Youth Against Corruption Association (YACA) held its first Youth Forum of the year on Saturday the 23rd of March 2019. The forum was held at the main lecture theatre of the University of Papua New Guinea under the theme, “PNG Bilong Yumi”.
Through this forum and two others planned for May and November this year, YACA aims to involve young people in discussions about national issues that affect them. 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.
Two inspiring young Papua New Guineans were invited to speak at the forum. Miss Tess Gizoria, recipient of the Queens Young Leader Award in 2017 and a Youth Representative in the Central Provincial Assembly, and Mr 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 realise their roles in safeguarding these resources and actively participate in nation building and good governance.
“By inviting speakers like Jerry and Tess, who have travelled around PNG and have a passion for change to share their experiences with young people, 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”, said TIPNG’s Youth Integrity Program (YIP) Coordinator, Mr Dagia Aka.
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.
Students who attended the forum said discussions at the forum 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.