Kutubu’s invisible tug-of-war

Kutubu is one LLG in the Southern Highlands Province that is caught between the non-renewable oil and gas industry and the sustainable tourism industry.

Over the years, the impact of this invisible tug-of-war has left a generation of confused youth.

With not much development and less empowerment, the local population is geared toward a contemporary lifestyle, proving to be more dangerous overtime.

But the communities of Kutubu LLG are no longer waiting for government intervention.

Local authority figures have encouraged youth groups to take the social responsibility in keeping the young generation in line.

One such group is the Kutubu Theater Youth Group formed in 2004.

Initiated by Petrus Sayo (chairman), teaming up with Douglas Awa (coordinator), the group has used theater (acting) as a means to do awareness.

"We touch on serious issues affecting the communities, such as HIV, drug and alcohol abuse and environmental conservation,” Awa said.

“We aim to address these issues and educate especially the youth. We believe that when we stand and work together, we will see a better future."

The group is made up of more than 20 members.

They perform during big events as well as on internationally-recognised days.

Their placard has the words: International Youth Building...Peace: Strengthening youth skill development and training.

The Kutubu theater group is well recognised within the LLG. The group has also encouraged fellow youth to start up something of their own, which can contribute meaningfully back to the village.

Gloria Bauai