The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and other donors have shown their support for the PNGEC in ensuring there is maximum participation of eligible youth, women and persons with disabilities in the 2022 National Election.
This is the second Youth Voter Festival hosted by IFES in the country, the first was held in Goroka early this month.
“The youth are at the beginning of their adult lives striving for their dreams. Many will cast their votes for the first time exercising their rights as citizens. Today we celebrate them as voters,” said IFES Deputy Country Manager, Robert Irish.
A total of 200 youth including persons with disabilities attended the one-day event at Nature Park in Port Moresby.
The festival was an array of fun activities that included quiz competitions, raffles, scavenger hunt and performances by popular PNG artists, Mereani Masani and DJ Dirty Fingers, with a special feature by upcoming artist, Samuel Michael who lives with a disability but is not limited by it.
The participants also took part in a polling simulation to ensure that the youth become familiarized with polling places procedures and how to vote.
“The Youth Voter Festival will help me understand the voting process. This is my first time to vote and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can. So on polling day, I know where to go and what to do. I know the kind of leader who will represent my voice in Parliament and I understand that my vote counts,” said participant, Amanda Soalkia.
The Youth Voter Festival is an initiative by IFES and supported by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia.