rayleen

SDG youth champs nominated

Youth & Careers

A FEMALE student from Papua New Guinea University of Technology was nominated as one of the four youth champion for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations in Papua New Guinea.
Raylance Mesa, 21, second in a family of three children, spent most of her life in Lae and is now in her third-year studying bachelor in architecture and building programme.
She has been supporting her home village, Tami Island in Finchaffen, Morobe, was nominated as one of the four youth SDG champions.
Mesa started grass-root activities in her community at the age of 18 and has been running for almost four years.
Education and climate change are her main focus.
Out of many activities, she helped the community on the island to build sea walls by using available local resources on the island like dead coral reefs, coconut trunks and tree trunks.
The villagers followed and completed the sea wall.
She also educated the villagers about how climate change and sea level rise were affecting the globe and the island. She also supported Tami Island Primary School by building the new school library, encouraged students and parents to continue studying and advocated for the headmaster to bring in more teachers.
By organising small fundraising events and even using her and her family’s own money, she helped the school to build two new classrooms to accommodate new grades 7 and 8.
She also supports designing of a community aid post, a community guest house and teachers’ houses in a sustainable manner, all of which to benefit the entire community.
Further she also supports the works of the Transparency International PNG, Youth Against Corruption and the Voice Inc in Lae.
She visits schools and communities to educate them about issues like human rights, climate change, drugs and alcohol, elections and governance.
“A feeling of satisfaction motivates me when I see people in rural areas obtain basic knowledge which people in cities or towns usually have and observe people’s lives improve,” she said.
“I strongly believe education and literacy are keys for a brighter future for the family, community and the world.
“Smiles on faces of young people and positive responses from them energise me.
“I remember each moment my plans and ideas turned into realty and improved people’s lives.”
Mesa has observed many improvements in the community – the Tami Island Community School has been upgraded to primary as the first Grade 8 students would graduate this year, with improved number of teachers and equipment in place for improved quality of education.
In Lae, more students pass into high schools and tertiary institutions and school fights have been reduced.
Mesa’s message to her young peers is that: “Be empowered to develop our communities sustainably.
“It does not take much to change the lives of people.
“Do what you can do by using your talents and skills to help people around you.
“Seeing the results and fruits of your hard, its worth satisfying and smiling for your hardwork.”

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