Tribe Teen Excellence Awards
Papua New Guinea’s newest youth radio station, TribeFM, has celebrated its first birthday this month, by giving back to listeners through a teen-only awards program, the Tribe Teen Excellence Awards.
The inspirational stories of eight teenagers from across PNG are now being shared right across the country, on-air on TribeFM and online on Tribe’s Facebook page; both publicising and rewarding the work the teenagers have done for themselves and their communities, but also encouraging and inspiring other youth to be equally active and positive change makers.
The Tribe Teen Excellence Awards were strongly supported by the Media For Development Initiative (MDI), a project run collaboratively by ABC International Development, Australian aid and PNG’s National Broadcasting Corporation.
The eight teenagers (5 males and 3 females) were recognised for their commitment, leadership and personal growth in a range of categories, from disability to education, community, music and sport.
Left: TribeFM presenters and MCs Solly Jerram and Alice Ashwin on stage for the Awards with Miss Pacific PNG Abigail Havora
Some of the Tribe Teen Heroes:
The team of five judges couldn’t go past the story of Danelle Kipahii from Port Moresby, unanimously agreeing to award him the ‘Raven Award’; for being an “absolute Teen Hero”. The 13-year-old was nominated by his mother, Catherine, who said “Danelle has unconditional love and commitment towards his older disabled sister, and others”.
The teen helps look after his sister, helping to feed her, teach her numbers and letters and “always protest and defends his sister when a person talks negatively about her disability”. Danelle has also shown leadership at school, by helping a fellow student with a disability.
The Year-11 student, whose motto is “education is the key to a better future”, has been running an after-school helping centre, run at the back of a hut, with no power supply, in a settlement in Lae’s outskirts.
17-year-old Sichyna Maminti was recognised as the runner-up for the ‘Sports’ category, with judges impressed by her ability to quickly pick up the sport of cricket and increase her confidence and take on leadership roles at school, as a result of her participation in Cricket PNG’s Girls Empowerment through Cricket program.
Judges described the winner of the ‘Disability’ category, as a “hero”, “an example to us all” and “a champion”. Judge Chris Elphick said the story of 18-year-old Grace Dindillo is one that proves young Papua New Guineans living with a disability can have a voice and be seen to inspire others. Born with Down Syndrome, Grace has gone on to attend school, compete in the Special Olympic World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015 and travel to Singapore to attend an Athlete Leadership Training.
19-year-old Tirine Mano from Lae took out the ‘Community’ category, with his nominator, teacher Lyn Mimari saying: “in the middle of a community known for unemployment, youth unrest, petty crime and low literacy rates, Tirine Mano has shone as a star for the youths and school-aged children”.