Posted by Benjamin McKern
on 19 March 2020
Benjamin McKern and Lamsapom Eddie have been volunteering in Papua New Guinea at La Salle Technical College, Hohola. The two volunteers were recently featured on a Radio station in PNG and wrote this blog about their experience as well as what they will be doing this year as volunteers and why they chose to become Lasallian Volunteers.
What is Radio Maria PNG?
Radio Maria is a non-profit and non-commercial Catholic radio that broadcasts 24/7. Its operation relies mostly on volunteers, prayers and the financial support of its listeners and friends. Their mission is 'to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to you, using the modern means of communication'. Radio Maria was first founded as a parish radio station in 1983, in the province of Como in the Diocese of Milan. Radio Maria PNG began broadcasting on March 25, 2007 and currently operate in PNG but hope to expand to the Solomon Islands sometime soon.
Who approached you for the interview?
Melinda Maro, the program officer of Radio Maria, approached us about doing an interview. She has been working with Radio Maria for 8 months and started as a volunteer presenter. The shows' programs include Community development, Education, Health and programs for Youth.
What is your interview about?
In our interview we talked a bit about each of ourselves and a lot about what we will be doing here in PNG at LSTC and how we will be helping kids throughout the year. For example, we mentioned Breakfast club, retreats and general support for the students.
We also explained how far reached this program is and where else it occurs (Perth, NZ, Balgo, Sydney etc) and how individuals can gain access into the volunteer program.
Where can Lasallians listen to your interview?
Our first interview was broadcasted on the 8th of February 2020 at 9am PNG time. Then also replayed at 10pm that night. But don't worry if you have missed it. We will be on at the end of each term throughout this year *insert program schedule once I have it*. However you can listen to it at any time by going to the link below.
What made you want to become a volunteer?
The idea of being a volunteer and helping people that need it, for me just seems like an experience everyone should have. I really wanted to give back and help as at school I didn't get involved as much as I liked. Which I came to greatly regret. With that being said, I didn't think I had any chance whatsoever to get into this program as I thought it was all about what you did at the school. But they saw through that and decided to give me a go. I personally want to help and mentor kids through their high school years and really try to get everyone involved because it wasn't a nice feeling finishing school and wishing you had done more. I'm looking to minimise that feeling among the kids and being able to do it in PNG was a dream come true. This has already been such an enriching and unique experience and I'm looking forward whatever comes throughout this life changing year.
How does someone become a volunteer?
If you are looking to become a volunteer you can apply for the program through the Lasallian website. You must have come from a Lasallian school.
In conclusion, our first radio interview was an extremely unique experience and am very grateful for having the opportunity. It's something I will cherish and am looking forward to future interview if they're to arise. Any further information can be found on their website about the radio station.