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  • Jessica Oata

Caritas PNG launches Blessed Carlo Youth Media Competition

Port Moresby: Caritas PNG (CPNG) in partnership with the Catholic Bishops Conference Social Communications, Education and Youth Commissions launched the Blessed Carlo Acutis Youth Media Competition on June 3, 2024.

His Grace Archbishop Rochus Tatamai MSC giving a few remarks before saying the closing prayer. SOCOM Officer Ahisha Mangot (in blue uniform) and CPNG Communications Officer Isabella Saleu (in maroon uniform) are seated.

The competition has as the theme: ‘Preparing our Youth for a Sustainable Future’ and aims to promote safe and positive use of technology and the media amongst young people to share the future they envision and to harness their skills and talents in the Catholic Schools and Parishes, not only to use Social Media for social change but to also reinforce their Catholic Identity.


Speakers at the launch were CPNG Communications Officer Isabella Saleu and Social Communications Officer Ahisha Mangot.


Giving an introduction to the work of Caritas locally, regionally and globally, Miss Saleu said Caritas PNG is the national arm of Caritas in Papua New Guinea which serves as the Peace, Justice, Relief and Development Agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands.


“Caritas Internationalis is a global confederation of 162 Catholic organizations working in humanitarian aid, development, and social services. Caritas Oceania operates within the broader Caritas Internationalis network, focusing on the unique challenges faced by countries in the Oceania region. One of those challenges would be Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability which are issues of concern in the Pacific”.


Making reference to the Caritas Internationalis Youth Report for 2023 that was recently published, Saleu shared key findings of the report stating that the survey which saw 110 Member Organizations out of the 162 shows young people making up a considerably large and important demographic of Caritas’ staff and volunteers around the world.


“Our Youth Personnel indicated that young people find Caritas relevant because it gives them the opportunity to do good and make positive contributions to society. Member Organizations indicated that they value young people particularly for their creativity, which helps them to develop new and improved ways of working and which, in turn, allows them to have a greater impact on the communities that they serve. The data reveals that this ‘youth leadership’ is happening primarily at the grassroots level of our organizations.”


Saleu concluded her talk by saying that CPNG aligning with their Advocacy Pillar have now given a name and face to this section by calling it their Youth Advocacy campaign and the youth media competition is a fruit of this campaign and a small portion of the wider Caritas Oceania and Caritas Internationalis Youth Advocacy and Youth Empowerment.


Sharing her reflections on how Communications and Artificial Intelligence contribute toward a sustainable future, SOCOM Officer Miss Mangot said communication is a powerful tool that can be used by individuals, organizations and entities to bring about change and with the rise of Artificial Intelligence in the recent years, one can only imagine the endless possibilities technology and communications has to offer young people to equip them for a sustainable future.


Referring to the United Nations Development Programme 2023, the global leaders including the Holy Father Pope Francis agreed that AI has the potential to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals of Zero Hunger, No Poverty, Good Health and Well Being, Quality Education, Climate Action etc through responsible application in our fields of expertise.


Miss Mangot concluded her talk by making an open call to the general public to be involved in the lives of young people to prepare them for a sustainable future whether it is through funding projects that they will benefit from, imparting knowledge and skills to them or simply, giving them guidance and advice.


Speaking on behalf of CPNG National Director, Programmes Manager Charlotte Vada acknowledged the presence of everyone who were present before officially declaring the competition open.


“Young people are very creative members of the society and this competition offers a platform for them to showcase their talents. We look forward to receiving entrees from the parishes and schools to see the type of sustainable future they envision”.


The launch was facilitated at the Catholic Bishops Conference witnessed by the different media houses and the staff of CBC.


The Blessed Carlo Acutis Youth Media Competition is open for entrees until August 15 and has three categories: Short Form Vertical Videos (1-3 mins), Original song (1-3 mins) and Comic Strip (2-5 panels).


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