Program to empower youth

A local Bougainvillean NGO, Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, has focused its efforts to empower youths in Bougainville to be aware of the region’s current socio-political climate and to make informed decisions on its future.

LNWDA executive director Helen Hakena says the NGO has started a program called “Youth lukaut for peace project” aimed at those between the ages of 15 and 35.

Hakena says lack of decision making by youths in Bougainville and knowledge on current socio-political issues has been affecting Bougainville for a long time now and they need to be made aware as well as be kept up to date with the issues the province is facing.

Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through Plan International, the project, which was initiated in April last year has already seen more than 1,000 youths participating in North Bougainville on the northern tip of mainland Bougainville, which includes Selau/Suir and Tinputz.

After the completion of the northern phase of the project, it will move into Central and South Bougainville to conduct the same awareness and education strategy that is being initiated in North Bougainville.

She adds that the expected outcome of the central and southern phase is to achieve the positive response shared by the northern communities.

Annette Kora