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Give hope and a future this Christmas

More young people than ever before participated in the selection process for The Salvation Army’s Youth Mentoring Program in Papua New Guinea.



It has been announced that this year’s Christmas Day offering will go towards The Salvation Army’s Youth Mentoring Program in Papua New Guinea.


The program, which has been running since 2014, aims to change the future of the nation for the better, by strengthening young leaders and giving people hope for the future. Each year, candidates for the program are selected and offered a Youth Mentoring Program scholarship, which focuses on four pillars – faith, fitness, education and leadership.


Part of the program involves training for, and running, in the Gold Coast marathon. “This requires participants to develop perseverance, resilience, determination and discipline, which are important leadership qualities,” says program coordinator, The Salvation Army’s Bill Hunter.


Australia Territorial Commander Commissioner Miriam Gluyas, Papua New Guinea Territorial Commanders Colonels Chris and Tilitah Goa, and Bill and Michelle Hunter.

Recently, Bill travelled to the PNG capital Port Moresby with Territorial Commander Commissioner Miriam Gluyas to select the 2024 Youth Mentoring Program participants.


“We were heading to Ela Beach thinking there would be 20-30 people there, [for the initial run and interview process] and we saw this massive group of young people doing a warm-up. There were about 70-80 people there!


“About 50 or 60 were running to try and get into the 2024 program, and then there were quite a few past participants there for support. Word has certainly gotten out across The Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea about what a huge opportunity being part of the program is.”


Ten young people were selected for the 2024 program, most of whom were from villages outside of Port Moresby. “One of the girls we selected, her mum and sister were killed in a tragic accident 10 or 12 years ago, and her dad had died just the day before selection trials,” said Bill. “Yet, she still turned up to do the trial run and interview process. She kept saying, ‘I’m doing this for Dad.’”


Those chosen for the 2024 team are: Parker Savi, Michael Gari, Essau Ios, Greg Mave, Saina Dauma, Tau Kila, Jessida Kakpet, Omis Diruza, Penina Mano, Kari Mano. Two local mentors who participated in last year’s program were also chosen.


Bill said one of the most encouraging things about the selection process this year was the involvement of past participants, who had grown to become assertive leaders, both within The Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea, and in the local community and organisations in which they work.


“We asked them to take us through the selection process. This program has been able to empower them. They have become assertive leaders.”


Miriam served in Papua New Guinea for several years and says despite the fact that the country is rich in resources, almost 40 per cent of its population lives in poverty. The literacy rate is just 62 per cent.


“Investing in one of our closest neighbours will empower the nation’s emerging leaders, help bring communities together, and release hope for a brighter, more equitable future, all in the name of Jesus!”


The Territorial Commander is encouraging Salvationists to give generously to the program during their Christmas services.


Salvationists can give at

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Offering will this year go towards the Papua New Guinea Youth Mentoring Program.


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