Martin Brings Hope to Friends and Family

More success for CUFA’s Bougainville youth program.

Martin Banam is 18 years old, from Kupe village near Arawa, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. He has a brother and a younger sister, and his parents – like many in Kupe – rely on casual labour work at the local cocoa farm.

Life changed for Martin – and his whole family – after he attended CUFA’s employment and internship Skill Development training. He received support from the government for a two-year vocational program: Martin selected a major as a plumber and studied hard because he felt he was the only hope for his family.

During his studies, Martin’s main concern was how he would find a job after graduating: there were so many students vying for the few jobs available.

Then in February 2016, CUFA came to his school to implement the Bougainville Youth Initiative, which includes employment and internship programs. Martin jumped at the opportunity and  immersed himself in the program which taught him vital workplace skills like punctuality, respect, work ethic and responsibility.  CUFA also provided training in CV writing and how to prepare for interviews – and most important of all, how to apply for an internship.

Three months later and with assistance from CUFA, Martin was granted a two-month plumbing and maintenance internship with the Arawa Urban Town Council. During his time there, Martin worked hard and was able to build strong relationships with his colleagues.  He soon earned his colleagues’ respect ..

The internship complete, Martin was recently rewarded with the offer of a full-time job managing the plumbing system. For the first time he’ll receive wages in return for his hard work and studies. Martin is grateful for the opportunities that he has had, including the CUFA training and employment skills he has developed.

Martin’s not the only one feeling ecstatic: his parents are overjoyed following his success and also the changes in his attitude.

Martin wants to use his wages to support his parents and pay his sister’s school fees to enable her to complete high school and enjoy a better future too. But this success story doesn’t end there. He dreams of going back to Kapu village to set up a small plumbing business so that his young friends and neighbours can develop skills and education to turn their lives around too. Watch this space.

The activities implemented are part of the Australian Government’s support to CUFA under the Bougainville Youth Initiative (BYI). The Australian Government continues to provide support to Bougainville under BYI to encourage youth participation in Bougainville’s economic and social development.

Read more about CUFA’s work in Bougainville here.

CUFA has worked extensively in the Pacific, with over 20 years’ experience in Papua New Guinea (PNG). During this time, CUFA has built a number of strong relationships with a myriad of local civil society organisations who represent a number of industries across PNG. Through these networks, CUFA will engage up to 10,000 youth between the ages of 15 to 25 in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

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