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January 29, 2022
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PNGs Youth Champions for Sustainable Development Goals

by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

Four young Papua New Guineans have been nominated by the United Nations in Papua New Guinea as Youth Champions for Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: @one.un.papua.new.guinea Facebook

The young champions are Lydia Dimokari from Milne Bay; Nathan Garry from Eastern Highlands; Fredah Joses from Morobe and Raylance Mesa from Tami Island, Morobe Province.

During the United Nation Day celebration last year on October 24, the UN in PNG nominated and awarded the four young leaders as champions for SDG’s.

Each of the leaders had their own remarkable stories of how they have helped their communities to see positive changes.

Lydia Dimokari

For young Lydia, helping young women to make good decisions and choices in life was something she said drove her passion to take this leadership role. Lydia has developed a project engaging young women, and advocating to help them understand the importance of making good decisions in their lives.

For this young lady, having the knowledge and comparing those who lack this, was one sad story she said motivated her to helping the young women in her age group.

Nathan Yaleha Garry

Like Lydia, Nathan, the only male among the three females, says unemployed youths in the settlement are engaging in illegal activities, and is one of the driving elements that motivated him to take lead to help the youths in the area where he was residing.

Seeing the kind of life they were living, Nathan said, youth in the settlement were left out and helping to engage them in positive activities was very inspiring for many of them.

This has given hope to some who thought, drinking and smoking drugs was the only life they had.

Fredah, also has the same background. In most of the awareness initiatives, she was advocating more on political issues, government, women issues and others.

Fredah Joses

Fredah recently returned back from Bangkok, Thailand, after attending  a two-week Asia Pacific Youth Conference on SDGs. Fredah has taken part in a lot of projects engaged to help change lives. For Fredah, using the little resources one has and putting it into good use, to see good outcomes, is the foundation to seeing changes.

She believes, “do what you can do with what you have to see the change,” which was her piece of advice. She is currently engaged with many networks both within and abroad.

Raylance, has also carried out awareness programs, especially on school fights in Lae, Morobe Province. She has helped her island, Tami, and the locals to see the importance of education.

Raylance Mesa

In her engagement with her community, Raylance has educated her village locals, on the importance of community participation. With the limited resources they had, and Raylance’ architectural knowledge, she helped the community to build teachers houses to upgrade their only community school. She has also advocated more on school fights and continues to advocate more on the importance of education. She continues to be an inspiration to her people on the island as most of them, have begun to learn the importance of using limited available resource, into good use.

Through her help, the community was able to build the sea wall, as part of the resilience initiative from high sea levels.

Raylance will participate in the UN Youth ECOSCO forum, as part of UNs support to exposing the leaders to regional and international conferences, essentially to gain new knowledge from others and apply where necessary.

According to UN Resident Coordinator, Roy Trivedy, said the young leaders have effected remarkable changes in their communities, and will continue with their good work to help empower other youths in and around Papua New Guinea, they all work together to bring more awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The four Youth Champions for SDG are the first batch in this initiative and will work closely with the UN in Papua New Guinea to support them in their roles as agents of change.

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