Poverty affects the lives of youths in Papua New Guinea
Poverty is the state of being extreme poor. It is caused by many factors including lack of education, unemploymennt, poor environement, bad habits and morals , overpopulation, endemic of diseases, bad governent policy. Globally poverty affects more than 80% of the worl population. Besides, poverty mostly affects the lives of youths whom their age are categorized as between 15 and 24. Poverty forces many youths, especially in unindustralized countries to involve in many illegal activities including petty trading, stealing, pick-pocketing, prostitution, touting, break and enter, robbery, murder, chaos, engaging in drugs (Marijuana). Most of these affected people are from developing countries (Shah,2013).
Papua New Guinea is highly diversity and largely due to topography, boasting over 800 language and cultural groupings. The majority of PNG’s landmass is dense rainforest carpeting steep mountains, significantly restricting mobility, and hence the spread of people and ideas. This meant that individual social groups became isolated from each other quite easily, accelerating their evolution in diverse directions. Cultural identity is maintained primarily through strong informal associations known as wantoks. This system of informal association has survived over thousands of years, and interacts in many complex ways with hybrid political, economic and social structures that are extant in Papua New Guinea today.
PNG is very rich in natural resources incluing gold, copper, oil, cocoa, gas, and fresh cash crops grown by the subsistance farmers. However, PNG is still categorized as one of the poor countries in the Asis- Pacific and indeed the world, of which basic services and developments are deteriorating. Which leads to many issues including proverty. Thus, Poverty is very endemic in rural areas where majority reside and urban disadvantage (settlements). Therefore, obviously, it is one of the main factor that hold back our nation from developing. Thirty-seven percent of the population live below the national poverty line (United Nations Development Programe,2018).
It is difficult for people to admit that poverty exist in the country because the raditional social values and kin-based society focus on taking care of those in need. Those who have more have always helped those in need but this traditional support system in breaking down. In modern-day Papua New Guinea, life is very difficult for poor people. Therefore; poverty is robbing of their dignity, their potential, and in some case, their vary lives. Gender, like race or ethnicity, functions as an organizing principle for society because of the cultural meanings assigned to being male or female (Tuyizere, 2007).
Many youths today are affected by poverty which leads to many problems indeed contribute to the high morbidity and mortality. Unemployed youths, poor living conditions, low literacy level causes many youths to engage in prostitution, robbery, theft, break-enter, ongoing chaos and conflicts, family violence, murder and killing innocent lives etc. Thus, lead to deaths and too many health problems/ill health conditions. Regardless of the Governemnt policies and strategies such as Free Education policy which was recently implemeted, other health plans such as National Health Plan 2011-2020, Millennium development Goals were introduced primarly to address and eradicate poverty and other health issues, the indicator does not changed.
Poverty creates an imbalance in the quality of societies, resulting in uneducated people being, homeless, unemployed and ultimately results in crime and revolution. People are ususally involved in crime because they just roam around the street looking for anything that is valuable to them so that they can make money out of it. Our youths nowadays are involved in crimimnal activities and commit various crimes becaues they are poor and they cannot afford basic human needs like food, education, shelter, and health. Nowadays, youths cannot fill avaliable positions as candidates because they lack basic skills to engage in formal employment coz they never had the opportunity to get work experience or traning. Youth constitute the highest and fastest growing proportion of each society, therefore there is a need to understand the challenges they are facing. (Okojie, 2003).
Our country lacks employment opportunities for its citizens so majority of our young indigenous Papua New Guineans are unemployed and still striving for better life and some are illiterate and do not get a chance to go to school. Those youths they think that the only way to sustain themselves in the long run is by getting involved in all kind of criminal activities to meet their needs and wants for survival. Therefore; Research shows that 600,000 children are currently not going to school in Papua New Guinea because of the lack of teachers or simply for not having a functioning classroom in their village and walking to the next village is not an option (Karahman, 2011).
Education is the most vital thing in life so all people must educates as an individuals inorder to devolops mindsets of people to be better citizens and find good jobs in life instead of committing crimes. If young people can be adequately educated in a way that allows them to achieve their goals, this will produce a net benefit for the development of the country. Our Government should look into our education by funding more money by boosting the education system and make sure that the basic needs and services of all citizen must be equally provided to all both in rural and urban areas.
The government needs to recognise the role of young people and their voices. They should be given the platform to speak about their vision for the direction of the nation. The National Youth Development Authority should be advocating more on behalf of young people, which they’re not currently doing. PNG’s national youth policy and population policy should provide clear guidance to actors within the aid sector emphasising the importance of youth participation in decision-making.
Young people can be empowered with the tools and spaces needed to engage in constructive dialogue with decision-makers, identify and propose solutions to the key challenges that affect them, and reduce corrupt and nepotistic practices. Young people could organise to contribute to and strengthen decision-making at a national level, both through the formal political process and by engaging with political bodies, the private sector and civil society to ensure that youth perspectives are understood and taken into account.
The time has come to employ more youths to approach in dicision making, constructing policies and programmes implementation. “Development thinking is still clearly locked into the old paradigm: social investment is for the young educating the young is the path way to development. Investments in education, health care and social welfare services benefit not just the immediate recipients but the entire society, which as a consequence is more engaged, competitive and healthier. As competition becomes global, education and lifelong learning grow ever more dynamic. Today’s workforce must be more capable, productive and sufficiently flexible to respond to changing conditions for new demands and opportunities. Policies and programmes based on an intergenerational approach should promote an essential interdependence among generations and recognize that all members of society have contributions to make the needs to fulfil.