Reflections from Penua Hila-Cook
The Voice Inc. hosted its first KomUNITY bung in Lae to launch off the Clean Generation Campaign. The barbecue was organized by students from our Leadership Development Program from Unitech and UPNG who were in Lae.
This event was attended by 52 people made up of young people, high school teachers, church youth leaders and the Lae community at large. The event was a success with many positive responses from those who attended.
We were privileged to have with us School Captains and Deputy School Principles of the largest run Secondary Schools in Lae. All the high schools that were present – Busu Secondary, Lae Secondary School, Bugandi, Bumayong and Lae Community College – were excited by the message of Clean Gen and are interested in joining the Campaign. This was evident in the number of DREAM Toolkits and Clean Gen Tok Magazines that were either sold or given away as prizes. In total, 22 toolkits and 8 magazines left with our guests at the end of the barbecue.
Personally, I felt inspired by the work that is already being done in our High Schools in Lae, especially by the student leaders in ridding our schools of inter-school fighting and cult activities. The head boys of Bumayong and Bugandi have made commendable improvements in their respective high schools and should be applauded for their efforts.
At Lae Secondary School, Deputy Principle and Connect Group co-ordinator, Mr Sabok, is making progress in leaps and bounds through the Connect Group by impacting and positively changing the hearts and minds of our young people to be more focussed on values and visions that go beyond academia. This was evident in the eagerness of the student leaders to host a “Clean Act” in Lae city to demonstrate their stand to want to be a Clean Generation. We only see good things ahead if these are the young leaders leading the movement in Lae City!
We also have support from good friends that impact young people on a daily basis. Mr Austin Polin from AGD Printing in his remarks at the barbecue mentioned the need to get the young people in our Leadership Development Program to be engaged with small businesses in Lae as apprentices. Mr Dennis Miall, the Director of Lae Schoolboys Rugby League also wants TVI to set up shop at the weekend games and talk about Clean Gen so that our young athletes are developing other skills.
From the barbecue I came to realize that the opportunities to impact our communities are endless, all we have to do is to impact the leaders and equip them with the tools to run with the message. We are on the right track, we just need to keep going higher and wider, ensuring that more and more young people hear the message and start living as a Clean Generation today!
Penua Hila-Cook is a graduate architect from the PNG University of Technology and is our program officers that overseas our Leadership Development Program in Lae.