and nearby islands.
CFK currently has 7 projects currently in progress on the Island (see the projects tab on this website) these include:
- Birth Supplies/Birthing Training:
Caring for Kiriwina has run x 3 extremely successful Village Birth Attendant (VBA) Training Programs in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The pandemic has put the next trip on hold until the country borders are reopened. However, we are still planning and fundraising for our next trip. As soon as the borders open we will be back. Please donate!!!
- Dignity Kits:
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 clean, private changing rooms and without access to soap, water and sanitary pads. Some stay away from school for a few days. CFK provides the women and girls on Kiriwina with dignity kits that contain two reusable menstrual pads, two underpants, two soaps and a bag to store them in. CFK’s constant supply of Dignity Kits has increased female participation rates.
- School Education: Initiative 1: Educational materials. The support from CFK has allowed all the schools on Kiriwina to sit their yearly exams. Due to continual government absence of supply, CFK has donated and continues to supply thousands of pens and pencils to all the schools on Kiriwina.
Initiative 2: CFK School Fee Scholarship Program. CFK administers the CFK School Fee Scholarship program which pays for the mandatory High school fees for extremely vulnerable students.
Initiative 3: Translation of readers into Kiriwinan. CFK is also working on producing a primer (first textbook) for teaching of reading in the Kiriwinan language, an alphabet book and a basal reader. It is incredibly important for the children to be literate in their own language.
- Clean Drinking Water: We have supplied and maintained four water pumps on Kiriwina with an aim of distributing many more Island wide. These pumps currently supply the main village, 2 remote villages and the Kiriwina Secondary School with clean drinking water. Kiriwina Island is flat, with no rivers and no naturally-occurring fresh drinking water. While the underground water table is easily accessed as it is shallow, it is of brackish quality and frequently not potable, although suitable for bathing (and is so used for the 55,000 Kiriwina inhabitants). The village toilets and household rubbish from about 80 villages contaminate it further. Our pumps allow access to deeper, cleaner water suitable for drinking. Mr Koega, a Kiriwinan plumber, installs and maintains the pumps for CFK.
- Health and Hygiene/COVID-19 supplies: The pandemic continues to negatively impact the people of Kiriwina. CFK sends a constant supply of masks, gloves, sanitisers, and soaps to the medical centre.
CLICK HERE to download the about Caring for Kiriwina brochure
CLICK HERE to download about our Village Birth Attendants Training Program
It rests with us to keep Margaret Lawton’s vision alive.
Caring for Kiriwina is doing this.
And we rely on you.