By ZEDAIAH KANAU
WHEN Obed Nero walked to the podium to collect his Diploma in Business Management certificate, he was proud that his parents were there to share the special moment with him.
Eleven years ago, they had sent Obed to Port Moresby from their home in Kimbe, West New Britain, in search of a better future. He fulfilled their dreams and ambitions when he received his diploma.
His mother Rosemary wept when she embraced Obed afterwards. His dad Bill congratulated him. They came from Kimbe to share the moment with him.
Obed, 24, has been living in Port Moresby since 2009, away from his parents and siblings, to attend school.
“I only see my parents when I go for the holidays in Kimbe. I have been away from my parents and siblings since 2009”.
Dad Bill, originally from Morobe, is a subsistence farmer. Mum Rosemary sells garden food at the market.
The family resides at Saraklok, in an isolated community called Aweal, about a 90-minute drive from Kimbe town.
Obed is the second eldest in a family of four – one elder sister and two younger brothers. He completed elementary one to grade five at Laheri Community (now primary) School in Mosa 2004 to 2007, then grades six and seven at Kimbe Primary School in 2008 and 2009.
In December of 2009, his parents sent him to live with his cousins in Port Moresby. Dad Bill wanted to send him away because of peer influence where they lived.
“When I first came to Port Moresby, fitting in was difficult. I was away from my friends and family. My parent’s would send K50 over to me from their market sales and that was my budget for two months.”
He lives with his WNB family at Kerepia Barracks in Bomana or with his Morobe family at the Gordon police barracks.
“ My success today is dedicated to my parents for their sacrifice in bringing me this far. They never had any formal job but toiled the land to provide for me and my siblings. Their struggle has taught me to never take anything for granted in life.”
Obed attended Evedahana Primary School in Nine-Mile, from 2010 to 2012, completing grades six to eight. He was accepted at Della Salle Secondary in 2013 for grades nine to 12, completing the social science stream in 2016.
He was selected by the Port Moresby Business College.
He did not pass a course in the second semester of 2017. He re-enrolled last year to do that course again. Obed then successfully completed his final year of studies this year.
Obed is the first in his family to attend a tertiary institution. His parents arrived from WNB to share his special day with him. It was also the first time for his mother to travel on an aircraft, and her first time to visit Port Moresby.
It was the first time for Obed to spend time with his parents in Port Moresby.
“My success today is dedicated to my parents for their sacrifice in bringing me this far. They never had any formal job but toiled the land to provide for me and my siblings. Their struggle have taught me to never take anything for granted in life”.
Obed thanks his aunt Bridget and her husband Michael for allowing him to stay at their home and supporting him through the years. He also thanks his uncle Karlos at Gordon Barracks and his family for their support.
He thanks God that he has made it this far and is looking forward to the next chapter of his life.