LEONARD FONG ROKA
THE DIVINE WORD UNIVERSITY’s Department of PNG Studies and International Relations requires its students to undertake part-time job exposure over the university vacation at the beginning of their fourth year.
They have to provide the Department with a certification of their experience for assessment and evaluation.
Ancitha Semoso, a Bougainvillean student from Lonahan village on Buka, is a student in the Department was keen for the work experience and sent email after email with a letter of interest and references to offices in Buka in the hope of securing a part-time position.
“I sent emails to government departments of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and non-government organisations on Buka,” she told me, “but nobody is responding. I hate that attitude of ignorance from a Bougainvillean about a Bougainvillean.”
Ancitha wrote to other organisations in Port Moresby for the part-time jobs opportunities that are her academic requirement.
A few did accepted her but said that they couldn’t provide her with accommodation. Saddened, she now looks nowhere but wants positive answers from Bougainville.
“I am a Bougainvillean; I am the future of my island,” the frustrated 23-year old said. “Those old folks in the Bougainville government need to give me space to gain practical experience instead of being overloaded with theories that will not help me out in the future.”
Ancitha emphasises that a Bougainville problem is that the ABG is not investing more on its future human resource.
“Bougainville is on a political journey,” she told me, “and it needs us the young generation to be nurtured and prepared to take on the challenges of leading our Bougainville after the scheduled referendum on independence.
“We will vote for independence, but is our ABG grooming us to take on the responsibilities of leading our own country?”
Ancitha has written to ABG parliamentary services, to the Bougainville administration and to World Vision, and still she waits.
“When I do not secure a part-time job outside of Bougainville,” she said, “I won’t be hurt.
“But with the organisations I wrote to on Bougainville, where I call home, I am really sad.
“I am asking whether our leaders on Bougainville are really dedicated to freeing Bougainville based on the facts or reasons that our people had fought and died for since 1988?’’