Graduates sitting before the interview with Sylvester, their mentor
Tajs Jespersen

Amid high unemployment rates in PNG, three graduates are helping MAF prepare for a new solar installation in Mount Hagen.

Story by Tajs Jespersen

Young workers in PNG are relishing the chance to grow their skills as they take part in a clean, green energy project at a MAF housing compound.

The three graduates from Don Bosco College, have joined MAF as electrician trainees to work on a large development project in Kagamuga, near the Mount Hagen Airport.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me. Many of my fellow students who graduated last year are still out there looking for an opportunity like this,” said Calvin Rimbu, one of the graduates

Calvin and Gerald dismantling the scaffolding
Tajs Jespersen
To the left, Calvin is working at the MAF Compound

The project, to build accommodation for staff serving with MAF in PNG, includes improvements to the existing infrastructure on the compound, such as the installation of reliable and environmentally-friendly solar power.

“We are in the process of building new power infrastructure. So, we're putting new supplies out to each and every house and then they'll have their own solar kit on each house,” said Dave Moore, MAF’s Facilities and Vehicles Manager.

It's really hard to find a job nowadays, so I was really happy to come join MAF to work as an electrician
Gerald Kalom

Extra help was needed to support MAF’s own electricians in preparing for the solar installations. Despite their limited experience, the three graduates from Don Bosco College have had an impact from the start.

“We saw a real increase when they started. We've been able to progress much quicker than we would have done otherwise,” said Dave

Sylvester instructing Robin and Gerald
Tajs Jespersen
MAF's electrician, Sylvester Ikate, is mentoring the three graduates

Nellis Terblanche, MAF’s representative on the project, said the nature of the work would be beneficial for the development of the young electricians.

“The facilities that we provide for our staff are of a high standard. So the guys that's working with us get to experience tools, equipment and a standard of building work that you will not often find."

Nellis Terblanche being interviewed
Tajs Jespersen
Nellis Terblanche

One of the other graduates, Gerald Kalom, wasn't able to find a job after his studies.

“I just completed my school last year. In Papua New Guinea. It's really hard to find a job nowadays, so I was really happy to come join MAF to work as an electrician,” said Gerald.

Calvin added: “I'm always thankful to God for giving me this opportunity to have an experience of what I've been studying in the past three years. And I am very thankful for MAF.”

The new power infrastructure is not the only upgrade for the compound. You can read about the revolutionary new sewage-system here.