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  • Tracey Nateleo

Children’s singing competition ends on high note

Aitape: “Children are a promise for Good things to come,” was the theme of the 15th Children’s Day Program, held last month in the Diocese of Aitape.

A total of 36 children of various ages from Elementary to Grade 8 participated in a week of activities, that consisted of a poem reading competition, donation of gifts for the children’s ward, and the highlight of the event, the Singing Competition.

The biannual event is usually held during December in commemoration of International Children’s Day; however, it was deferred last year to January this year, due to COVID-19. Children from the three deaneries of Aitape, Lumi and Nuku came to take part.

Fr. Gianni Gatei OFM, program coordinator, reported that this year’s competition was the biggest one held with more than 200 songs recorded since its’ inception back in 2007 which started with only 9 children. The songs that were sung were of different genres or topics about children’s issues, their experiences and their faith.

“This singing competition has helped the children in many ways by giving them confidence in public speaking and also helping to develop their talents in music. They compose the songs themselves, with the support of family members, especially parents,” said Fr. Gianni.

“We’ve even had the previous competition winners coming back to help run the programs throughout the years, some of them have also had songs recorded in studios within PNG,” he said.

The winners of the singing competition were all full of smiles and excitement in receiving their awards of keyboards, tambourines, microphones and guitars, which were sponsored by various businesses in Aitape, as well as the Franciscan Missionary in Germany and the local member for Nuku, Hon. Joseph Sungi. And Fr. Gianni also acknowledged the tireless efforts from one of his pioneer youth participants, young Anthony Waflou who has for over 8 years made time available to assist in the preparation work for the competition.

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