By ELIAS LARI
HE only reached Grade 10 but Michael Wek Kerowa is trying to provide education for others.
Michael from Western Highlands founded the Professional Accelerate Institute (PAI) in 2010 in Mt Hagen offering computer training and business studies. Pastors were also trained on how to use information technology and social media to support their ministries.
In 2012, Michael moved from Mt Hagen to Ogulbeng and built a double classroom for K87,000 offering more courses.
In 2013, it also offered electrical and heavy equipment fitting courses for mostly school dropouts. Many have gone on to work in the various fields they were trained in.
In 2018, the institute offered training for those wanting to be community health workers. Twelve students are now undertaking the course. The school has two full time teachers, a nurse and a midwife and child care specialist.
Students are preparing to leave for the Nipa Hospital in Southern Highlands and Sopas Hospital in Enga for their practical. They will receive their certificates next year.
He plans to expand the institute and help as many as he could.
“ I still (want) to help more people because it is not fair that the highest numbers of people are still back in the village and engaging in all sorts of illegal activities.”
“We call on our leaders to build schools and create jobs. But (we can do it ourselves). I realised that (only) lazy people do that. Opportunities are there for us to make a life and help others.”
He estimates that since starting the institute, he has helped more than 1000 people.
“I want to increase the figure because people are very important to me and to the country.”
He plans to work with the Hagen District Development Authority and the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority so that more people can enrol and attend the trainings.
He is looking forward to presenting certificates to the 12 nurses next year.
“The Government cannot do everything at once but through partnership with others. The institute is helping to educate many who missed their chances earlier.”
Helping people is becoming a part of his daily activity.
“The source of my income are farming and piggery which helped me extend the institute and take on board other courses such as for community health workers. It is the first training school in Mt Hagen and second in the province.
We already have the Tinsley CHW training school in Baiyer.”
Michael thanks wife Diana Wama for supporting him and helping him pursue his dreams.
“I still (want) to help more people because it is not fair that the highest numbers of people are still back in the village and engaging in all sorts of illegal activities.”
He hopes to see more school dropouts or those who wish to further their education use the facilities and courses offered by the institute at Ogulbeng a few minute drive from Mt Hagen.
Michael knows what it feels to be a dropout. He left Grade 10 in 2008 and later upgraded his marks to tertiary level.
He knows the struggle, pain, challenges and hardship.
“Opportunities are there but people must grab them and move on.”