July 23, 2012

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

July 7, 2012 Sekere, Pohnpei-"Sekerehki", means "to announce". It's the honorific form of the word "sekere", which means "maybe" or "perhaps". There was no "maybe" this morning at the inaugural ceremony of the Sekere Community Youth Association (SCYA). The brand new community organization has announced with certainty their determination to take back the Sekere community's reputation starting with the young people.

"Everyone thinks of Sekere as a place where people drink around and party on the side of the road but we want to change that image," said Nixon Ludwig, Vice President of the new group. "We want Sekere to be a place where people can feel safe."

He said that a high percentage of the crimes in Sekere are committed by young people with nothing to do. "Most of the crimes are small; not like in the U.S.," he said "but our culture is important and crime isn't a part of that."

All of the churches have their own youth groups but there was nothing that was community wide. "That didn't make sense," Ludwig said. "We're all relatives here. We all know each other and we should all work together." He said that all of the churches in the community have endorsed the SCYA. "We're all trying to work together even the Pohnpei Department of Public Safety."

The mission of SCYA is "promoting peace, beautification, and cultural activities."

SCYA plans to sponsor sports events. Those events are already in full swing in Sekere, with basketball and volleyball games that take place on the same concrete slab with a faded yin and yang painted at center court where the opening ceremony took place at Sekere Elementary School. They have also talked about sponsoring a series of block parties in the community involving ALL members of the community including the writer of this article.

"We're looking for a place where we can have a youth center," Ludwig said. SCYA, which is a fully chartered nonprofit organization with bylaws has already made some exploratory queries regarding a location they hope to use. For now, the meetings of the board are being held at the Sekere Elementary School.

"The whole community is excited about this new community thing," Ludwig said.

Mitaro Simina served as the Master of Ceremonies for the inaugural ceremony which carried the theme "Yesterday's Dream, Today's Reality". Pastor Peterson Else gave the invocation and Lepen Sekere, Rensper Liwy gave the welcoming remarks. Sokehs Chief Magistrate, Michael Liemen was the keynote speaker. SCYA President, Joas Syne gave the inaugural speech. The gathered crowd was treated to special musical performances by some of the members of the SCYA and by the United Pentecostal Church. Senior Pastor, Istaro Simina.

SCYA provided a list of its board members and others whose assistance they wanted to acknowledge. Senator Rensper Liwy is the Advisor to the Board. Board members are: Wehns Billen, Loriano Martin, David Syne, Midaro Simina, and Hinden Alexander. Executive officers are: President- Joas Syne, Vice President- Nixon Ludwig, Secretary Anthony K. Eliam, and Treasurer Robert George. Anderson Agrippa will serve as Chair of the Social Affairs sub-committee. Jesse Martin will be the vice chair for the committee. Alvin Martin will serve as the chair of the Policy subcommittee. His vice chair will be Simina Simina.

Special thanks goes to the Office of the Chief Magistrate (Sokehs Municipal Gov't), Sekere Inclusive Elementary School, Sekere Protestant Church, Apostolic Church, Latter Day Saints (Sekere), United Pentecostal Church, Sekere Local Stores, Acting Chief of Fish And Wildlife - Tony Pernet, Senator Magdalena Walter, and Francisco Simram

SCYA also wants to acknowledge the guests and participants at the inaugural ceremony including the Sokehs Chief Magistrate, Department Of Public Safety, Pohnpei State Senators (Sokehs Delegation), Sokehs Councilmen (Section 3), Sokehs Speaker of the Council, COMFSM Media, Sekere Churches, Friends and Families and, Kolonia Town Mayor Cassiano Shoniber.