Rural community organiser is Alumnae of the Year

The founder of Seeds of Hope, a self-help rural community organisation, Mr John Taka is the inaugural winner of the “Alumnae of the Year Award” of Divine Word University (DWU).

The 2011 Bachelor of Business Accounting graduate was awarded on Monday 7th December, 2015 in recognition of his self-less effort in starting up Seeds of Hope which has been helping the needy in parts of rural Mul District of Western Highlands Province.

The DWU Alumnae Award adds to the “2015 Young Leadership Award” Mr Taka received from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace in London in June for his “outstanding contribution to the community”.

Mr Taka said his view on life was impacted significantly the moment he enrolled in DWU and realised that “ethics” and ethical conduct is emphasised by the University and it is a core unit taught across all faculties.

He said the strong emphasis DWU places on ethics threw down the gauntlet on him to be an agent of positive change and Seeds of Hope is an outcome of the challenge he received from the University.

Long-serving DWU Council member Sir Peter Barter presented the alumnae award to Mr Taka during the opening of the “Alumnae Park” at the Madang campus. The Park is dedicated to the graduates of Divine Word University (1996-present) and its predecessor institutions Divine Word Institute (1979-1995) and Divine Word High School (1968-1978).

Mr Taka also became the first alumnae member to have his name imprinted on the “Alumnae Wall of Immortality” inside the Park as part of the Award. As of next year the Award will be announced on Alumnae Day which falls on 21st August and coincides with DWU Foundation Day.

The Park was blessed by the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Madang Most Reverend Stephen Reichert OFM Cap and jointly opened by Polish Consul General in Sydney, Australia Her Excellency Regina Jurkowska and Acting Australia High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Her Excellency Bronte Moules.

Sir Peter said Mr Taka was recognised by DWU for his selfless effort in initiating Seeds of Hope after graduating from DWU in 2011 and assisting the village people. The Seeds of Hope started with the distribution of potato seeds to people in the remote areas to plant, harvest and sell and raise funds for school fees of children.

With the activities of Seeds of Hope gaining momentum the organization has been working on helping the people in others besides education.

Mr Taka said through Seeds of Hope they were now building a village health clinic dedicated to the mothers to deliver their babies safely.