Aiga’s passion gets him honoured

National

A CRUSADER for building better communities has been given the Hertz Leasemaster Community Entrepreneur Men of Honour award.
Rabura Aiga’s passion has been to engage young people in positive ways that can reduce crime and provide women and children a safer environment to live in. He has also campaigned for better opportunities for marginalised and vulnerable people.
“My dream is for women to move around freely without being harassed. I live for my granddaughters to one day enjoy this right,” he said.
A staunch Motuan leader, Aiga is from Vabukori, one of the six indigenous Motu Koita villages on whose land Port Moresby is built.
Rabura said he has seen the decay of a system that once held traditional communities together; communities where mothers and daughters were once revered and respected. He attributes the breakdown to poor education and poor opportunities.
This is what drove him to design the Yumi Lukautim Mosbi Project while he was a project coordinator with the National Capital District Commission in 2009. Funded by AUSAID, this was an initiative to strategically address the cause of petty crime in Port Moresby through careful planning and implementation.
Aiga’s former NCDC colleague, Steve Simms, described him as a soft-spoken, but stern leader whose good character and clear direction had earned him the respect and trust of youths in some of Port Moresby’s more difficult neighbourhoods.
“We can’t say our youth are not bright – our education system does not give them the opportunity to complete their schooling for a chance to participate meaningfully,” he said.
Over the years, Aiga has empowered many youths and changed the lives of hundreds of people.
Aiga worked with gang leaders in settlements and turned them into youth advocators, giving them uniforms which show them as protectors of the community. He turned criminals into good citizens.
The YLM pilot project ceased after giving birth to the Urban Youth Programme currently run by the NCDC, cementing the Tertiary and Vocational Education Training scholarship (TVET).

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