By PETER ESILA
SPENDING holidays at home where the heart is, is always memorable and satisfying.
For 26-year-old Miriam Evajoyce Arenadi, it was December 2017, during the Christmas holiday that something started.
It was an idea that Arenadi had to help her peers and youths from her home village on the ranges of the renowned Kokoda Trail. Hers is a village called Waju in the Sohe district of Northern.
It started with organising a Christmas youth rally and now, Arenadi is working on a book and getting organisations to support youths in the province.
It is not that Arenadi never visits home in Waju, she does that almost every year but the Christmas period of 2017 was special.
Arenadi who currently resides in Port Moresby spent most of her childhood in Northern and her teenage years in West New Britain.
This is her story that she wants to share with you that may inspire you.
“In the year 2017 during the Christmas period, I wanted to do something different for my village and community that would involve the children and young people instead of celebrating Christmas through drinking and feasting as usual,” Arenadi said.
“Therefore, I decided to organise a Christmas night rally to commemorate Christmas eve that included a one to two hours motivational speaking session for the young people and item presentations from the kids.”
This included songs, dances and dramas.
“The following day, we had games, field events, similar to inter-house carnivals in schools. We put children into four colours (red, blue, green and yellow). This is a remote village where children, young people and even adults do not see such activities,” she said.
“They had never done or experienced such things before and I wanted to build their confidence and showcase what these young people and growing kids can do to get far in life.
“Also in a two-hour session with young people I encouraged, motivated and inspired them to define who they were, identify their potentials, talents and have a mission to accomplish with a vision to achieve and to live their life with a purpose.
“To my surprise, everybody wanted to participate in this event and we saw fewer young people attached to drugs and alcohol, fewer young people involved in vandalism under the influence of drugs and alcohol and child abuse where parents get drunk and abuse their children.
“I gave away various prizes because it was a kids and young people event; to the kids we gave them sweets, snacks, toys, fashion spoils for girls and various groceries and to the much older youth, we gave them jewelries and groceries.
“The prizes were for best sportsmanship, creativity, confidence, leadership, most talented dancer and others, to motivate these young men, women and children to help them in personal development.”
This was Arenadi’s initiative that came from her own pocket money.
“It all came from the little I earned and saved for my leave with assistance from my parents.”
She said the event left some impact in the village that made the community elders decide to do a ribbon cutting to officially make this youth programme an annual event in the Waju community and village.
Arenadi is looking forward for this year to be a bigger Christmas youth programme to include more young people in the village.
“This year we are looking forward to a bigger and better-organissed programme in my village where I have included workshop for young people, talents showcase sessions, two nights youth rally, sports and kids fun games.
“Just to see the interest and support of my community towards my Christmas programmes motivated me to do more for them and other surrounding villages.”
Even more fascinating, the backing and interest shown by the community and the changes Arenadi saw happening has inspired her to write a book titled Finding your place in this world.
The book is about motivational activities for young people to do and grow in finding their purpose in this life.
“I started writing the book just before our second year of events; I wanted it to be very simple and clear.
“It basically outlines the way to finding your place in this life broken down or simplified to the understanding of teenaged youths; the targeted audience are primary and secondary school pupils.
“It is not more than 50 pages and is currently in edit and review for publishing.
“I am also currently doing a survey on an urban community in my home province of Northern to acquire facts and figures to support my proposals to various organisations and agencies for assistance in resource, training and advisory services to be an advocate of young people through the teaching in my book and activities involved.
“I prepared my survey documents and organised a friend of mine in Oro to carry out the survey on my behalf and revert to me. The aim is to go out to all the schools in my province and educate them on how they must live with a purpose. Because my girlfriend is a teacher and a youth leader in her church and community, I have collaborated with her to be on this mission.
“My mission is to go far and wide, to touch the untouched and reach the unreached based on my book in educating young people on defining themselves, identifying their potentials and utilising their capabilities, accepting who they are, changing of heart and mind, knowing their worth and purpose, building their purpose, controlling and commanding of self, focusing on their goals and finally reaching their destiny and fulfilling their calling in life.
“My vision is to see less young people on the streets, in the villages caught up with drugs and alcohol-related issues, crime, prostitution, vandalism etc, and more young people living life with a purpose.
“I think in today’s world, the youths are facing the most of hardships and lack of belonging within societies. Youths constitute a big chunk of the population, yet they remain the most subjugated and marginalised. These young and vibrant very talented individuals’ imagination, ideals, considerable energies and visions are essential for the continuing development of the societies in which they live,” she said.
“Nobody wants to be alone, nobody wants to be lost, and nobody wants to do bad things. Young people are pushed into situations that give them no choice but to do bad things to earn a living.
“This is reality, this is the world we now live in. We can never be so sure, it is nearly unpredictable for the future of young people now living with struggles. So I believe when young people are properly educated, there will be order and discipline, if not; vice and disorder. They need platforms to find their place in this world.”
Arenadi is full of passion to see youths find their purpose in this world.
“I love reading. I come from a very simple and humble family. I have a Diploma in Human Resources Management and am currently employed as a HR officer for an accounting firm. I am from Milne Bay and Oro and have three other siblings.
“I don’t have a degree but I have a big heart and the little that I know and have is enough for me to contribute the best way I can to help others in life. I find pleasure in helping others.
“For me helping others is true satisfaction. In simple terms, blessed to be a blessing.
“I want to state as well that it was through my family’s support that I was able to do what I did, the Arenadi and Suma family.”
By PETER ESILA