In a remarkable demonstration of community spirit and collaboration, the Olgeta Foundation is still navigating through significant logistical challenges to facilitate the delivery of the donated hospital beds to Papua New Guinea. This effort was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Brisbane Royal and Women's Hospital and the invaluable assistance of Del Cole and her organization, 'Someone Who Cares.
'However, the donation presented unique challenges. We grappled with issues related to the collection of the beds, storage solutions, and delivery logistics, the hospital assisted where they could assisting with delivering the beds to us over a week and this collaboration with them was a great experience however there is much more needing to be done to get the beds to PNG. Immediately what to do with so many hospital beds being released to us in a short period of time? You could say there was definitely a time there when we were getting desperate for solutions.
The real turning point came when Craig connected with Del Cole, the director of 'Someone Who Cares' – an Australian non-profit organization. This small, dedicated team, comprising of Del, Davin, and Roz, is known for their two decades of dedicated service in aiding Papua New Guinea and other Pacific/Asian nations through donations to schools and hospitals. They stepped in to offer a helping hand.
Craig De Wit with Del Cole, the director of 'Someone Who Cares'
In an act of extraordinary generosity, they provided a truck for transporting the beds from the hospital, when the hospital couldn’t, as well as collecting from afar nearly two tonnes of donated bed linen and helping to wrap and package it, they assisted with purchasing containers, and gave us priceless advice along the way. This contribution was not just logistical but also significantly enhanced the overall success of this part of the project. We are very thankful for the help by these amazing people.
The other challenge was to fill 40ft containers with the beds, each weighing 145 kg, and we desperately needed help. Our young PNG ambassador, Murray Thistlethwaite, took action and called for assistance via social media. We were overwhelmed by the number of young people who turned up to help which included Sonia Thistlethwaite, Alida Thistlethwaite, David Thistlethwaite, Kieran Maskelyne, Ryan Maskelyne, Tatiana Belapuna, Howard Yanda, Francis Ikupu, Frank Kabalu, Haresh Ramanan, Isabella Asnicar, Mary Kowas, Conila Kuk, Sean Lamur, Ju-Ho Lee, Alorah Puritau, Ruth Kawale and our boy’s Julien and Alex de Wit, their friend Jenco (the Gentle Giants) and many others.
Even Murray’s Aunty and Uncle got involved! Further Craig’s niece, Jana and her husband Lachlan Walker allowed us to store the containers on their property whilst we loaded them with the beds. A heartfelt thank you to every one of you.
The success of this endeavour would not be possible without so many people coming together to help make it happen, hence our Foundation name “Olgeta” a pidgin word literally meaning all together.
Now we will be focusing our efforts on shipping the containers to PNG and planning distribution to the outer islands where these beds are most desperately needed.