Perched on the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea lies Alotau, capital of Milne Bay Province and home to 15,000 people. Though there are no main roads that lead to Alotau, the coastal town is the gateway to some of the most remote island communities in the world. Alotau is also now home to one of YWAM’s newest campuses, YWAM Alotau.

YWAM Alotau begins to train students

YWAM Alotau begins to train students

The campus is being established in partnership with Kwato Church of Papua New Guinea, a ministry with a history in training and empowering young people throughout Milne Bay Province for over a century.

“We believe as a church that the training programs that YWAM provides will benefit and empower our young people to reach their full potential as the individuals God intended them to be,” said Bishop Dago Walino.

The pioneering team for the YWAM Alotau Campus have now moved into Kwato Church’s two-story property, known as the Youth Empowerment Centre. The facility was built two years ago and offers a classroom, dining room, kitchen, eight bedrooms, balcony, and land surrounding the property.

YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, said that the new campus is an exciting step forward.

YWAMers work hard to get the kitchen ready

YWAMers work hard to get the kitchen ready

“We see such hunger in the young people here to learn and do great things with their lives. This campus is all about helping each individual discover their unique gifts and talents, and equipping them with what they need to then use those talents in practical ways. We have a very holistic training approach. It is about developing skills alongside character, which go hand-in-hand when it comes to the development of the individual,” said Ken.

Two-week introductory seminars will run over the next number of months covering a range of topics including micro-enterprise, basic health care, and community technology, delivered in partnership with YWAM’s University of the Nations campus in Kona, Hawaii.

YWAM University of the Nations Kona Executive Director Paul Childers said that the pilot seminars will gauge the appropriate style for training delivery as they progress toward delivering nationally accredited training in the future.

Students graduate from a two-week technology seminar

Students graduate from a two-week technology seminar

“Our desire is for the training to be culturally relevant and engaging to help young people not only attain skills, but to also gain a true understanding of their value and their part to play in building their nation. These first few months are really about hearing from the students and the local community as we get to know each other, and together explore the best strategy for long-term results,” said Paul.

There has already been a fantastic response from local young people. Soon after the campus opened, all of the seminars were booked up for the first two months.