wRiTiNgS oN tHe WaLL

Posted: June 30, 2006 in Citizenship, Education, Employment, Health, Information, Sports

They have come from far and wide. To meet up with their destiny. To see the “Writings on the Wall”. Find their fate which is engraved on the wall and work on making it a reality.

How surprised they were….to find a wall without markings. Nothing written and Fr.Brian with a mocking smile on his face.

What?? Is there no writing on the walls?? Where is my destiny…..I want to follow my fate

Fr. Brain ” There is nothing on the wall for you. Your fate is in your hands… Today you will chart your new life and work towards making it work for you. Your destiny is your own, you must write it on the wall where a space is left for you.

So take this maker, take this new sheet of paper.

And write your dreams away.

Write what you feel is dearest to you.

Write what social issues that affect you.

Write them all and leave out none.

For today, your destiny will be written.”


With new eagerness, 89 out-of-school youths took to the walls. Markers in hand and papers flying. These young adults comprises of unemployed youths, sex workers, ex-bomana inmates and a few curious onlookers.

 What happens at Open Space?

Open Space gives everyone a chance to create their own agenda and to discuss the things that are most important to them.  A trained facilitator in the form of Fr. Brian who “Open the Space” and describe how the meeting works but he did not set up the topics to be discussed.  It was the participates themselves who choosed the topics then start their own, smaller discussion groups with anyone else who is interested.

Here are some of the issues they wrote:

  • Education for grassroots
  • Education reform system
  • Employment problem
  • Education – Peter
  • Education – Eva
  • Unemployment – Robert Ali
  • What are the jobs, chances, opportunities for ex-prisoners
  • Abuse against women (family problems)
  • After school no employment – stap lon street – David
  • Lack of job opportunity – Peter
  • Should there be chances or opportunities (job) for ex-prisoners
  • No job because of no experience – Matthias
  • Education, job, health, Communities, nogat luksave – John
  • We have the qualification (education) but wantok system is the problem
  • Wai na government I no lukluk long ol yuts long sports
  • There should be some sports education in prison
  • Breaking of cultural values that demoralize our customary and traditional values – Ellison
  • I want to continue my education but no school fees – no one to help me – Muli
  • No jobs and education for youths in settlement area – Andy
  • Police brutality (tougher penalties) – James
  • Lack of job opportunity youths in the streets – George
  • Money – because no job tintin short mi painim tarablo – Lapa
  • Money is everything – John
  • Lack of education, lack of govt. support to youths, job opportunities for grasruts, better living for people in PNG – Peter
  • No school fees
  • Government doing nothing against the unemployment of youth, job, opportunities – Steven
  • Life em hard na mistap long hausi – Herry

These young people where given the opportunity in the form of “Open Space” where they discuss pressing social issues and the areas they need help in. Their issues are summaries and presented to the minister for youth and other youth stakeholders who will set-up programs to help these young people. The Open Space in Port Moresby was a pilot project with similar projects happening throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Kanda Catch!

  1. Badira says:

    Hello wantok,

    Mi full sapot na wanbel lo wok yupla mekim stap.

    The lauching of the radio station is a great way to promote awarness and discussion among young PNGeans in PNG.

    There are 2 issues.
    1. How to reach young pngeans in PNG and get them to talk about socioeconomic issues affecting them

    2. How to reach young PNGeans abroad and get them to understand the dreams of our wantoks back home and how we can practically help.

    So I see two solutions
    1. To reach the masses of young pngenas in PNG via radio
    2. To reach the masses of young pngeans overseas via online blogs/forums

    Radio and internet acts a bridge between young PNGeans overseas and those in the settlements and villages.

    Result is that everyone is more informed, aware and understands each others needs and wants to make informed decisions to help each other.

    I encourage you to post transcripts you discuss on air.


  2. Rex says:

    Thanks for your wonderful comment.
    I think to reach wantoks overseas and tell them about youth issues via blog is what I have started.

    To reach wantoks within the country via radio is a dream and a dream can come true. I will be looking for support on this issue.

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