Finding Purpose, Kevin Kennedy

For over two decades, the non-profit organization of City Mission PNG (CMPNG), has been making a positive impact in the lives of countless Papua new Guineans who undergo training at the Life Skills Centre.

Each year City Mission, located at Mirigeda in Central Province, enrolls more than a hundred young men aging from 18 to 26, to undergo this life skills training. Many of them stay on after completing the program to help other young men find their purpose within the program.

Fourteen years ago, Kevin Kennedy from Gulf Province, who lived and grew up in the Joyce Bay settlement, now known as Horse camp in Sabama, enrolled at the City Mission office in Koki. Today, Kevin is a staff supervisor of the Metal and Fabricating Department of CMPNG.

Kevin expressed that enrolling in the City Mission program in 2008 was the best decision he made for himself. The program helped him recognize the huge contrasts between the life he was living, and the life he was experiencing while in the program.

He said the program has equipped him to live a life of maturity and help him grow into the man that he is now. Kevin said others who had also been through the mission’s program trained him. It is through them that Kevin’s will to help other young men, with similar stories and experiences, grew stronger.

Kevin said with this new found will and passion, he has taken every opportunity to help other young men like him, to realize that there is hope for a better future, if they work hard for it.

Many of the young men who have come to be part of the program come from disadvantaged homes, difficult upbringings and lack the guidance needed to propel them into a more secured future. However, CMPNG’s Life Skills Training Centre aims to change the direction of the lives of these young men into a much brighter future.

Kevin said he encourages the young men who are part of the program to utilize the opportunities they have to learn as much as they can and in doing so, bringing back light and hope into their lives, to do better for themselves, their families and also, the communities that they will go back to and be part of.

Kevin says his passion to keep helping other young men is what brought him back into the program in 2010 to not only be a trainer in the vocational department, but also lead these young men using his experiences and life as testimony. 

The trainee now turned trainer, expressed gratitude to City Mission, thanking the organization and the trainers that put time and effort into ensuring that he made a turn in his life for the better, and thus, now aims to do the same for others through the program.

City Mission PNG has invested in further studies for many young men on completion of the Life Skills Training Centre programs. For Kevin, he had the opportunity to attend a 3-month course at Don Bosco. Kevin has moved around between the mission’s other branch in Lae and in Port Moresby.

Kevin shared that many who have passed through the program now have steady jobs and are doing consistently well in life. He said the program teaches trade skills to young men who already have so much potential to do more.

His encouragement to other young men who have yet to find their true calling and purpose, is to seek out the City Mission, for there is still hope for more chances at a successful life through hard and honest work.

Marysila Kellerton