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Seminar Presentation highlights Environmental Issues
-      Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb

Port Moresby: 
A one-week social communications (SOCOM) seminar for catholic media coordinators focused on environmental issues that was highlighted through the use of media.


Hosted by the Social Communications Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the program began on the 16thMarch and concluded with a final presentation on 20thMarch. 


20 participants from the different dioceses of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands spent a week in prayer, reflection, discussion and production.  The theme of the seminar was: ‘Keep it clean. Go Green!’ 


In view of the COVID-19, the presentation had Bp Rolando Santos, Bishop of Alotau and Rosa Koian, WANTOK editor joining the participants as special invited guests for the occasion. The presentation consisted of Images, problem tree exercises, 20 seconds videos and the final one-minute videos, produced by the five groups.


Impressed by the creativity of the messages, Bp Rolando congratulated the participants on their productions through which powerful messages have emerged. “All our communication is evangelization. May we communicate a message of dignity, respect and care for creation”, said Bp Rolando Santos as he spoke to the participants and gave away the souvenirs at the end of the presentation.


“The video on the Sea Bed Mining has reinforced the fact that we know little about the sea and its effects if we take matters into our hands”, said Rosa as she addressed the participants. She reminded the participants to constantly send in their articles and news items for publication in the weekly WANTOK paper.


The five groups worked hard to bring out the different aspects of the theme, meet deadlines and complete production within the allotted time frame. The productions were unique with different styles of presentation.


Inspiring sessions were conducted at the SOCOM Seminar by Bp Donald Lippert, Bishop of Mendi; Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio to PNGSI; Marie Mondu, CBC Development Secretary, Mavis Tito, Director CARITAS PNG and Jayson Siwat.


The interactive presentations by different animators inspired the participants to think critically and creatively and use the media to convey images and messages that will evoke a response of care and concern for the environment.


“Social Communications is about conveying a message that will bring about a positive change in the community”, said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb at the start of the program.  “Our productions should deal with the issues we face and connect with people at the grassroot level. The voices of people should ultimately bring about change in policy at the level of government”, he said. 


The participants are committed to:

a.    Animating the diocese to plant 5,000 trees in the diocese.

b.    Conducting media sessions for students, youth, diocesan staff in their dioceses.

c.    Producing a monthly newsletter for the diocese and

d.    Preparing a Media and Social Media policy for approval at the level of the diocese.

The participants were grateful to SOCOM for a well-organized seminar. “Thanks to Fr Ambrose Pereira and the SOCOM team and others for putting the program together”, said Fr Mark Misiwasi who represented the Solomon Islands. Gifts were presented to the SOCOM team by Moses Ben from Mendi.  Souvenirs of a rosary and a flash drive with resources were presented by Bp Rolando to all the participants.  Souvenirs were also given to each of the participants by LCI, Goroka and Trinity FM, Mt Hagen.


The SOCOM seminar was possible due to the collaboration of SOCOM, the dioceses of PNGSI, the different CBC commissions and the financial support of MISSIO.  It hopes to have another seminar towards the end of the year for communicators who have been actively engaged in communicating the ‘Good News’ in their dioceses.

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