06 December 2004
International Volunteer Day (IVD) celebrations turned the spotlight on the young population of Papua New Guinea through a youth festival held on 5 December in the capital Port Moresby.
Organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the Youth Arts Festival enabled young people to express themselves and was encouraged to speak out on various issues affecting them.
Fifty-five youth art groups were asked to visualise an era where “decent patterns of friendship” existed instead of the prevailing violence and hostility. Young people met the challenge in innovative ways and expressed their views in the form of singing, dancing and poems.
They were not afraid to speak about matters that were affecting their society and tapped into the creative wisdom of popular culture, being forthright about issues such as HIV/AIDS.
The crowd of over 3,000 were captivated by the performances of talented youth groups who portrayed courage and awareness of the problems concerning everyday life. They disparaged the men who refuse to wear condoms, scorned the oppressive behaviours of those older men who systematically violate the rights of women, and rigorously defended the people who were being damaged by modernization.
The youngsters’ art groups, made up of high school students and out-of-school youths, competed for top prizes which included radio airplay of their performances and record deals.
The prizes were donated by the National Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Keynote Co, UN Theme Group AusAID and Yumi/Nau FM.
The event enjoyed nationwide radio coverage via live feeds throughout the day.
From: UN Volunteers Papua New Guinea