A Word From The Founder:
I have had a privileged and amazing life thanks to a rugby ball, my love of the sport of Rugby League, and my parents' desire for me to have an education. But it could so easily have been very different. I would still be living in a mud hut and surviving off the land had it not been for my parents who, like all parents, wanted a better life for me. They sent me to school and gave me something priceless – the gift of learning. It is easily taken for granted in most countries, but education in Papua New Guinea is a rare privilege.
It is an island with plentiful supplies of natural resources such as oil, cocoa, coffee, gold and copper, which have attracted overseas companies to the cities, providing much-needed infrastructure. However Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse countries in the world, with over 800 different languages being spoken across its many villages, which are scattered amongst dense jungles and inhospitable mountain ranges.
Papua New Guinea's diversity is not only what makes it such a fascinating place, but also indicates just how isolated the majority of the communities are.
With most villages completely cut off from the outside world, the provision of the most basic social, educational and health facilities are extremely difficult, and this has a devastating effect on the people of Papua New Guinea – particularly the youngsters. With no education, no training and no social awareness, it is all too easy for them to feel isolated, and slip into a downward spiral of drink, drugs, violence and crime.
I was so fortunate that my parents gave me the foundations to avoid that, and I want to help more of my fellow Papuans to do the same.
Since 2005, with the help of my family, friends and Hull KR supporters, I have spent a lot of time, effort and money improving what many people take for granted – village services such as running water, hygiene facilities, and even such basics as clothes.
The most important thing for me is to improve the lives of the next generation back home, by providing better education, training, and using Rugby League as a vehicle to drive social and domestic awareness into schools and villages.
I want to continue reaching the unreachable population of Papua New Guinea, and this document outlines my vision for the Stanley Gene Foundation. I hope that you will take the time to digest it, and realise how important it is to me and how much of a difference you can make to my fellow Papua New Guineans.