Local people making donations to help the Hanuabada Fire Appeal ©PNGOC

The Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) has made a presentation of donations to the Hanuabada Fire Appeal.

Hanuabada is a village on the outskirts of capital Port Moresby, where an estimated 200 people became homeless after a major fire on August 20, which destroyed 18 homes.

Through its  campaign, "Giving Is Winning",' PNGOC reached out to its members and the sporting fraternity to come forward in solidarity to support the Hanuabada community.

Clothes and household items were donated by different groups, organisations and families.

President of PNGOC Sir John Dawanincura said the fire in Hanuabada was a great tragedy which saw many families lose their homes and years of memories and family history.

He added that Hanuabada village had produced some of the best athletes in Papua New Guinea, especially in weightlifting. 

In the recent Oceania Championships, the weightlifters did extremely well, with all getting medals.

"Everywhere we go, I like to promote that Hanuabada village has produced these talented weightlifters," Sir John said.

The home of one of the weightlifters, Toua Udia,  was partly burned, while many of the cricketers lost their equipment in the blaze as well.

Children from the village of Hanuabada play cricket in the streets ©Getty Images
Children from the village of Hanuabada play cricket in the streets ©Getty Images

"All though we didn’t bring much, as the saying goes 'Sharing is caring' and our campaign is ‘Giving is Winning'," Sir John added.

"Our athletes and PNGOC staff have given from their heart. 

"We hope that these items can be of help to you as you rebuild your lives and rise again from the ashes."

Team PNG athletes, Nelson Stone from athletics, Tania Mairi of shooting and netball players Jacklyn Lahari and Winnie Mavara, accompanied Sir John to Hanuabada to witness the presentation.

"We are grateful for whatever you are able to give and we thank you for your support and kindness," Lucy Ovia, a spokesperson for the Hanuabada Fire Appeal Committee, said. 

Mea Hila also added that PNGOC’s Olympic Values Education station that was given for use by the Hanuabada Appeal Committee earlier for their work, has been a great help.

"The station provides a good working place for us," she said.

"Without it we would be working under trees and tents and at the mercy of the weather."