Thursday, July 24, 2008

Three Papua New Guineans and how their Blogs are helping the country

Mathew Yakai, a former The National colleague now studying in Changchun, China, has now found a great way to share the thrill and adventure of living there with family and friends back home in Papua New Guinea.
He writes Asia-Pacific Perspective: China +, a weekly column that is published by the weekly Sunday Chronicle newspaper in Port Moresby, and the Islands Sun in the Solomon Islands.
“My writings look at Chinese society, culture, economy, governance and China's role within the Asia Pacific region and the world over,” Mathew says.
“It mainly focuses on how island countries can learn from China's experience.
“I am a PNG student in China.”
Recently, when Mathew sent me one of his regular emails, I suggested to him that he – together with regular newspaper columnists like Frank Kolma, Jack Metta and Kevin Pamba (The National), as well as Mathew, Susuve Laumaea and Dominic Sengi (Sunday Chronicle) – should collate all the columns they have been writing over the years and put them on a Blog.
Mathew took my advice and started Asia-Pacific Perspective: China + on URL , which is essential viewing for Papua New Guineans interested in China, as well as students wanting to study there.
David Ulg Ketepa, from Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands province, left for the first time in the fall of 2000 for the United States and has lived in the United States ever since.
He now lives in the ‘motor state’ of Michigan and was inspired by my writing in The National to start his own Blog.
David’s Blog is ‘Kange Nga Kona’, which can be found on URL , and which focuses on life in the USA as a dedicated Lutheran as well as encouraging more PNG students to take up study opportunities there.
“It is my desire to write this Blog to help those who are less-fortunate in a country that is run by people who only think about themselves,” he emphasises.
“I am trying to do my little part as a Papua New Guinean to show some light at the end of the dark tunnel.
“If we can do something little to help each other, I think Papua New Guinea can be a friendly country prospering with all wantoks working hand in hand with a common goal to achieve gender equality.”
David has encouraging words for PNG students wanting to study in the USA: “I am delighted that I can share this information with those who are interested in studying abroad as this kind of information rarely comes by in PNG's context.
“As long as I am here, I'll try my best to help any PNGean in ways I can.
“For now, I want you to look at different American universities and colleges, which offer masters degrees.
“Click onto this link: and you'll find all the information you need.
“Email/write directly and explain your interest to them.
“Ask also for international student scholarships.
“I am sure that they offer a lot of scholarships too and they will also give you the procedures to follow to be qualified for the scholarship.
“The above link also has all the universities from different states.
“Send emails to all the different universities directly for the information.
“The next thing is, if you're a Lutheran, go to the Lutheran Church where you worship and ask the pastor for a Lutheran International Student Scholarship application form (I don't know much about other churches and their scholarship guidelines) but if they are the same as the Lutherans, approach them and show your desire in studying aboard.
“When you fill the application, send it to Lutheran Church head office in Ampo, Lae, P. O. Box 80, Morobe province.
“Ask them to recomend you to a scholarship in the US.
“There are three Lutheran Churches in Papua New Guinea that can help you.
“The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG), Gutnius Lutheran of Papua New Guinea (GLC-PNG) and the Melpa Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea (MLC-PNG).
“My understanding is, you don't have to be a Lutheran to apply for scholarships, but if you ask kindly for these churches for assistance, I think they might consider you too.
“I hope the churches will help you.
“There are tons and tons of scholarships offered by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other churches here in America but the problem is that your application should be endorsed by a Lutheran World Federation member church in PNG...either the ELC-PNG, Gutnius Lutheran Church in Wabag or the Catholic Church before the American Lutheran Church headquarters in Chicago or other churches in America give you a full scholarship that covers everything.
“My wantoks, the problem we have with the churches in PNG, is that there are a lot of politics within the churches so, as the government, that hinders the spread of the gospel of the Lord.
“I hope and pray that our church leaders in PNG put their differences aside to win souls for the Lord.
“I am praying each and every day that our good Lord will give me the strength and opportunity to help other members of the God's family to come this far to gain the skills and knowledge to extend God's kingdom to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.”
Tiri Kuimbakul, 43, is from Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands and graduated with an honours degree in economics from University of Papua New Guinea in 1988.
Kuimbakul has worked as an economist with the Department of Agriculture & Livestock (1989-1990); assistant Export Manager with Coffee International Limited (1991-1992); economist and general manager of Industry Affairs Division, Coffee Industry Corporation (1993-1999); export Manager with Kongo Coffee Limited (2000); and freelance consultant (2001-2007)
He currently manages a coffee marketing project, advises two community development associations in Western Highlands Province, does church work, writes and publishes books, conducts seminars, and speaks to students and young people when he gets the opportunity.
His Blog is targeted at students and young people in the country and is essential viewing.
“I aspire to motivate, inspire and empower students and young people in general to succeed academically, professionally, financially, personally, socially and spiritually through writing, speaking, seminars, workshops, coaching and mentoring,” Tiri says.
“The motto of Secos Books, my publishing company, is: ‘We Empower People through The Written Word’."


  1. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Hi Malum,

    Great story about Mathew, David and Tiri. I really like it how you contribute such positive and uplifting stories about Papua New Guineans. There needs to be more writers like you in PNG!!

    Warm regards,

  2. Anonymous12:26 AM

    Hi Malum,

    Thanks for the article. Great journalism! Also you should mention that those who are willing to take a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)before studying aboard must write to me or look at my blog for more information.



  3. Hi Malum.

    It's your writing that provoked me to have my blog and I applaud you for that. When PNG media is dominated with negative stories, we definitely need more journalists of your caliber-specifically focusing on positive and developmental journalism.

    Keep it up.

    Mathew Yakai