VEIFA'A YOUTH CONGRESS
DATE: 17TH - 22ND OCTOBER, 2010
VENUE: AIPEANA VILLAGE
THEME: BE A SYMBOL OF HARMONY AND PEACE
The Veifa'a Youth Congress was organised
by the Veifa'a Parish from 17th - 22nd October, 2010 at Aipeana
Village to PROMOTE PEACE, HARMONY AND UNITY through activities
such as sports, debates, Bible quizzes, Gospel songs, Arts/Dramas,
musical dances and string band competition. About six Catholic
Communities from Veifa'a Parish plus three (3) other Parishes
from the Coastal Deanery also participated.
Be a symbol of Harmony and Peace." The
four-day Youth Congress of Veifa'a Parish held at Aipeana bannered
this theme. Youths from the different parts of the parish and
Bereina Diocese came to share talents, foods, ideas, stories
and laughter. Bishop Rochus Tatamai,,MSC,DD presided the Eucharistic
Celebration in the Church to open the Congress. Youths proceeded
to Aipeana after the Mass. Official speeches were delivered
from the platform. Among the guest speakers were the parish youth
coordinator, Louis Akaina, the Secretary of the West Mekeo Chiefs'
Association, the Youth Chaplain of the Diocese, Fr. Rey Caigoy,
O.Carm. and the Hon MP Paru Aihi - Member for Kairuku-Hiri.
The young people continued with sports. They formed teams and
played volleyball, basketball and rugby-touch, In the evening
they prayed rosary and proceeded to "Praise and Worship"
sponsored by the different prayer groups of Catholic Charismatic
Renewal of Veifa'a parish. Anne Marie Longe, the Diocesan Youth
Coordinator rendered an input on Youth Identity.
Debates on problems and issues that affected the youth were expressed
through the debate program. Bible Quiz was also done. All these
activities were interspersed with String-band contest, Musical
Drama contest, and two-minute drama presentations.
The participation of young people together with the elders and
children swelled every evening. The elders and the chiefs of
Aipeana were very happy. It was more than 10 years that nothing
like this was done inside the village. The tone set by the Youth
Congress was indeed making Harmony and Peace alive in the midst
of our Young People.
The program officially started with Reverend
Bishop Rochus Tatamai (MSC) - Bishop of Bereina Diocese and also
the Bishop Deputy for Youth in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
who celebrated the Holy Eucharist at St. Paul's Church Veifa'a.
After the Holy Eucharist Fr. Mlak - our Radio
- Voice of Peter ToRot Media Specialist interviewed the Veifa'a
Parish Youth Coordinator and the Diocesan Youth Coordinator.
The Youth marched from St.Paul's Parish Church
Veifa'a to Aipeana Village for the Official Opening which was
done by the Member for Kairuku Hiri - Hon. Paru Aihi. He stated
that he supports Spiritual activities as other activities as
well therefore; the Veifa'a Youth Congress was a program he wanted
to support as it was going to benefit the young people and the
community as a whole.
After the week long program, all the youth
groups that participated received trophies, medals from PNG Trophy
Haus while the consolation prizes were donated by Sr. Geraldine
Arua (FDNSC) - HIV/AIDS Secretary. The Louis Vangeke Shield was
won by the youth from Veifa'a Catholic Community.
Honourable Member - Mr. Paru Aihi spent K2,500.00
on the trophies and another K2,500.00 on food stuff for this
week-long event. He therefore spent K5,000.00 towards this Congress.
All the groups that took part in the Congress paid K100.00 registration
fees as a contribution towards this program.
This Youth Congress was the first of it's
kind to be hosted in a community like Aipeana Village and it
had a great impact on those who participated in it. New networks
and friendships were created, exchange of ideas and many more
other positive signs for future hope.
According to the Youth Chairman of St. Andreas
Youth Group of Aipeana Village - Joe Paul Ame, this Youth Congress
was an eye - opener to him. Joe is only twenty - six (26) years
old and with the assistance from his Working Team of twenty (20)
members he expressed that having to host this program in his
village is an experience he will never forget. There are forty
(40) young people who are active members of St. Andreas Aipeana
Youth Group and they all cooperated well to host this congress.
He has learned many things during the Congress and he is able
to learn many more in the near future.
5. VOTE OF THANKS:
On behalf of the Youth Desk I wish to extend
our most sincere thanks to our Honourable Member for Kairuku
Hiri - Mr. Paru Aihi, Reverend Bishop Rochus Tatamai - Bishop
of Bereina Diocese and Bishop Deputy for Youth in PNG & Solomon
Islands, Veifa'a Parish Priests -, Frs. Albert Boudaud and Evan
Koae, Diocesan Youth Chaplain - Fr. Ray Coigay, Sr. Geraldine
Arua - HIV/AIDS Secretary, Veifa'a Parish Youth Leaders, Aipeana
Catholic Community, Chiefs and Councillors, the participating
Veifa'a Parish Communities, Kanosia, Bereina and Inauaia Parishes
for their participation and most of all to St. Andreas Youth
Group of Aipeana Village for their hospitality during this Congress.
Anne Marie Longe 26th October, 2010