Milne Bay youths surrender guns and homebrew equipment

Youths from Ahioma and Nigila wards in the Huhu Local Level Government (LLG) of Milne Bay Province recently surrendered their homemade guns and homebrew equipment.

About 200 youths from the two wards surrendered a homemade gun, two sets of live ammunitions and nine gas cylinders.

Among the youths are seven mothers who brew and sell homemade alcohol (steam) to the youths in order to earn income especially single mothers.

The mothers did not attend the ceremony but surrendered their homebrew equipment.

Milne Bay provincial youth coordinator for the Community Development Division Vicky Wesley said the youths have surrendered on their free will in order to make a change and have a fresh start.

The youths surrendered the items to police in the presence of provincial government officers, church leaders, LLG officers and the media.

Wesley said the police officers were very impressed during the actual handover of items to them.

She said there was a lot of dialogue between the youths and the police where the youths actually came out and said they were afraid to surrender in the first place.

“They’ve had enough of being abused and they’ve come to know that they can do something better than engage in criminal activities.

“The ultimate aim of what we are doing here is to establish a mother body for Huhu LLG which consists of 29 wards of which Ahioma and Nigila are part of,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the youths, male advocator and coordinator at NGO Kedu Safe Haus, John Abraham said it took about six months to get things organised and finally surrender what they have.

“We are happy and pleased with what we have done and so far we are happy and pleased with the outcome and are privileged that the provincial government officers are willing to help us,” he said.

This has now opened up a pathway for empowerment and rehabilitation programs to take place in the communities to be carried out by the community development division.

Quintina Naime