“We make sure that educational supplies, paid for by sponsors or from public funds, are delivered right into the hands of the beneficiaries they’re intended for,” says Wilson David, General Manager of Treid Pacific (PNG) Pty Ltd, “and that means the children, their parents or the teachers.”
This nationally owned company provides a unique ‘door-to-door’ delivery service of basic school materials, text books, office items, science and sports equipment to 80% of the 2,700 community schools in PNG.
It goes without saying that many of these schools are in remote locations. Sometimes the only access is by river boat, or even dinghy. Sometimes a fixed wing plane can use a local airstrip, sometimes only a helicopter will do the job. In the most inaccessible areas, after a jolting, squelchy pass in a 4WD, a team of carriers, often the school children themselves, must traverse the last few miles on foot. Treid Pacific organises, directs, and pays for all of this.
The objective is crystal clear: the educational materials (even if they’re only pencils, paper, chalk and paper clips) must reach their target and be accounted for. So the company makes sure that every parent or teacher, or the children themselves, sign a receipt for the materials supplied. There’s often a little ceremony when the supplies arrive at a school or a provincial District centre, but even when there isn’t, there’s always a receipt!
Administrators are delighted at this solution to a very real problem. They know that materials have arrived and they know that their calculations as to how long the materials should last have been acknowledged and accepted by teachers and parents alike. What’s more, delivery is comparatively quick. Detailed packing lists may be sent direct to suppliers, even when these are far away overseas, and large consignments delivered to PNG ports by container. From these centres, Treid Pacific’s staff have considerable expertise in hiring transportation, from mining company choppers to locally owned canoes, and in the process forging links with the Provincial and District officials who help to administer the system. In other words, teamwork.
“We’re already planning to extend the scheme to the delivery of school and university text books,” says Wilson David, “and some of our satisfied clients in remote areas are asking why we can’t go further, and apply it to packs of basic medical supplies – antibiotics, malaria tablets, antiseptic ointments, bandages, things like that, for the aid posts in these little communities.” Well, why not?