By ROBINSON LEKA
THE Oil Search Foundation and Cricket Papua New Guinea (CPNG) have partnered to expand the Kriket Blo Olgeta (Cricket belongs to everyone) programme which for the first time will see the iniative being carried out in schools in Southern Highlands and Hela.
CPNG chief executive Greg Campbell said the partnership was a great way for cricket to reach out into the Highlands whilst improving the livelihood of its people.
“You can play sport for a long time but you must think of life after sports,” he said.
“We’re grateful fto Oil Search for having the foresight to come on board with us and have the same vision moving forward.
“We want to make a change in PNG, we want to change people’s lives.”
Foundation executive director Stephanie Copus-Cambell said the programme was aimed at addressing a growing youth population through sports.
She said the programme would help children be more productive and make healthy decisions to address pressing social issues.
“In Southern Highlands, 62 per cent of the population is under the age of 18 and Hela is 67 per cent,” she said.
“Sport is one really good way to give kids hope and meaning, to show them a way forward so this is going to be a very important part of a new focus on turning a youth bulge into a youth dividend.”
The programme is expected to reach 35,000 children in SHP and Hela and will involve coaches going to schools to teach basic cricket skills and run short courses on personal safety, money management, health and hygiene.
Additional courses will focus on preparing school-leavers for the workforce and addressing violence against women.
By ROBINSON LEKA