A SAILOR is taking the lead among all seafarers in advocating HIV/AIDS messages to people travelling on his ship.
Star Shipping Capt Peter Kelly Polapen, whom The National met inside his mv Kimbe Queen cabin, said HIV/AIDS was a serious issue and needed everyone’s effort in advocating it to others.
Capt Polapen, from Manus, has been in the shipping industry for almost 23 years, has taken the initiative as a concerned citizen to voluntarily talk to passengers and also show HIV/AIDS video documentaries as part of his contribution in carrying out the awareness.
He worked for Star Shipping for only three months and travels between Madang, Wewak, Vanimo and Manus transporting passengers.
“After learning a great deal of management skills from Divine Word University, I tried to implement what I learnt because I felt I had the duty to educate my seafarers and my passengers under my command,” he said.
He has completed his diploma in management and is expected to continue his bachelors with the flexible learning department at the Divine Word University.
He said the initiative was also to help change the mindset and attitudes of his seafarers and passengers to avoid unsafe sex practices and to care for victims, and more importantly, to educate his people for personal respect and discipline.
He said most people were not educated well on HIV/AIDS and there was a great deal of effort needed for people from different careers to take the responsibility voluntarily to bring the message to as many as possible.
On Wednesday, he brought more than 130 PNG Defence Force soldiers from Wewak to Madang and showed HIV/AIDS documentaries and many soldiers were very pleased to experience a captain taking the lead in advocating the message.