Officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Palau Vistors Authority, and the Palau Chamber of Commerce during the handing over of the donated items to the Belau National Hospital as part of the challenge. (Contributed Photo)

A Palauan based in Illinois is encouraging fellow Palauans who are living abroad to help in the renovation of the Belau National Hospital and donate life-saving equipment necessary in the operation of the health institution.

Freida Ongrung-Funk, who grew up in Meketii, Koror and now owns a business in Illinois, is the proponent behind the challenge named after her to encourage Palauan expatriates to help better the only national hospital in the country.

Funk, through a statement, is soliciting help from fellow Palauans, organizations, and clubs to either adopt hospital rooms to be painted or to improve or help in the furnishing of life-saving equipment such as ultrasounds, defibrillators, and ventilators, among others.

Through the challenge, a room that is adopted by individuals will be named after them to express gratitude for their initiatives.

Funk took the lead in the challenge by donating $500 to the hospital on February 22 through the help of the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) and the Palau Chamber of Commerce who facilitated and delivered the amount to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

PVA Chairman Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl, PVA Program Director Kadoi Ruluked, and Chamber of Commerce President Vivien Ngirarsaol-Protine personally handed the amount to the health institution.

“The Palau hospital has always held a special place in my heart as the lifeline for most of our people.  It is a great pleasure to be able to help in some way. I would like to take the opportunity to encourage and solicit help from other Palauans, groups, and clubs with the renovations to the hospital as well as necessary life-saving equipment,” Funk said through a statement issued to the media.

Funk is an alumnus of the Maris Stella and Mindszenty High School before she went to Illinois to study at the Olivet Nazarene University.

Aside from owning a business, Funk is also a Licensed General Contractor. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)