We embarked on our #PNG16to16th social media campaign, to continue the conversation on what is needed to bring Papua New Guinea forward as we celebrate 41 years of Independence. The conversation this year focused on what our people envisioned a UNITED Papua New Guinea to look like.
As Papua New Guinea enters into another decade of self governance it is important to reflect and reconnect to the things that make us unique and bring us together. It is amazing that we could be one nation when there is so much diversity in our languages, our landscapes and our cultures. It is in this DIVERSITY that we find the need to UNITE which then challenges us to think and identify what could unite us. What is it that keeps us together as ONE nation, if not for our flag and our government?
We asked our community about what they thought UNITY looked liked in our land of a thousand tribes. It was agreed collectively that our diversity was our pride and in many ways fostered a sense of unity amongst us yet also sometimes put a wedge between us. Today it is common to be judged based on the stereotypes attached to where you are from. Events over the past few months have affirmed this as we have seen the ugly head of provincialism rise in our urban areas, higher learning institutions and sports fields fuelled at times by viral discussions on social media. In order to break down these stereotypes, we believe there is now more than ever a need for a shared understanding of who we are as a people, with a clear picture of where we want to go and the values we need to embrace to take us forward.
James Lunge painted his picture of a united Papua New Guinea wonderfully when he said “When I think of ‘unity’, I’d like to think of the ocean. Papua New Guinea is blessed with a lot of pristine following river systems. These rivers and their hydraulics have great might and potential just to shape the path it will travel. But when they go into the ocean and join other mighty rivers, they are an unpredictable force that can bring disaster or help humanity with its abundance of resources. PNG, we can shape our future and destiny and become stronger than today if we are united.”
“I see Unity in people like me, that have so much love for this nation that it cannot be channeled into only one Province. Ultimately I SEE UNITY IN FRIENDSHIP,” said Jessica Bablis.
At The Voice Inc we believe that a paradigm shift is essential in ensuring our vision for unity happens. We believe that by reflecting on our values, we will be able to shift dominant culture that impedes national unity. Culture in its simplest form refers to how society or a group acts. We must know and be able to promote, model or live out the values that will help create a paradigm shift – values such as love, respect, tolerance, understanding, peace etc.
Pamela Bobola-Krisimpa, described the value of UNITY as being paramount for making that paradigm shift reality, “Unity is about the paradigm shift of being different to being the same in how one thinks, acts, talks and simply handles situation. Unity = Power = Impact.”
Values underpin the way we act, talk, and the way we move individually as a person and collectively as a community. It is because of this that The Voice Inc. has embarked on a campaign to promote the values that we believe will bring our beautiful nation of Papua New Guinea forward. These are also very much the values that form the foundations of our work and programs in the universities and high schools as the Clean Generation movement. The #PNG16to16th countdown in this sense promote 16 values beginning from 1st to the 16th of September to influence thoughts and conversations about the positive culture that will drive prosperity for our country.
We end with another vision of UNITY from one of our young leaders, Joshua Sialis, “UNITY, to me looks like 800 tribes with one heartbeat. A Nation where values are upheld, and common sense prevails. A nation not divided by culture, ethnicity, religion or language; but UNITED in love & respect for each other. A people UNITED under one God and one Nation.”
Happy 41st Anniversary of Independence Papua New Guinea!
Note: We would like to sincerely thank all those who took the time to answer our question on their vision of UNITY for Papua New Guinea. It is in the hopes, desires and visions we have in our hearts for a united Papua New Guinea that will continue to drive our nation forward. God bless Papua New Guinea!