Achieving selfreliance, health and quality of life in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province communities
Six Mine Village communities unite for development
Chief Tony Itulam addressing the forum at the Copper Canyon Conference Hall, Tabubil Country Club
A special AGM was held on 12 April by women leaders of six mine village communities in Tabubil to amend sections in their association’s constitution.
These amendments were necessary to improve administrative processes, executive roles for improved project delivery to their communities.
Ok Tedi Mine Villages Women & Children’s Association (OKMVWCA) President Mrs Alice Mumuyong in her welcome encouraged open dialogue, unity and support by all members of the association. The proposed amendments to the constitution is to allowed for all women to be members and have eligibility in being elected as executives.
President Mrs Alice Mumuyong welcomes the association members
The amendments were prompted by a village leader who saw association executives initiate projects but were faced with limited support from the community.
Chief of Finalbin village Mr. Tony Itulam raised the concern to allow all women residing in a respective community, no matter the ethnicity but through marriage rights to be eligible to run as executives. For this to happen, the constitution had to be amended. He said: “I recommended this last year, as one of the surviving elders, I wanted fair representation in the leadership of the association as many members were from other provinces married into the mine village communities. These women also have the right to lead just like women from the mine villages.”
Interventions by partners should aim to prevent conflicts
Mr Andrew Mari facilitating the constitution review
OTDF Program Services Sustainable Manager Mr Andrew Mari expressed gratitude at the manner in which the association executives addressed the issues faced and encouraged the women members to allow for equal participation and be supportive of each other. He said: “The manner in which society decides to move forward happens when differences are set aside. This will determine the extent to which long-term stability in your communities through the women and children’s association can be achieved and this is through reconciliation. He said OTDF is facilitating the process for many reasons but the underlying fact he said: “Interventions by partners should aim to prevent the recurrence of conflicts while repairing the damage caused.”
The constitution review ended on a high note with a reconciliation meal followed by speeches. A legal expert who developed the constitution will review the amendments before the AGM formally approves it.
CMCA Women fund school classroom
Students in the new classroom with their teachers, funders and parishioners of the Catholic church.
Students and teachers of an early childhood learning centre in Ningerum LLG, Western Province, have reason to celebrate this Easter with the opening of their brand new double classroom.
The Inclusive Early Childhood Education Program (IECEP) School of the St Johns Parish in the Ningerum LLG built their classroom from a K60,000.00 donation made by three North Fly Women and Children’s associations of the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA).
Callan Services Kiunga Special Education Program, in partnership with the Catholic Church’s Daru-Kiunga Diocese, received the funding in 2021 and began construction in 2022.
Callan Services Kiunga Special Education Coordinator Mrs. Doris Amboman, said K20, 000 was used to build the classroom, and the balance will fund two teachers houses to be built at a later date.
Early learning encouraged
The double classroom at the St John’s Parish church grounds.
“This program is a preparatory stage before mainstreaming to Elementary School level. We take in 4-6 year olds and teach them simple play activities to learn their basic literacy and numeracy, shapes, sounds and phonics, rhymes, colours, and pre-reading. We give them a feeling of being in a classroom setting before entering formal elementary prep education,” she said.
“We get good support in the form of education tuition fee subsidy that comes to Callan Services Inclusive/Special Education component for uniforms, stationery, chairs, blackboards, sports equipment and the first classroom from the Catholic Church funding.”
She said: “My role as the Program Coordinator is to ensure teachers are happy, receive training through in-services and to seek opportunities for the growth and development of the school. I encourage the school Board of Management and the parents to take ownership and care of the facilities and have concern for their children’s future.”
She thanked the Tutuwe, Waitri and Nupmo women & children’s associations and the partnership with Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) for the timely support for the infrastructure project.
OTDF Programs Services Sustainable Development Manager Mr. Andrew Mari expressed appreciation to the commitment of missionaries towards development in PNG, particularly the Catholic Church, for the endless contributions in developing Western Province.
He said: “Western Province is a very difficult place to develop due to its geography, limited road links and vast wetlands. But development is achievable through partnerships with the community participation, private sector support, the church and the government working closely to secure funding for development in rural PNG.”
He said most importantly, transparency in project management and servant leadership are just as effective as the community ownership of such development projects.
Village leader funds timber milling training in South Fly
Saw doctors preparing the portable sawmill during a training held in Grengas village North Fly. A similar training was facilitated in Kenedibi village in South Fly by Green Hope.
Local leaders who care deeply about helping the community and have the ability to influence will have the much impact.
Villagers from Kenedibi in remote South Fly of the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) area received technical training in forest management and the safe operation of a chainsaw and sawmill to mill timber.
Thanks to their local leader Mr Aniba Samo, who funded the training, thirteen locals can apply timber milling skills in future projects.
Mr. Samo an Associate Director on the Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) Board, representing the South Fly CMCA region, donated K10, 000 from his director’s allowance towards the training.
The community requested OTDF to arrange the training so they could harvest timber to build housing. The Pre Start Training was facilitated through the Livelihood Development Program (LDP).
OTDF engaged Green Hope Investment Limited, a local group based in Kiunga, who are dedicated to building community capacity in forest management and safe use of sawmill equipment.
The trainees were taught to safely operate a sawmill, and a chainsaw; the process of log scaling for selective logging; and to effectively practice sustainable forest management.
Green Hope reported that the participant’s feedback was positive: “The people of Kenedibi village were waiting for such a training and could now proceed with their various housing projects”.
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.
Women's & Youth Development
Developing women and youth aspirations following the intensive consultative community engagement in the communities and mine villages.
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.
The OTDF Education Sector goals are to improve to quality education services, improve teacher education and training.
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.