The P&O Pacific Partnership is expanding its efforts in the South Pacific with two new community programs, after successfully raising more than one million dollars in voluntary contributions from passengers and special donations in just four years.
Building on previous funding of health posts and kindergartens in Vanuatu, P&O Cruises, together in partnership with Save the Children Australia since 2013, is undertaking two new projects which will focus on assisting women and young children in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, both of which are regularly visited by P&O ships.
In PNG, where there is a maternal mortality rate 30 times greater than in Australia, there is a vital need to improve health outcomes for mothers and children. The new Newborn Baby and Birthing Kits Project encourages mothers to have their babies delivered at health centres by assisting with medical fees and providing essentials such as infant care items and mosquito nets to combat malaria.
In the Solomon Islands, many children do not have access to early childhood education and development services, entering school under-prepared which often leads to longer term issues. P&O Cruises is now supporting the Solomons Early Childhood Development Project, which integrates child protection with community-based early childhood interventions to ensure children grow up in protective environments that enable them to realise their full potential.
“Launching two new projects in the P&O Pacific Partnership is testament to the support and engagement of the thousands of guests who sail with us each year—it’s thanks to our passengers that we’re able to assist even more communities that we visit,” P&O Cruises president Sture Myrmell says.
Passengers directly contribute to the work carried out through an automatic $1 donation to their onboard account, from guests can opt out or choose to donate more, through the onboard donation boxes.
“The voluntary one dollar contributions made via passengers’ onboard accounts are relatively modest but when these contributions are combined they become a powerful force to make a big difference where it matters most.”
In addition, the Navigational chart from each voyage is auctioned at the end of every cruise with all proceeds also going to Save the Children.