Raised from 8,244 people
Young people account for almost half of Papua New Guinea’s population and comprise a disproportionate part of the urban poor. In the capital of Port Moresby, an increasing number of young people are leaving school without the necessary skills or experience for work, contributing to an estimated 37% population illiteracy. The upper secondary school gross enrolment ratio has been estimated to be only 22% with youth finding the transition from school to work increasingly difficult, impacting their ability to positively contribute to society.
PNG has an increasing number of children living or working on the streets and an alarming increase in young girls (12-18 years) engaged in commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls in PNG experience among the highest prevalence of discrimination and violence in the world (UNDP Human Development Report Gender Inequality Index ranks PNG 134th of 148 countries). There are high levels of family and sexual violence in the home, in the community and in institutions.
The 'Active Youth Development in PNG' program aims to teach young people basic literacy and life skills through a sports-themed course run by Save the Children in conjunction with program partners from the National Rugby League.
The program is empowering adolescents from the most disadvantaged communities who are chronically disengaged from education and encouraging them to return to school and/or developing their employment pathways.
Rugby League is PNG’s most popular sport and NRL’s involvement is a core incentive for youth to commit to the program and stay engaged. Literacy skills, positive life messages together with NRL mentoring are key motivators for the participants to return to school.
The project will provide mentoring, education and support skills to 100 youth and help ensure they complete their education and are equipped to transition from school to work.
Save the Children’s youth workers deliver the program three times a week, in conjunction with NRL development staff. Participants learn about making safe choices, negotiating safe and respectful relationships, self-protective behaviours, alcohol, drug and sexual education, communication skills and promoting young men and women as strong and valued community contributors.