THE Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) has achieved another significant milestone by launching its Five-Year Youth Action Plan for youths from the six Mine Villages and all 8 Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) Trust regions.
The launching was held at Matkomnai village in the North Fly District, Western Province on April 21, and witnessed by hundreds of youths from the mine villages and CMCA Trust regions, making up the largest proportion of the near 1500 people in attendance.
OTDF Manager Program Services – Sustainable Development (PSSD), Mr Eric Kuman, said the Youth Action Plan for 2017 to 2021 placed emphasis on empowering youths through social, economic, and technological activities to ensure a secure, prosperous, and sustainable future for all young people and their full participation within their communities.
He added that the Youth Action Plan focused on how young people in the Mine villages and the CMCA corridor could actively participate in the growth and development of the province through socio-economic activities such as semi-commercial agriculture (rice) and agro-forestry (rubber and eaglewood).
“We want to give them hope to live up to their full potential in life by properly planning out their aspirations, by putting it onto paper and to guide them in their life,” Mr Kuman said.
Under OTDF’s CMCA Youth Development Program, the Youth Action Plan was developed to outline issues and concerns related to youths in the Mine villages and CMCA corridor and to be used as a guideline for implementation of activities, and to align directly with OTDF’S Strategic Direction 2016 – 2020 and the National Youth Policy.
“Their aspirations will contribute to the OTDF 2016-2020 development theme of community financial self-reliance through socio-economic initiatives and improved infrastructure, and we look forward to their participation in growing rice, eaglewood and rubber. Real livelihood development outcomes that deliver not only an income, but a sense of worth and pride amongst a group that is widely ignored,” he said.
Mr Kuman thanked National Youth Development Authority Director General Mr Norit Luio, NYDA Deputy Director General Mr Kia Dama, and NYDA Youth Coordinator (Agriculture) Mr Koilap Kombe for their policies and proactive approach taken to support OTDF’s youth development initiative.
Mr Dama commended OTDF for taking the initiative in developing the youth action plan for the CMCA regions and Mine villages.
“NYDA will use this as a model for other resource developers in PNG to do the same and engage youths to be part of the development process in the nation,” Mr Dama said.
He encouraged the youths to take lead in organising and forming associations with the help of OTDF and the provincial government as a platform to implement the programs.
Catholic Youth Coordinator for Daru-Kiunga Diocese, Mr Peter Saluen, on behalf of the youths and the churches thanked OTDF, NYDA and all the youth leaders for guiding the youths to develop their 5-year Youth Action Plan.
Middle Fly Youth Representative Graham Fredrick (left) presenting a copy of the 5-Year CMCA Youth Action Plan to NYDA Deputy Director General Mr Kia Dama.