By MARTHA DERUAGE
Problems abound in communities around the country every day.
Youth problems associated with the use of marijuana and homebrew are a scourge of society.
Some people are working hard to fight these problems.
One of these is Jerry Naur, director of Waste Off Management Company, who is providing employment opportunities for young people and advocating for a better place for all.
The 28-year-old hails from Komukomongo in Kundiawa-Gembogl, Chimbu.
He is the last of four children raised by a single mother Rita Naur.
Jerry Naur completed his secondary schooling at Kerowagi in Chimbu in 2008, however, couldn’t continue on to university.
“I lost hope when I realised that I didn’t make it into University of PNG,” he recalls.
“I thought that was the end of my journey in life, and that I now have to go back to the village and to help my uncle’s farm.
“I knew I let my mother down after seeing all the struggles she went through to put me through school.”
A friend told Naur that he could continue his education through UPNG’s Open Campus College, however, school fees were beyond his reach.
He decided to come to Port Moresby and look for jobs to pay for his school fees.
“My mother helped me with my ticket fare and I flew down to Port Moresby with only K50 in my pocket,” Naur says.
“I came out from the airport and the first thing that caught my eyes was the big billboard with the sign that reads, ‘Welcome to Port Moresby, the land of opportunities’.
“That raised my hopes.”
He says he went and lived with his relatives at ATS Settlement.
Naur realised in his very first week that life at the settlement was unhealthy with lack of running water.
“I realised the settlements were different from the village I grew up in,” he says.
“I notice that people lived recklessly, and there were youths who were using drugs and alcohol to harm themselves and the community that they lived in.”
Naur says he is tempted to join the crowd, however, resists and starts doing odd jobs for his daily survival.
In Aug 2010 he was recruited by Bank South Pacific as a customer officer.
By then he’d left ATS Settlement and moved to Wildlife Settlement.
Naur saw the same thing: Problem youth and an unhealthy environment.
He realised that he had to do something to help improve the situation, and to create a cleaner environment.
Naur started a company specialising in waste management and construction. He registered the company in 2013, and by 2016, the company was actively assisting the National Capital District Commission to clean the city.
Naur employed youths from around the community to work in the Waste Off Management company.
He went as far as sponsoring a local rugby league team, J-Warriors, in off-season games.
“I want the boys to divert their attention away from drug and alcohol abuse,” Naur says.
“Focus on getting employed, playing sports and living a healthy lifestyle in order to have hope and be a useful member of the community.
“I have struggled to get to be where I am now.
“I don’t want them to lose hope in themselves.
“I want them to take the high road to become successful in life.
By MARTHA DERUAGE