Hello world! Hello Melanesia! Hello Walk 4 Life!

Welcome to WordPress. This is the first post of this blog, installed today 19 November 2018 in Port Moresby, the capital city Papua New Guinea, the biggest capital city of Melanesia.

I am Wewo Kotokay, as a result of recent discussions with various netrepreurs in Port Moresby, I am launching this blog particularly to

  1. Spread the news and information on Walk-4-Life launched by the Honourable Powes Parkop, the Governor of National Capital District (NCD) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  2. Encourage the practice/ walk for life across Melanesian peoples, start from the Four-Kings Islands of West Papua to Wallis-Futuna Islands on the easternmost part.

Through this blog, I invite all of you to participate in spreading the information, and inject the virus of “healthy life” by “walking”,and yes, “just by walking”.

We Melanesians remember well, our parents in villages live much longer, much healthier, much stronger, not because they eat modern rice, bread, butter and vegetables, not because hamburger and Kentucky Friends Chicken, but primarily because “They WALK”, and they do so ALL THE TIME.

I am encouraging all of you to set up “Walk for LIfe” in the following cities

  1. Walk-4-Life Port Numbay
  2. Walk-4-Life Port Moresby
  3. Walk-4-Life Port Vila
  4. Walk-4-Life Suva
  5. Walk-4-Life Noumea
  6. Walk-4-Life Honiara

Finally we will celebrate in a big events across Melanesia called “Walk-4-Life Melanesia”

Governor of PNG’s capital to keep pushing boundaries

The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital has defended his promotion of healthy living programmes and city clean-ups.

Powes Parkop has faced a barrage of criticism over initiatives he has implemented in Port Moresby such as the Yoga Walk for Life programme and restrictions on betelnut.

But Mr Parkop says such initiatives, which generally fall under the Active City programme, are encouraging people to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.

As Moresby prepares to host the APEC leader summit in November, he spoke to Johnny Blades who asked if all the changes in the capital were actually benefiting grassroots communities.

TRANSCRIPT

POWES PARKOP: 
Any change that is small or big should be welcome and we should look at it positively. But I think overall in terms of what is happening in Port Moresby, I think it’s absolutely good for Port Moresby, but also for Papua New Guinea. It gives us hope for the future because I think for a long time in PNG we came to a dead end, that people thought that this was the end of it. nothing was going right. So… undertaking those changes in Port Moresby is good for our psychology in that we start to have self-belief again, that we can achieve more, we can do more, that there is another standard we can reach That’s been my goal as governor of our capital city, that I want at least one part of Papua New Guinea to set the standard, to become an example, to inspire our people. And the right place to have that inspiration and set that standard is of course our capital city.

JOHNNY BLADES: Now you’ve tried some things which are maybe quite radical, such as the ban on public consumption and sale of betelnut. Has it been a success?

PP: Yeah I think if you look at Port Moresby before and now, you have to agree with me that it’s been a success. Although in terms of dealing with the problem (the health hazard of chewing betelnut) we have not been successful in that respect. But these are issues to do with  behaviour, attitude and culture of a people. It doesn’t happen overnight. We take people on a journey. And if you see other countries that had this practice before, mainly Asian countries – Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, go up to China, even India – it did not happen overnight. So I had no illusion that it would be an overnight success. I know it would take a long time. And the city’s much better now. We’re still chewing betelnut. People are still selling it – some in unauthorised places – but compared to where we were before, it’s much much better now, and we’re getting better. So a lot of our people, their attitudes have changed, they can see the benefit of what we’ve done, and gradually they will come along and everybody will pull up, because there’s no other option. But I have to keep pushing the boundary, I have to try new things. I can’t keep on using the old tools. We’ve been doing the same things over again and not getting the result we want. So we have to try new things.

JB: One of the new things that you’ve tried of of course is the Sunday fitness and yoga sessions. But you’ve had some criticism about that. How do you feel about that?

PP: Like with  natural things, everything new challenges people’s comfort zone. But I have to do my work as a leader to lead our people to push the boundary a bit to get our people to see things in a different way. But it’s getting better all the time. Our people have faced a lot of health problems. In terms of our longevity, people are not living very long lives. So these are challenges that are important for our country, our people: to live better lives, longer lives, healthier lives. We’ve been spending a lot on health, but mainly corrective healthcare. That type of spending may be helping our health in that respect, but not improving longevity, physical fitness, wellness and health. So going in this direction, it might taken a bit of time to get our people accustomed to it but I’ve been doing it since 2014 and it’s getting bigger all the time. There are more people coming to walk with me, thousands of people walking eight kilometres with me every Sunday. The yoga class for example, we now have about six hundred young men and women turning up three times a week. It’s in the communities. In the city we also have classes in acrobat and kick-boxing and other non-combatative sports. The thing is Johnny, this is the strength of our people: physical activity, walking, jumping, swimming, climbing trees. This is our people’s strength. And I need to use the strength of our people to secure a better future. I’ll give you an example: if I were to train average Papua New Guineans to become like Chinese to run shops tomorrow, absolutely we’re lining them up for failure. But if we get them to do sports or physical activity, you can be assured that they’ll become champions instantly. So that’s why this programme is critical, because it’s moving our people. when you move change takes place. It’s also combining their mind and body together. Because for a long time we did awareness: awareness on so many things, you know, financial literacy, environment, on health and wellness. The problem with that type of approach is it’s only addressing the mind. But the body’s left behind. You can get the mind to understand. But if the body’s not in synch with mind, you have a problem. That’s been our biggest problem in Papua New Guinea.

JB: I can see what you’re talking about with trying to help change mindsets. Things all begin with ourselves, don’t they. But you’ve got such a diverse country, which is a strength of Papua New Guinea, but also there are times when people from different parts of the country clash, like we saw at the weekend here in Moresby. Will that ever change in Moresby, where there won’t be some of these tensions, disputes?

PP: It’ll not be easy to change this type of behaviour and practice because it’s something that is in the psyche of our people. They are used to the predominant way in some sectors of our communities that problems or issues are solved. So resorting to violence has been a tendency in the past, so I’m not going to pretend to say it’ll change overnight. But I think the way to get on addressing this is just grow the economy, create more opportunity. Grow the middle class, people start to change their values, and then they start to have more self-respect for themselves, they have greater goals, and then they change their behaviour. So for me I think that’s what we are doing in the city. In terms of those types of challenges, like ethnic conflict, and so on. In the past, we used to have it regularly in Port Moresby, but now I think what happened in the city last week, and at the weekend, for me I see it more as the exception rather than the norm now.

Source: https://www.radionz.co.nz

From Dateline Pacific, 3:04 pm on 20 August 2018 

Parkop: Yoga A Positive Thing

May 2, 2018, https://postcourier.com.pg/

Despite mounting political and public criticism of the Yoga Walk for Life program, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has revealed that the health fitness program will improve the quality of education.

During the launching of the life fitness program at the Juha College TVET Secondary School at 9-Mile, Port Moresby, Mr Parkop said the program is vital in changing mindsets.

He said the program is an optimistic avenue that will instill behaviour change among the young for a better Papua New Guinea.

“Yoga is all about building self-esteem in everyday living that contributes to being positive thinkers in life.

“For too long Papua New Guinea has lacked human development.

“Development starts with you. Through the program, it builds your mindset to respect yourself, your health and your body.

“When you do that, you will want to start respecting infrastructure before your eyes, the community you live in and so forth.

“It’s all about behaviour change,” Mr Parkop said while addressing the students, parents and members of the Nine-Mile community who were present.

He said despite people commenting on the negativity of the yoga saga recently in the media, these are people who have shallow-thinking to discredit the program.

Mr Parkop said development was not only about building infrastructure. “We fail to build human lives. So I have come up with the initiative to have the program to build self-esteem in every individual,” he said.

“Papua New Guinea won’t achieve its full potential unless we address bad habits and that is changing bad habits.” Mr Parkop said he would improve on building more secondary schools and Juha College was one of them to create more space.

Mr Parkop presented K1500 for the program while businessman Andy Kenamo contributed K1000.

The school’s director John Sekewa said the program would go a long way in instilling good behaviour attitudes among students.

Walk for Life Benefits Communities

Says NCD Governor Powes Parkop

March 19, 2018

NCD Governor Powes Parkop has done a remarkable job in spreading the popularity of the health-conscious concept of the communal Walk For Life in Kimbe West New Britain.

The once a week early morning walk held in Port Moresby under his guidance sees hundreds of people including mothers, children, women, girls, fathers, and many others of all ages come together an interact while taking the Freeway from the Jack Pidik Park to Konedobu.
This is in recognition of the all too important reason of ensuring there is a reasonable level of fitness in everyone so that they can manage themselves better.

For too long people have been dictated to by the lifestyle they adopt when they come to the city and literally forget that they have a very important obligation to themselves to keep fit.

Because with keeping fit, it allows the individual to also maintain a healthy lifestyle and improved mentality.

The Port Moresby experience also has other side benefits in that it increases the level of interaction between city residents and creates new friendships and better, it consolidates current connections.

Obesity for many is a problem in the city and those that find themselves heading in that direction have actually benefitted by taking part in the weekly Sunday Walk For Life in Port Moresby.

What it has done for many is given them a new direction in being conscious about their health, improvement in their diets raised their level of physical fitness.

The benefits of physical fitness are numerous and include better health, greater strength, more flexibility, increased energy, improved appearance, and a more positive attitude and mood.

Regular exercise can lead to both immediate and long-term benefits.
Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality from many chronic diseases.

The benefits of fitness far outweigh the inconveniences of regular exercise and are health related including cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance and muscle strength.

Physical fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypo kinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations.

And since Kimbe has adopted the Walk For Life concept, it is not a bad idea for leaders in other main centres to do likewise.

It is a chance to rally mostly workers that live in towns to help improve their health and physical conditions in order to improve lifestyles.

The benefit of the physical fitness is endless and as such this communal activity is a good start.

Source: https://postcourier.com.pg

Port Moresby Governor defends “Walk 4 Life” program after attacks


The governor of PNG’s capital district, Powes Parkop, is defending his ‘Walk 4 Life’ initiative and maintains it is a safe event, despite several violent attacks yesterday.

Local media and regular citizens posting on Facebook are reporting numerous incidents where drivers had items stolen and their cars stoned by people taking part in the early morning walk across Port Moresby.

Hundreds of people, many from the city’s settlement areas, take part in the walk each Sunday, which Governor Parkop first started several years ago in an attempt to encourage city residents to be more physically active.

He’s condemned the weekend’s violence but admits that they were slow to put adequate security in place.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/

Parkop launches Walk for Life in Goroka

The National,   By ZACHERY PER

NATIONAL Capital Governor Powes Parkop launched the ‘Walk For Life’ programme in Goroka on Friday for the people of Eastern Highlands.

“My goal is to inspire future generations to be much healthier and make our country much better than what it is today,” Parkop told people who gathered for the event.

He said the programme aimed at promoting healthy living that would prolong life.

Eastern Highlands Walk for Life branch will be based in Kabiufa village, 8km from Goroka town.

Parkop presented K20,000 to Eastern Highlands Family Voice and K40,000 to the people of Kofena in upper Asaro to fulfil a commitment he made in 2008.

He said there was fierce tribal fighting in the past in Kofena where many people were killed. Many of the tribesmen fled to Port Moresby and voted for him to become NCD Governor.

Parkop initiated a “walk for peace” on Saturday morning from Kofena to Asaro government station. He then initiated another walk yesterday morning from Kabiufa Seventh-day Adventist Secondary School to Goroka town.

Governors Walk for Life

That was the word from NCD Governor this morning to more than 200 people who participated in the Governors Walk for Life which started at the Unagi Field in Gordons and ended at the Ela Beach Amphi theater.
Governor Powes Parkop encouraged the citizens to be concerned about their health and taking part in such activity to keep fit is important as we are all responsible for our own health.
On the 31st January 2016 they will dedicate their walk for Cervical Cancer and Breast cancer that kills most of our women population in the country.
The crowd went through some warm down exercises led by Ypgabatics Youth for Change Group.
The Yogabatics then put on some sizzling performance which got the crowd hyped-up and everyone enjoyed themselves this morning.
PNGFM /ONE PNG