The National- Wednesday, January 19, 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
A SELF-HELP community project in Koroba, Southern Highlands, received K10,000 from the provincial government last Saturday.
The Pandu Hela cultural centre and lodge near Koroba station was an initiative of more than 60 youths who decided to turn away from guns and drugs and engage in productive community activities.
Chairman Tobi Wakia said in early 2008, the youths surrendered guns and uprooted marijuana plants in front of government officers to take part in developing their community and abstain from illegal activities.
He said the youths with a vision to change their community started the Pandu Hela cultural centre.
He said they decided that the unique but dying traditional cultures would have to be preserved by imparting skills and knowledge to the younger generation and also display them during cultural shows.
Wakia said the community had further developed the area into a lodge while at the same time retaining the cultural centre.
Wakia told The National during the presentation that the whole community was behind the project with new buildings for the lodge to accommodate visitors, researchers and holidays.
Governor’s office project officer for the Hela region David Tarali said the provincial government through the leadership of Anderson Agriu was proud to assist communities that wanted to help themselves.
He challenged the people to use the money for the intended purpose of upgrading the lodge and cultural centre.