blog / Support ‘Humans of Papua New Guinea’

Thu, 28 January, 2016

Support ‘Humans of Papua New Guinea’

In 2014, dynamic duo Nickson and Victoria Piakal quietly launched a Facebook page they titled ‘Humans of Papua New Guinea’ (HoPNG). Their intent was simple: to share stunning portrait photographs and stories of diverse Papua New Guineans from all walks of life, in order to balance negative portrayals of this mysterious and beautiful land and cast a light on its humanity.

 

In just under two years, the HoPNG’s follower numbers have gone up to 20,000 - a milestone achieved without spending a single cent on Facebook advertising. And it is easy to understand why this heart-centred project has been able to garner so much praise and a loyal, interactive following - take a look at the beautiful portraits. Read the moving, inspiring, hilarious, unique and incredibly intimate stories of the diverse Papua New Guineans featured in HoPNG’s posts. 

In creator Nickson Piakal’s words: “This work has revealed the side of Papua New Guinea that is at often times less widely seen. As a result we have received countless positive feedback from people, both from within and from abroad. Our work has even been featured on the Daily Mail UK Online. It was encouraging to see we had a part to play in promoting Papua New Guinea with a more positive note abroad.”

 

HoPNG: A NON PROFIT PROJECT POWERED BY PASSION

It was Nickson and Victoria’s shared love for photography, people, and their stories that led the couple to start ‘Humans of Papua New Guinea’ - which has been an entirely self-funded and not-for-profit project - and it has been pure passion that has driven the project forward. The idea for the page was inspired by Brandon Stanton’s long running ‘Humans of New York’ Facebook page. 

However, unlike other countries where similar projects have sprung up, Papua New Guinea’s population speak over 800 languages. This poses a significant barrier in communication. So HoPNG’s interviews are conducted in the two more widely spoken languages – English and Tok Pisin (Pidgin-English). When required, Nickson and Victoria engage the services of a translator - when interview subjects can speak their local vernacular only. Their translated texts are then appropriately punctuated, to ensure their message is not lost in translation.

The incredible attention to detail and care taken in recording the stories of the amazing, everyday people that Nickson and Victoria interview is admirable - and the results, profound. Have a look at HoPNG to discover and share a moment with some amazing people.

 

HoPNG ONLINE FUNDRAISER: THEY NEED OUR SUPPORT

Nickson and Victoria Piakal will have an opportunity soon to travel along the Papua coastline, from Milne Bay to Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. They will be attached as volunteer photographers on board the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) medical outreach ship for close to three weeks - departing on 12 May and returning after May 29, 2016. On this volunteer trip, they will be covering stories for ‘Humans of Papua New Guinea’ in remote villages and islands, all along the way!

Because it is a volunteer program, Nickson and Victoria will have to pay their own way to their pick up locations, and pay their own way back again. So they need your support - funding to cover their logistical needs and supplies for the duration of the expedition. Additionally, they will need another camera gear set for the continuity of their work - and for future HoPNG work.

In Nickson’s words: “At this juncture, we realize that we may need a helping hand. Hence this fundraiser. We are reaching out to you all to be a part of Team HOPNG in getting the stories of the people of Papua New Guinea to the wider world out there. This has prompted us to seek out a fundraising campaign via crowd funding.”

 

SUPPORT HOPNG BRING MORE HUMAN STORIES TO YOU 

You can pledge you support for this phenomenal project - a small or big amount of your choosing - on the Humans of Papua New Guinea ‘Generosity.com’ fundraiser page here:

https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/support-hopng-bring-more-human-stories-to-you

In the words of the HOPNG team:

Your contribution will help us continue to bring quality and authenticity straight to you!

We have created a tight budget that covers our volunteer expedition and our camera equipment requirements as well. Please feel free to email us on hello@humansofpapuanewguinea.com and we can be able to furnish it to you. 

Thank you so much. 

Continue the Love...

Victoria, Nisoron and Nickson

Team HOPNG

 

 

WORDS by Pauline Vetuna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

 

Copyright ‘Humans of Papua New Guinea’. All rights reserved.

 

Photo 1: Victoria and Nickson Piakal, the creators of 'Humans of Papua New Guinea', and their child Nisoron.

 

Photo 2: Elderly woman who loves reading. "I read after I do my gardening, I read by the roadsides, I read by the rivers, I read in the jungles, I absolutely love reading." She learned how to read a few years ago, at a mission school on the other side of a nearby mountain. Read her full interview HERE.

 

Photo 3: Frank the painter. “My paint stock is dwindling but I will continue to paint. That’s all I am left to work with. I know my break will come. Then I will make my mother proud and reward her properly for her faith in me.” Frank’s story really touched fans of the HOPNG page, who chipped in and bought him paint supplies to continue his beautiful craft. Read his first interview HERE and follow up interview HERE.

 

Photo 4: Happy primary school aged girl. “It's a wonderful feeling. This year I learnt the alphabet. I also learnt how to do addition and subtraction." You can share her happiness HERE

 

Photo 5: Aircraft engineer. “I get more satisfaction knowing that I am responsible for keeping these people safe when they are travelling. That is why I have to be of sober mind and spirit.” Read his full interview HERE.

 

Photo 6: Mother and her child in the creek that sustains them. “Our village is less than a mile from here near the mouth of the stream. We have to make this journey up the creek every three to four days to fetch our drinking water. It’s a good creek.” Read her full interview HERE.

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