SMEC has recently forged a partnership with the Grass Skirt Project to champion the cause of community empowerment, particularly women’s health, through sports and health initiatives in Papua New Guinea. This collaboration involved sponsoring four rugby league teams in the recent Hevea Cup & Wellness Exhibition (HCWE) 2023 in Port Moresby.

The Grass Skirt Project, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering communities in Papua New Guinea, spearheaded the HCWE initiative. With a focus on promoting sports participation, developing grassroots talent, and addressing critical health issues, particularly those affecting women, the organisation has been a driving force behind successful events like HCWE in 2019 and 2020.


HCWE 2023 aims to promote sports participation, develop grassroots talent, and raise awareness about critical health issues, particularly those affecting women. Building on the success of past events, the 2023 edition created an inclusive environment for both women and men to engage in rugby league.


SMEC sponsored both a female and a male team from Kido Junior High School and Waigani Christian College, providing essential support for the four teams. This encompassed team apparel, tournament access, health workshops, and logistical needs. This backing enabled the Grass Skirt Project to offer a wide array of services, spanning from health and eye testing to rugby league workshops.


In the broader context, HCWE contributes to improving health and social outcomes in Papua New Guinea by promoting sports, talent development, and health education. Beyond the rugby league tournaments, the event includes workshops, coaching sessions, and a fair day promoting various sports, nutrition, and engagement with organisations addressing women’s and children’s health.

SMEC is proud to support the Grass Skirt Project’s HCWE 2023, underscoring our commitment to community well-being. This sponsorship not only promotes sports and talent development but also addresses crucial health issues, especially those affecting women. We believe in making a meaningful impact, and this partnership aligns with our CSR goals to create lasting benefits in Papua New Guinea.
———— Libby Paholski, SMEC SEA & Pacific CSR Chairperson