BU JONATHAN JOE
UPNG Journalism Student
Twenty-one-year-old Simeon Awam starts his typical day during the school holidays as early as 6am as he prepares himself for another day of business.
Awam hails from Bukawa in Naewaeb and his school holidays are spent with his uncle Stanley Samo who runs a small business selling fuel at Voco Point, the busiest boat stop in Lae.
“I wake up early because business starts from 8am, where I would set up the tent, put out the fuel containers and conduct sales until 5pm in the afternoon when I go home,” he said.
The lad spends his free time and school holidays helping his uncle as it is through the business of his uncle that helps pays for his school fees.
Awam will be doing his grade 12 this year at the Lae Community College (FODE) and dreams of taking a business management course in a tertiary institution.
“My goal is to take up business management to support my uncle’s business as he is the backbone and a role model to me,” an ambitious Awam said.
“My uncle would always tell me that education is the key to everything in life, and despite the setbacks in life, I have to do whatever it takes to pursue my education.”
On a normal day Awam would make K800 to K1000 for his uncle.
He is neither working on a wage nor salary basis.
He works for his uncle since the uncle pays his school fees and provides lunch and bus fare during the schooling days.
“When there are a lot of boats, I would make about K1000 or more but on other days it is less. I help my uncle for my school fees and travelling allowance,” he said.
Awam’s family is not formally employed but that does not stop him from pursuing his education as he is the first born in the family and feels responsible for his younger siblings.
“I have five siblings that will look up to me in the future and if my future is not right then my siblings, will be messing up their lives,” he said.
“That is the reason why I have to sacrifice my holidays and free times to work for my school fees.”
He said coming from a low income earning family, he is working hard as he believes that dreams are achieved through hard work and persistent.
“Those who are struggling to becoming successful have to work hard to have the future they dream of,” …….