Youth Work Principles

Principles of Youth Work – Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES)

Whether working in church or community settings, the role is to empower young people to reach potential based on seven principles:
1) A Youth Development Focus;
2) A Strengths base approach;
3) Quality relationship;
4) Deep and Wide;
5) Building participation;
6) Seeing a whole pictures; and
7) Strengthen (restoring) positive connections.

1. A Youth Development Focus:
Every young person needs a village thus a healthy village meets four (4) essential needs. These are Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity.

2. A Strengths Base Approach:
Seeing the potential in every young person. These helps a youth worker to look past the problem to understand the needs. It includes changing language about young people.

3. Quality Relationships
High value of connections between two or more people.

It includes Caring, Embracing, Trust and Honesty, Sharing, Supporting, Loving, Empowering, Truthfulness, etc. These is about Care, Time and Presence with Consistent or ongoing relationship.

4. Deep and Wide
Deep is about youth journeying with few people in a community or area. Few people are following until meeting their dreams or goal. These is inclusive of Time and Presence, Mentoring, Councilling and Care.

Wide means engaging with the mess or good number of people. Many people are following but will left along the way. It also means bringing service to all community such as Funding, Scholarships, Activities and Programs.

5. Building Participation
Involving young people in being part of a solution. When young people contribute to their community, they are developing responsibility and generosity.

6. Seeing a Whole Picture
Understanding a young person in an wholestic approach. Its includes Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual as well as Environmental.

7. Strengthen Positive Connection
Relationships with family, education, church, culture, sports, employment.
Connection is starting of the relationship. It builds and respect along the journey. Understanding how wider influences affect the world of a young person.

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Youths and developments – a time bomb.

With PNG population growing out of control and youth unemployment reaching crisis levels, we cannot sit back and pretend that all is well.

We have a collective and moral obligation to our children and our grandchildren and our future generations to build better and prosperous future for them and achieve our shared Vision 2050.

It is an opportune time to gather and contribute meaningfully and constructively to how we plan implement effectively the aspirations within key priority areas.

We are experiencing stiff challenges against the backdrop of a downtown in global economic conditions, natural disasters as well as threatening population growth rate, it requires everyone’s thinking and participation to steer our communities.

This can be achieve by working together to strengthen and grow our economy and at the same time remove impediments and obstacles that hinder our growth.

After many women and youth empowerment programs, our young people are a time bomb. We should start moving from Youth Empowerment programs to Youth Inclusions. Regarding them as an assert than as a liability.

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Keep shouting young people, said Pope Francis.

“Keep shouting, young people. Do not allow the older generations to silence your voices or anesthetize your idealism.” Pope Francis said.

Francis urged the young people not to let themselves be manipulated.
“The temptation to silence young people has always existed. There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to keep anesthetize them. To make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive.” Pope Francis said.

“Young people, you have it in you to shout!” He said.


Palm-Sunday homily of Mass, Saint Peter’s Square at Vatican – Sunday, March 25, 2018.

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Youths and Through their Eyes Project

Through Their Eyes

Through Their Eyes (TTE) project is a community research completed by the youths in their community. It requires them to develop a response to one of the needs that they have identified.

Within the process, they are expected to demonstrate skills in community through organising and leadership as they work with a group of young people to develop a small scale (low cost) project.

Choosing one of the needs that has come through the TTE research, it is helpful if young people are involve together with other members of the community in choosing the need. The project is something that should be done within four weeks or less and must be a local and low cost. It can be a single one off project or an ongoing thing such as a youth programme. It is always important that the project chosen should be directly linked back to one of the needs that has come out of the research.

Networking and Updates

It is important to find other people to work with on the project. Involving young people can be the center of the research but there might be other people that you need to get permission from or those who can help you find resources for what you want to do.

Keeping records of your progress as well as your challenges encountered is also important. Record what activities carried out as well as how it went including anything that have learnt along the way. This can be done on a journal or start a Facebook page for the project and share it.

One personal entries in the journal or update on Facebook page per week to reflect on how things are going and how Principles of Youth Work are applied. Photos, pictures, stories or any other material are very helpful in this project.

A final report including the pictures and other evidence from project can be obtain from the interim report via Facebook page or journal. Quotes from different stage within the project can also be included. It is important to apply Principles of Youth Work in the project and what
lesson have been learnt during these process.

A youth worker facilitating Activity based learning in rural Wambagan village in Nawieb District, Morobe Province.

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2 Mile Bee-Side Youths Association

At least more than 50 Youths from one of the notorious settlement in Lae City has come together to form an Association to have a voice within their community as well as participate in the development of Lae City, Morobe Province and Papua New Guinea.

The 2 Mile Bee-side Youths Association from Zero and One Block within 2 Mile, Ward 4 of Lae Urban Council is a unique organization comprises of unemployed youths who wanted to venture into earning an honest living as well as coming out of Lawlessness – especially crimes, drugs and alcohol production and consumption.

‘Bee-Side’ means Bugandi Side or settlement alongside the side fence of Bugandi Secondary School perimeter from the Miles.

Team leader Mr. Okam Gedisa said very little attention has been given to the youths of settlement especially within 2 Mile area.

“Many of these youths are born and raised here in this settlement and they have observe the development without participating in it.” Mr. Gedisa said.

He also stress that O’Neill – Abel government educational intervention in education namely the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) is a very good initiatives for the settlers which many have now been able to put their children to schools and are surprise about the positive results their students have performed. However, he said it is those youths who misses out on similar opportunities because in their time education was expensive.

The 2 Mile Bee-Side Youths Association was formed to provide and facilitate opportunities as well as providing youths an avenue and platform so they can showcase their potential and skills to harness positive citizenship outcomes.

Their main aim is to change the mindset that settlements are the main contributors to urban problems. They would like to see Bee Side communities as well as 2 mile and miles as a whole a Resilience Urban Settlements in Lae Urban and for making Bee – Side Youth Association a model for other youths within Lae Urban Council in Lae District.

The organization primary objective was to help youths excel, encourage awareness activities and take initiatives to ensure there is law and order, more education and healthy community population, improved standard of living, care and protection of our natural build environment to ensure a good community life style.

2 Mile Bee-Side Youths Association
P. O. Box 180, Lae 411
Morobe Province
Papua New Guinea
Mobile Phone: +675 79390326

Meeting with Association President Mr. Okam Gedisa.

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School Leavers – A Blessing or Curse. 

Many of the grade 10 students who finishes their national examination last week were seen partying and celebrating their high school education with alcohol and drug . The sad fact is that these individuals do not realize that it is not their merits and good grades alone that will determine them to continue but also the availability of grade 11 spaces. This means many can have good gradings but cannot be able to continue.

To date, there are 302 high schools (grade 9 and 10) with only 164 Secondary/ National High Schools (grade 11 and 12) nationwide. Thus, a total of 67,500 grade 10 students competing for only 28,500 spaces.

This is a bottle neck situation created by our education system so we need to also find a drop in system to fit 42% of the grade 10 leavers who will be dropping out on Secondary School placement.

One such example of creating a brighter future for our grade 10 leavers would be the government push into for Small to Medium Enterprise (SME), a push for TVET institutions into every Local Level Government (LLG) and Polytechnical Colleges in every district of Papua New Guinea. But many would agree with that we lack capacity to build this now.

While the government is pushing for free subsidized education, many parents have realized how quality of education have been dropped compare to the pre – post independence period.

Technology is also evolving at a faster rate with PNG recognized as one of the highest internet data subscribers in the Asia Pacific Region despite its economic challenges and indicators. Much of the online social media users will be the school leavers now.

In just a space of few months, we will be hosting one of the highest economical meeting on the face of the earth – the APEC 2018; here on our shores. What would be our human resources development agendas?

The most sustainable wealth of this nation lies in the intelligence of the people and not in our subsoil. It is time we develop our intelligence and become rich. Having a more quality education than producing quantity of higher school leavers who cannot even speak and write good English compare to primary school students of the past. Our social indicators are going red and needs urgent attention.

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Lifestyle in Rural Communities and Challenges Encounter.

Papua New Guinea have adapted Vision 2050 as its vision. Given the called by our national leaders, we as a nation and its citizens embrace this vision as our own – within our self (personally), within our family, communities and societies. Thus we believe in Papua New Guinea as a nation that will be ‘Smart, Wise, Healthy and Happy Society.’ But the reality indicators are giving us red warnings everyday. Even within our rural communities. The Infrastructure challenges, poor access road, washout footbridges, run down aid post with no staff, teachers not full time teaching in the classroom, poor access to clean water. Law and order issues becoming night mares as smoking of drugs (marijuana) and home made alcohol or wine are now becoming like a norm. Another thing that is affecting our society is insecurity. This is where we saw school students having little or nothing to do after school thus hanging around smoking, listening to music on Bluetooth speakers or glued to their smart phones. Less employment opportunities offered for our school leavers and graduates resulting in unemployment. In addition, there are breakdown of institution of social life. These are very important things that cannot easily change especially in the past. Things like having a job for life, marriage for life and a place for life which gives individuals and families a sense of permanency. Jobs are becoming part time, short term or contractual. Marriage which was religiously and socially accepted and recognized as the matrix of community for any society are now being eroded by serial relationships, same sex unions, cohabitation and divorce. Also, the concept of belonging to a village, community or a neighborhood somewhere we call home is slowly disappearing. People travel and move often in search of work, employment and or better health care and education opportunities. Change has become systematic and consequently we begin to feel that we no longer have control over our lives. Such situation give rise to the degree of indifference to the disadvantages plight among us.

We are in a youthful nation that has almost 54% of the country’s population under age of 25 thus we have a very energetic, risk takers and yet fragile opportunities lying ahead.

As Malum Nalu said, there are tools for development readily available such as the communication towers and internet. We should encourage our young people to participate in the journey of constructive and collaborative society. There should be some level of equal playing field were our citizen can have an opportunity to participate in the economic growth and development of Papua New Guinea.

“We are a nation with a 50,000 years history. Rich cultures and divers traditions and languages. Our Ancestors were custodians to the knowledge that are now explain to the Western Science. Our history didn’t started 40 years ago or 200 years ago when missionaries arrived.” Scott Waide.

Revolutionary, yet extraordinary about rediscovering our self as young men and women that our nation needed most this time, we must reclaim the belief that the source of action and responsibility lies within ourselves. Our Papua New Guinea Ways compel us, to seek a new way of engaging with our people’s struggle for meaning and purpose because we are not the product of forces beyond our control. Mr. Mete visiting Menyamya Market.

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