By Lilian Sopera Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Youth Against Corruption Association (YACA) held its first Youth Forum of the year last week at the University of Papua New Guinea.
A total of 106 students from secondary schools in NCD and the Central Province attended the forum and took part in a panel discussion and a question and answer session with the guest speakers.
The forum aims to involve young people in discussions about national issues that affect them.
Two inspiring young Papua New Guineans were invited to speak at the forum. Tess Gizoria, Recipient of the Queens Young Leader Award in 2017 and a Youth Representative in the Central Provincial Assembly, and Jerry Albaniel, a young videographer, and owner of JA Video Productions whose passion and work has taken him to almost every province in PNG.
Both speakers encouraged those present to recognize how rich PNG is and realize their roles in safeguarding these resources and actively participate in nation building and good governance.
TIPNG’s Youth Integrity Program (YIP) Coordinator, Dagia Aka said, “…TIPNG hopes that these young people can take ownership of their future and advocate for better governance and transparency in their everyday lives. Young people are most likely to stand up against issues like corruption, exploitation of natural resources and climate change when they realize how much of their future at stake.”
These forums will also give them the opportunity to share their views on issues and positively engage with government departments and other stakeholders in their communities to curb corruption.
Students who attended said the discussions encouraged them to be better citizens and were eager to help create a better future for PNG.
Others also took to Facebook to express how the forum inspired them to find a passion and use it to advocate for change and to motivate other young people to do the same.