Youth Participation: A Bridge to Opportunities - Nigel Akuani

Port Moresby: Real opportunities that benefit young people bring about effective youth participation.

Png youth inclusion sdg

This reflective statement was made by the Year-Eleven students of Jubilee Catholic Secondary during their talk on the topic ‘Youth Participation in Decision Making’ on TribeFM’s Chatroom program of Wednesday 13th November.

In their discussion the students dealt with a definition of the topic, its importance, factors affecting participation, importance of role models, recommendations and a call for the government to assist with the empowering of young people.

Jamieson Lalaga defined youth as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to the independence of adulthood. He said that adults need to understand this. 
“This transition allows a young person’s consciousness, active participation, creativity, independence and ability to take responsibility for their actions. Effective youth participation is about creating opportunities for young people to be involved in influencing, shaping, designing and contributing to policy and the development of services and programs,” he said.

Ian Waho stressed the importance of youth participation in decision making and said it was essential for young people to contribute effectively and positively to society.

Solange Dawana spoke of the proper role models in society. 
“Youth involvement in decision making is lacking in Papua New Guinea because many young people today do not have someone positive to look up to,” she said. “In Papua New Guinea we tend to give the upper hand to the elders in our society because of our respect for them. To achieve cooperation, participation and workflow in society, young people have to be acknowledged and given the opportunity to act,” she added.

Felicianna Konga concluded the discussions recommending that the elders in society to provide pathways necessary for young people to contribute on matters. 
“They need to be given a chance to speak their minds, if not, they will tend to look for it elsewhere.  They will be going against adult supervision without a second thought as to whether their decisions are good or bad,” she said.

Chatroom’s next session on Wednesday 20th November will have Students of St Charles L’wanga Secondary and Specialists from UNICEF discuss the importance of the upcoming ‘International Children’s Day’.

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