Young people are future of PNG, organisation says

Education, Normal

The National, Monday February 17th, 2014

 YOUNG people are the future of Papua New Guinea, a non-government organisation says. 

This is a premise that local NGO, The Voice Inc, takes very seriously in its efforts to see generations of young people driven by purpose and confident in the value of their contribution to their communities, their nation and the world.

These are values that echoed resoundingly throughout last week’s orientation programme at universities throughout the country, with first-year students being reminded of the values they ought to embody as up and coming future leaders of this country.

During the university orientations, emphasis was put not only on doing well in studies but on the importance of young people having a sense of purpose in their lives, setting goals, acting ethically, practising good citizenship and treating each other with respect. 

At the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), pro-vice chancellor academic and student affairs, Prof Pulapa Subba Rao reminded students that they must practise good citizenship, good governance and self-control.

“Train yourself to be effective managers,” he said. 

“Act with a purpose and have a sense of where you want to go and try to be ethical as doing the right thing in a wrong way is wrong”.

Similar messages were delivered during the orientation proceedings in Lae at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (Unitech), with acting vice-chancellor Prof Pumwa urging students to think highly and positively of themselves as intellects, to develop positive attitudes and relate positively to one another. 

“If you don’t have the right attitude, you will not go anywhere,” Pumwa said. “You need to develop good attitudes.”

The Voice Inc was founded on this basis – to address the need to encourage young people to have a sense of purpose and fulfilment in their lives. 

The organisation started from humble beginnings as a group of university students volunteering to run programmes for other students at UPNG. 

The success of these programmes and the impacts that it was having on the lives of the students led to this student association becoming a fully-fledged incorporation, which was formally launched in July 2007 by the former governor-general of PNG, Sir Paulias Matane in the presence of the UPNG administration.

The Voice Inc now runs a range of leadership and personal development programmes. 

Its Leadership Development Programme (LDP), will again run in 2014. It is completed over three years and is a three-level programme that is comprised of DREAM, Active Citizenship and National Builder levels.

Programme alumni, Sarah Griffin said: “Through my experience of being associated with The Voice Inc, it has led me to believe that you can only allow yourself to go as far as you think or believe that you can.

“Positive thinking and confidence in yourself and what you know you are capable of, being your strengths and passions, brings you closer to achieving your goals and living your dreams.”

The University of Goroka is the next to follow with a space to be opened there soon. 

The Centre for Leadership official opening will take place on Feb 19 at Unitech, in Lae, and Feb 20 at UPNG, in Port Moresby. 

Applications for the LDP are now open to all first and second-year students at Unitech and UPNG and will close on Feb 28.