Focus 2023

Papua New Guinea - PGS11-07-2023

Be Human, Be Real, Be Saints: WANTOK BOSCO Youth Camp

“As the Yeast in today’s human family”, was the theme of this year’s WANTOK BOSCO Youth Camp. It was hosted at Don Bosco Technological campus from the 23rd to the 25th of June 2023. The camp, a climax of the youth and club activities in the institutions and parishes, had nearly 200 persons as participants and animators from Salesian institutions and parishes around Port Moresby and Araimiri, Gulf Province.  

The program began on Friday with the first talk given by Fr Gregorio Bicomong SDB, the Provincial Superior for PGS Vice Province. His talk, based on the year’s strenna, showed participants statistics on issues faced within the country, while also advocating how everyone could be agents of social change within their societies using the social teachings of the catholic church. The students reflected on the presentation through group discussions and sharing.

“The algorithms can change and it is up to you to change that.” Those were the words of Fr Ambrose Pereira, SDB who gave the second Talk which was based on the topic, “Agents of Social Change through the use of Social Media.” The talk by Fr Ambrose with the assistance of Ms Lucy Napitalai, DBTI instructor taught the youths the basics of Artificial Intelligence. They young people then produced jingles and created posters to spread positive messages through the media. The session encouraged the participants to use social media for the common good and to direct their talents and energies using the media to advocate positive changes within their schools and communities.

The talks for the camp were concluded later in the evening with a Talk show hosted by Mrs Sheryl Extra-Isoaimo. Siblings Desmond and Carol Aigilo and Dr Jerome Oko (PhD) were part of the panel where they encouraged the youths to foster values based on their Catholic Faith that will help them in their career pathways. The Question-and-Answer session that followed demonstrated the quest of the young to live good lives despite the difficulties and pressures they face.

In between the talks were fun games, familiar choreographies, and a visit to the Marian Museum under the Shrine of the Mary Help of Christians. The Bosconians danced and played to their hearts’ content while being reminded to ‘Run, Jump, Shout and Play but to avoid Sin.”

The camp concluded on Sunday with the Holy Mass celebrated by Bp Pedro Baquero SDB. He challenged the young people to know themselves, their self-esteem and worth, and use their capabilities, energy, and talents to change themselves and society.

The WANTOK Bosco was coordinated by Sr Carmencita Rodrigues FMA under the direction of Fr Moise Palaku SDB. A team of committed animators and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that the participants who are leaders in their own youth groups and clubs receive faith formation, enjoy the company of their peers through fellowship and are committed to reach out and touch the lives of others through their hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.

The participants (DBTS-55; DBTI-35; MHOC Sabama-20; DB Araimiri-6; MHOC Araimiri–30; MHC Residence-19; Animators-13 from ADMA Youth and Savio Haus) returned home at the end of the fun-filled, weekend-long camp with convictions to be upright Christians and agents of social change.

Patrina Kaboanga, ADMA Youth Volunteer