HUNDREDS of youths from Dei district, Western Highlands province, have pledged to stop smoking marijuana and ferment home-made alcohol.
Instead, they plan to take up sports, they told their people, community leaders and the police at Mun last Friday.
To show that they were serious, they uprooted 200 marijuana plants and burnt them in front of the huge crowd, which included provincial police commander Chief Supt Kaigelo Ambane and major sponsor of Mun off-seasons sports, Simon Norum, who is the managing director of Macoes (PNG) Limited Company.
The youths said that many of them had been involved in drugs all their lives and felt it was time to stop and do something useful for their communities.
A group spokesman Gabriel Raim said they would need financial backing to venture into sports and do something useful.
Mr Raim said that Macoes (PNG) Limited was sponsoring the offseason games in Mun, offering them the medicine to cure them from their illnesses.
Chief Supt Ambane described the event as special when youths made up their mind to give up alcohol and drugs and take up sports because PNG needed young brains to push for development.
“If we wait for the Government to help we will wait a long time and then things could become worse,” he said, adding that if the youths were well-equipped in their communities, then they could play major roles in PNG’s development.
Mr Norum said his company would continue to sponsor the off-season competition with another K5,000 for the Oct-Dec season.
Macoes (PNG) Ltd contributed K10,000 on top of a total of K30,000 already contributed from the local MP and the community to fund the off-season activities and the youths change their lives.
The sports being played are volleyball, basketball and touch football.