UPNG LDP participants taking ownership of the The Voice Inc story:
“Our Journey, Our Story, Our Time”
By Xenia Kekae- TVI Communications & Marketing Assistant (UPNG)
“The Voice Inc. was started by a group of likeminded young youths who saw the need of the people and took the time to commit to these small but very important needs. Who knew such a small humble beginning could to lead to what is now known as The Voice Inc., an internally recognised organization. Thus, as much as it was their time, story and journey, we have taken ownership of this and made it our story, our journey and we believe it is our time to rise up and awaken this generation. We invite you to share in this story and journey with us, and take ownership of it by applying for the Leadership Development Program.”
These were the words spoken powerfully yet elegantly by one of our Nation Builders, Fingkewe Zurenuoc during the TVI presentation in MLT on Wednesday.
The UPNG Nation Builders were given the platform to prepare, organize, delegate and oversee the applications for the 2017 Leadership Development Program during the O-Week which fell on the 3rd April and ended on the 7th. This year’s LDP orientation was completely different from the previous years in terms of preparations, the actual presentations and the presenters. This year, the UPNG LDPers proudly took ownership of the whole program with the bold theme “Our Story, Our Journey, Our Time” and the 2017 Nation Builders took the lead in ensuring this theme was conveyed clearly so as to convince the first and the second years to apply for the program.
Days leading up to the much anticipated o-week saw the young passionate youths gather in the CfL office to discuss the program. Session plans were drawn out, budgets were cut and tasks were delegated to each LDPers for the week. These included assigning people to sit at the information and sign up booth, taking note of the data base, selecting panelists, presenters and public speakers to speak at the presentation on Wednesday 1-2pm session, and many others.
As the O-Week eventually kicked off on Monday, the UPNG LDPers went out in full swing to get students to apply for the Leadership Development Program. It was an intense yet busy week for all as the LDPers relentlessly pitched to the potential applicants from day 1 to day 5. The target was to get 250 applicants and though over 700 applications were given out, only 182 came back as of Monday 10th April, 2017. “In spite of the fact that we did not reach our target, the feedback from the potential applicants was overwhelming,” said Joseph Malabag, a third level Nation Builder. “And I guess it’s safe to say that our time committed to the o-week and the efforts put into preparing for the actual program was not in vain” continued Joseph. “We got more than half of the set target and we’re proud of that.”
Pictured: Applicants filling in the forms inside the CfL office.
Day 1 of the o-week saw the LDPers giving out 200 application forms. Of these, only 29 were returned. Day 2 saw 120 applications being distributed and 28 being returned. A total of 250 applications were given out on Wednesday (Day 3) which was the biggest number we had whole week and out of this, 35 applications returned. On Day 4, 100 applications were given out and 22 were returned. Day 5 of the o-week saw 30 applications being distributed and yet a total of 64 filled applications were returned. Thus, this was the biggest number returned all week. Regardless, by the end of the o-week, a total of 700 applications had been given out with over 600 TVI brochures and a total of 179 filled applications were returned. However, as of the final due date which was on Tuesday 12th April, a sum of 185 applications were recorded into the data base.
Moreover, a total number of 102 first years applied for the program and a total of 84 applicants from second year. Day 1 was dominated by the second years as only 7 first years applied and 22 applicants were second years. Day 2 saw 13 first years and 15 second years. 23 first years signed up on Wednesday (day 3) and 12 applicants were from second years. On day 4, 22 students signed up in which 22 applicants were first years and only 2 were second years. The final day saw 35 first year applicants and 27 second years. These left us with a total of 102 first year applicants and 84 second years as of Tuesday 12th April.
Apart from pitching to the students about TVI, the Clean Gen Campaign and the leadership program, our LDPers bravely shared their personal experiences with TVI and how the LDP has allowed them to develop their confidence and to perceive things differently. For example; one of the common talks that were shared through all week was the idea of “leadership.” This is one sensitive word that is discussed constantly yet powerfully in the entire leadership program. Now, PNG’s most common and cultural way of defining the term ‘leadership’ is when people stand in front of a crowd and talk. It is hard not to disagree with this definition.
Pictured: LDPers listening attentively as TVI’s Executive Director Barbra Thomas talk about taking ownership of the program.
Now, many of our young people grow up with such an orthodox only to confine, limit and belittle themselves. At The Voice Inc., we believe every one is a leader and that everyone has the power and potential to lead and influence others in a positive way. Thus, this is one of the many enlightening yet sensitive topic that is exclusively exposed and encouraged in the LDP.
Regardless, a good number of students were fairly convinced with our pitching that they instantly signed up at the sign up booth. “Convincing students to just apply wasn’t as easy as it sounds,” remarks Helen Yurus, one of the Nation Builders who was at the forefront of the whole program all week.
Picture: Patricia Nogai, a 2016 Dreamer pitching to students to apply.
When asked how Helen convinced her peers to apply for the program, she valorously answered, “Apart from conveying the message of the Clean Gen Campaign and pitching about TVI and the LDP, I tried my best to share with them my personal experience and journey with TVI and how the program has helped me to be the strong, bold and confident person I am today.” She said, “Thanks to the DREAM program, I now know myself, my values, what I stand for in life, who I surround myself with and what matters matter the most in life,” continued Helen. “And I told them that these were some of the things that they too can experience and discover within themselves if they signed up.” Relating personal experience with the LDP was indeed the key to convincing the first and the second years to apply. This was further emphasized to a larger-than-expected crowd on Wednesday during our formal presentation in MLT. As the theme stood, there were panel discussions held in which our very own Champion, founder of Mission Vibe and the recipient of the UN Champion of Youth award, as well as one of the seven 2017 Archers Scholars, Lydia went on to share her experience and how TVI has set the platform for her to engage with other dynamic youth organizations to give back to her people and community.
Although the 2017 Nation Builders did not reach their target of applicants, it was a good week overall. We had a couple of third and final years who wanted to apply but unfortunately, couldn’t simply because of the time frame of the LDP. However, they were encouraged to sign up for the Clean Generation Campaign as this was also part of The Voice Inc. and some eagerly did just that. More so, free sweet biscuits, water and cordials were given out to those that actually filled in an application form on the spot. We also had a couple of external students applying. In addition to these, we had a couple of t-shirts sold and given out freely as promotions for the leadership program. Regarding the Clean Gen t-shirts, students were encouraged to buy a magazine at the bookshop and bring the receipt to the CfL office to get a clean gen t-shirt for a discount of K10.