2017 “Youth Arts Program” (YAP) at Moresby Arts Theatre (MAT) will see young groups of students from 13 schools in Port Moresby act out plays they have written about social issues such as family and sexual violence, corruption, cyber-bullying, alcohol and drugs, and social inclusiveness for people with disabilities.
The Youth Arts Program is a six-week event held each year by Moresby Arts Theatre. During weeks one and two it brings together a number of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) who inform the students of important social issues that need to be addressed to improve the community.
During these two weeks, the students also receive training in theatre skills from University of Goroka drama instructors, which they use to write and rehearse plays about the themes learned from the NGOs before presenting them to the public on August 17 and 18.
According to Dr. Jane Awi, from the University of Goroka and YAP sponsor, the PNG-Australia Alumni Association (PNGAAA), “The Youth Arts Program empowers students to discover their own potential, to express their own voice and to develop their community leadership skills. They use theatre and creativity to explore ideas, issues, people, places and happenings in the world.”
“Young people are brought together through YAP to understand and communicate social and cultural values through the arts. This empowers them to have a voice in their schools, communities and society at large,” Dr. Awi said.
NGOs who supported YAP included Toastmasters, Team PNG H.E.R.O., Transparency International PNG, Digicel’s “Men of Honour” initiative, the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee and the National Board for Disabled People.
YAP 2017 is supported by the Australian Government through the PNG-Australia Alumni Association.