Increasing unemployed youth population in Papua New Guinea sparks social disorders of unaccepted behaviors and cannot be remedy overnight.
The New Ireland Rugby Union (NIRU) strongly condemns the self-perceived acts of a minority group unlawfully violating an Australian female tourist in the province last week.
President of NIRU Charlie Melachon says the challenges faced by youths in New Ireland is growing and the sports government alone cannot solve these problems.
Melachon said sports and in his case under the NIRU, he continuously emphasizes the importance of participation and holding together this volatile group of young man through sports.
Reiterating the words of Minister of Higher Education and Sport that sports is a tool for social cohesion and adherence amplifying development in Papua New Guinea, Melachon said there is greater need for a collaborative approach to keep youths at bay becoming responsible citizens.
Melachon said social disorders brought about by youths anywhere in PNG has become legacy and more than just the responsibility of upbringing from parents to schools and government.
He said sports and rugby union in the New Ireland province is observant of the youth trend and comes in to play its part by expanding the code in the province to be inclusive.
“By now we cannot go on playing sports to win alone but to win mindsets bringing positive behavioral change in communities. Doing so we contribute to bringing up a safe and secure society for all, “Melachon said.
Supporting the call by Sports Minister Don Polye and NIP Governor Grand Chief Sir Julius Chan to effect the Vagrancy Act in the province, Melachon said putting in place ongoing sports development programs that gives youths a second chance of opportunities is a must.
He said not everyone has the luxury to make it through in formal employment but everyone can become positive influencers as sports ambassadors.
He said rugby union in New Ireland is expanding to the ten (10) local level councils of the province having set up working groups from Kavieng Urban, Kara, Nalik, Sentral, Namatanai to Matalai and Lihir Island.
“Progress is shifting to the Konoagil,Anir, Mussau and New Hanover Islands in 2023 to grow the sport” Melachon said.
Melachon said the NIRU is implementing expansions plans through the NIRU 2023-2025 strategic plan aback the AGM of the association earlier this month.
He said it is a subsequent lead up started three years ago and will only progress if taken with both hands by concerned parties including the District to Provincial and National Governments and corporate bodies in the province.
Melachon acknowledging the Lihir Mine developer Newcrest, Lihir Mine Landowner Group, the Simberi Mine and logging Companies in the province continuity to fulfill its community obligations in the province, urged the bigger support to carry the code of rugby union utilizing its established set ups throughout the province.
“Unemployment, low literacy and unhealthy lifestyle is plaguing the nation. School drop outs is overwhelming, even spaces in the tertiary institutions can no longer cater for the increasing school leavers. And sports has the potential to give a sense of belonging to our youths who feel left out because of a system we have grown accustomed to. We need the government, businesses, churches and NGOs to ride on such platforms set by New Ireland Rugby Union that encompasses inclusivity,” the NIRU President stated.