Achieving selfreliance, health and quality of life in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province communities
Caption: Youths receive the rations from executives of the women’s association and development partners at Kiunga waterfront
In a heartwarming gesture aimed at fostering community development and engagement, the Middle Fly Women and Children Association (MFWCA) extended a helping hand to youths from three villages of upper middle fly.
The association presented bails of rice, assorted food items, and drums of fuel to support the initiation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) scheme during this festive season.
The MFWCA in recognizing the significance of youths as vital stakeholders in community development, donated items to empower the young members of Erecta, Karemgo, and Moian. The youths had established an SME to contribute meaningfully to the local economy.
Mr. Andrew Mari, OTDF Executive Manager Program Services, delivered an encouraging message to the youths during the presentation. He said: “You must remain consistent and persevere in your efforts to ensure the success and sustainability of your SMEs. He also stressed the importance recognizing the youths and engaging them in meaningful activities during the festive season and encouraged the youths to be good role models in shaping the future of the community.
“Youths are important stakeholders in the community and should be recognized and given prominence to make them become useful members in the community,” remarked Mr. Mari. He expressed gratitude towards the Village Planning Committees (VPCs), the women association and the OTDF Team for their unwavering support in supporting the youths.
The small yet significant presentation concluded with expressions of joy and gratitude from the youths and their leaders. They eagerly anticipate the opportunity to expand their SMEs, fueled by the support and encouragement provided by the MFWCA. The act of generosity is a catalyst for positive change and progress within the community, empowering the youths to shape a brighter future for themselves and their villages.
Captions: Elementary School Students from Tapila adorn the uniforms sewn by the life skills training participants.
In a display of community empowerment, the South Fly CMCA Trust regions recently celebrated the completion of their life skills training program, particularly in the art of sewing. The praise extends not only to the 80 participants but also to the significant impact they’ve made through their dedication to empower the youths and women in Life Skills Training.
According to Mrs. Anna Sumai Dudi, President of the Women and Children’s Association, the influence of these community empowerment program reaches beyond the immediate skills acquired; it establishes a foundation for sustainable development. This equips individuals and communities with the tools to improve their livelihood and shape their future. The celebration in South Fly CMCA Trust regions is not just a moment but a stepping stone toward a future where empowerment is an ongoing journey.
Lead facilitator Mrs. Helen Gire Dupnai Manager of the Kiunga TVET Center expressed excitement about the participants and the outfits they sewed. She remarked, “With needles in hand and determination in their hearts, they successfully completed Life Skills Training in sewing, contributing meaningfully to the community by creating elementary school uniforms for local children. These skillfully crafted uniforms not only evoke pride but also testify to the transformative power of skill development.”
Community Development Coordinator Mr. Polang Tommy specially acknowledged the support from the KTVETC team in the program. He said, “A special acknowledgment goes to Mrs. Dupnai and the dedicated trainers at Kiunga TVET Centre. Their commitment to being present in the community has been instrumental in fostering self-reliance and empowerment.” The sewing trainers, accompanied by sewing machine maintenance trainers, ensured participants learnt how to fix their machines and provided basic servicing guidance to avoid breakdowns.
Through imparting valuable skills, the trainers enhanced participants’ capabilities and directly impacted the lives of those in Severemabu, Tapila, Buria, and Samari communities.
In conjunction with the sewing training, the women community leaders of Suki Fly Gogo Women & Children Association engaged in Institutional Strengthening Training. This initiative reflects a holistic approach to community development, recognizing the pivotal role of women in leadership.
The Institutional Strengthening Training equips these women leaders with the tools and knowledge needed to address the unique challenges faced by their communities. Enhanced leadership skills position these women to guide their communities toward sustainable development.
The success of these programs is a testament to the collaborative efforts between participants, trainers, and community leaders. The synergy between the Kiunga TVET Centre and four local women and children’s associations exemplifies a community-driven approach to development.
L-R The five cadets, Mark Nograi, Baram Wakea, Susan Sampson, Primrose Aioge, Peter Nickson, Ms. Shemila Kasi OTDF Community Education Service Scholarships Officer at the Maritime College in Madang.
To gain captaincy of a large ship there are requirements;
- Have a thorough understanding of logistics, navigation, maritime and safety law and management.
- Years of experience and significant on-the-job training
- Earn a captain’s license from a federal maritime authority (National Maritime Safety Authority – NMSA) – which can take up to ten years.
This year through a program sponsored by OTML and managed by OTDF, five cadets completed Maritime Training courses in Madang.
The cadets signed contracts in 2019 and 2020, to start their sea time training. In a process exam on 27 November 2023 in Madang, they complied and completed their training.
NMSA instructors certified Ms. Primrose Aioge and Peter Nickson qualifying them as Mate 3 Deck Officers on large seafaring ships.
Ms. Aioge was on board the OTML Copper Ship MV Fly Resilience while Master Peter was on board the OTML Copper ship MV Fly Prosperity doing sea-time training.
Ms Aioge from Middle Fly of Western Province was elated when she passed her exams to be a Deck Cadet. She said: “A female trying to be a sailor is a challenge but I am ready to try. I encourage more of my peers to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. After serving my home, I want to travel the international waters and I will work towards that goal.” She added, “I thank God and my family for this opportunity as well as my sponsors OTML and OTDF for making this dream a reality.”
Mate 3 Cadet Officer Mr. Peter Nickson has never been on a larger sea faring vessel and is naturally anxious about the experience. “It was an opportunity for me to prove that a boy from the bush can captain a ship out at sea. I am confident now after training and being certified is an achievement for me, my family, my province and country. I wish to continue in this Maritime program and gain my captains licence within the required years of service.”
OTDF CES scholarships officer Ms. Shemila Kasi while congratulating the cadets encouraged them to fulfill their dreams, respect the career they chose and be good ambassadors of Western Province.
Ms. Kasi says only 2 female cadets so far completed the program, while the third, Ms Jacklyn Jeremiah, will soon board a vessel to do her 24 month sea time training.
‘Over 600 students from Western Province and Preferred Area have been sponsored and successfully graduated through various Scholarship Programs under OTML/OTDF since 2012.
OTML and OTDF are committed to developing the human resource of Western Province and Preferred Areas.’
Who We Are
Each executive and board member, team and individual involved with OTDF is an essential part of achieving the goal of allowing the residents of Western Province to have greater choices in mapping out their own direction to live better lives.
What We Do
Operating independently of OTML since 2009, we are proud to have 50 full-time staff, 60 part-time staff, and committed volunteers throughout Western Province dedicated to ensuring our objectives and goals are aligned with those of the communities for which we serve.
To date, we have achieved significant outcomes across our investment portfolio and all five pillars of CMCA community development.
From inception as an independent organisation in 2010, OTDF has worked tirelessly with the CMCA communities to establish family and village-based economic and food production options.
OTDF continues to focus on infrastructure delivery for communities to gain easier access to regional centres and government services, and to get produce to markets.
The OTDF Strategic 5-year plan goal for the Health Sector is the CMCA primary health care service delivery strengthened and in line with the Western Province & National Health Plans.
Our latest Annual Report is a comprehensive report of what OTDF has achieved and defines/outlines our ongoing priorities and goals going forward.
Each month, our OTDF media team creates a PDF newsletter that encapsulates the many activities and achievements by OTDF, partners and communities.
OTDF is committed to cooperation and integration of ideas from our community, therefore, we are always interested in what you have to say.