By ELIAS LARI
THIRTY youths in Western Highlands have decided to do away with growing and smoking marijuana and live a better life.
Among the 30 were three female secondary school students.
The young people from Tepoka-Kelbo clan in Dei electorate took a stand at Waiki village to live a life without marijuana.
A week-long church gathering was held by all Church denominations in that area followed by the surrender programme last Saturday.
Highlands region police lawyer John Sagom, Dei police station commander Namba Kop and Mt Hagen-based police Mobile Squad 5 personnel were present to witness the young people changing their lives.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG (ELCPNG) Kotna Circuit president Philip David said their prayers were answered to see such a large number of young people changing their lives.
He said young people were future leaders of this nation and should change their lives.
David called on the government to look into programmes to help these young people.
Sagom commended them for making a bold decision.
He praised churches for making a tireless effort in praying to change the young people from their bad ways.
“Police, community leaders and the church have to stand as a team to restore peace and harmony in a community,” Sagom said.
“This is the fruit of such unity.
“I want to encourage all organisations to come together and work as a team to bring change and development into our community.”
Kop said this was a pilot project which he initiated in the hope of it reaching out to other communities.
“We must look at ways to rehabilitate these addicts,” he said.
Tepoka tribe councillors Jim Wipa and Robert Kerowa pledged their support.
By ELIAS LARI