A Church Pastor in Lae saysthe problems of youth are far more entranced and that did not happen overnight.
Pastor John Garu believes corrective measures will take even longer to reversethe trend.
The Pastor’s comments come asthe government movers to help people create wealth underthe SMEs.
Lae’s urban population is mostly young people, many ofthem are unemployed. They are dis-connected and don’t feel a sense of purpose or belonging.
The reality of that is demonstrated at one ofthe country’s biggest jails, Beimo. Seventy five percent ofthe inmates are categorised as youth.
This trend is a worry to Pastor John Garu ofthe Christian Outreach Centre in Lae.
“Crime is not whatthey want butthey’ve been forced to do it. When I visitedthe prison, I askthem why do want to come to prison? Their response; (1)there’s no food for us, and (2)there’s no shelter and security outthere inthe community. Prison is notthe right place to be but where can we get help so we restored to crime that will end us inthe prison so at least we get this basic things,” says Pastor John.
Pastor Garu’s concern overthe plight of youth is shared by Dr. Gary Sali, a criminologist atthPNG University of Technology.
The recently concluded SME’summit in Madang highlighted a growing concern for our Youth.
Some 12,000 are basically out ofthe education system each year. This number is set to increase each year and it is partly that reason thatthe Government wants to provide assistance through Small to Medium Enterprises.