By HENRY MORABANG
ASK not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, is a famous quote by former US president John F Kennedy and is much used around the world to inspire people to do something for themselves.
A Papua New Guinean living in Texas in the US has taken this quote to heart. Thirty two year old James Kisa Nokolu, or Kisa as he likes to be called, has set up a not for profit organization there called, Niugini Foundation. It supplies education and health material to remote parts of PNG. Kisa is a passionate driven person, and has always have heart for his people.
“I do not want to be another PNG indigenous waiting for a foreign organization or volunteers to come solve all our problems. We indigenous PNG need to take responsibility and ownership of our own problems and come up with solutions.
“…we, Papua New Guinean must take a lead and we can be support or partner with foreign organization and volunteers not the other way around,” he said.
“I truly feel compassionate for my rural people back home in PNG. I don’t want to live a complacent and comfortable life in US. I want to contribute, in whatever little way I can, to make a difference in people’s lives back home in PNG. I think my purpose in life is to be a bond-servant to my Country PNG.
So passionate is he about serving others, that he plans to make this his lifetime work for as long as he lives.
Kisa is of Southern Highlands and Western Highlands origin. He grew up around Stanbom Market inTarangau. After attending primary school at Tarangau, he later went to Mendi High School.
His overseas break came in 2007 when he went to Tyler,Texas through a program with the University of the Nation (YWAM) .
“After a year of training I was asked to be on the staff with the YWAM campus in Tyler, Texas and Dallas.”
“In Dallas I worked with inner city kids and helped with mentoring and tutoring them. While in Dallas I also enrolled at Tarrant County College to study business.
Niugini Foundation consists of indigenous people who are passionate about working to provide some answers to Papua New Guinea’s social problems, health issues and overall education.”
The organisation recently delivered two containers of library books to community schools in remote Sembirigi, in Erave in the Southern Highlands. This was done through a partnership with Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC).
Kisa said the books were shipped from the US to Port Moresby and were sorted out before being repacked into two containers and delivered to schools.
Kisa said the first delivery was to Semberigi – Gobe Argi High school, Don Mosely and Wemi Primary school. A container with close to 200 boxes of books were in that shipment.
Another container, with the same number of of stock, was finally delivered to Erave after after being delayed in Ialibu following election-related issues.
MRDC public relations officer, Iona Reto, who had the opportunity to deliver the books on behalf of the company said the teachers were very happy as their library didn’t have many books. Also, what they had was quite outdated.
Reta said the teachers and students from Gobe Agri High school, Don Mosley and Wemi Primary schools of Semberigi asked her to extend their thank you and gratitude to Niugini Foundation.
“You are a true son of PNG. God bless your heart. We look forward to a continued partnership in reaching out to our rural people,” Reta said.
Niugini Foundation also offers similar assistance for health in the country.
“We work in partnership with the government, private organizations, corporations, and individuals, to support and implement projects that we believe will produce lasting results,” Kisa said.
“We believe that an individual cannot win a game unless they work together as a team.”
“We want to become an agent of change in the three major sectors of sectors, health, education and technology in Papua New Guinea.”
Kisa said hospitals and health centers in PNG do not need an assigned team to travel to US to seek their assistance. That the cost of travel can be saved by using an online inventory and Niugini Foundation can respond accordingly.
He thanked MRDC managing director Augustine Mano and the Board for the partnership in delivering the education materials to schools.
“I’m currently working on my book (on Self –Development) and will be out at the end of the year.”
He hopes the book will inspire the young generation of Papua New Guineans to think big, and at the same time, have a sense of purpose in life.
One would think that, there is already a lot on his plate. But not for Kisa.
He is already training to become a private helicopter pilot.
“It’s for fun and a personal goal for mine. I hope to get my license by 2018.”
And it doesn’t end there. He also plans to attend Harvard Business School to study, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, in July next year. Who knows what he will do next. Watch this space!
By HENRY MORABANG