Priest calls for support


WORKING with drug addicts and users is like playing with fire, says Catholic priest Fr Christopher Onguglo.
He is the founder of the St Christopher Alive Association (SCAA), which aims to change youths to become better people in their communities.
He launched the association at his Three Kings parish in Kerowagi, Chimbu, last week.
Fr Christopher said getting the youths off the devices of drugs, numbering close to 1000 coming from Sinasina-Yongomugl, Kundiawa-Gembogl and Kerowagi still remain volatile if communities were not supportive.
“I fail the SCAA tomorrow, the youths may kill me,” he said.
Fr Christopher appealed for a sector-wide support from all levels of government, development partners, non-government organisations and the wider community.
“I have involved my life for nothing,” he said.
“If I fail, I would probably lose my life, my work and I’m too young to lose my life.
“For two years, I have worked with sheer determination with the youths, giving value back to their lives, giving them acceptance and involving them in voluntary apologetic works in communities the youths have wronged and defaced.
“The youths have done volunteer work to restore water supply in Kerowagi, road maintenance and building roadside market shelters for mothers in parts of the three districts the youths were drawn from.”
Fr Christopher said the youths, mostly men, are banned under the tag name “Bratas” to bind to work in unity as brothers. “For two years, I thought that I would fail, but I kept going and at the backdrop of doing injustice to my church,” he said.
“I diverted my parish administration funds into running the Bratas activities.
“It’s not only a risk to me, but to my fellow colleague priests and the church.
“If the youths would gather at my call at this time, I ask the Government and the church for their support.
“If there are failures, we need to assess them for corrective measures and push the programme forward to communities in the six districts of Chimbu.
“Leaders in Chimbu and Papua New Guinea know our people well.
“We can find solutions to the problems and challenges they are faced with by working together.
“I need support.”
Meanwhile, the Simbu administration had given its indication to support the Bratas through the SCAA.
The acting provincial administrator Sebastian Kee made this know during the launch of SCAA.
Fr Christopher started the work to free youths enslaved in drugs in Mai parish, Sinana-Yongomugl, where he was serving.
He is continuing his work in Kerowagi parish.