Fifty residents of Waikele Community of Gerehu Stage 5 in the National Capital District are proud graduates of the first Life & Business Skills Program for 2016. The 2 week course is facilitated by Ginigoada Bisnes Development Foundation and funded by Digicel PNG Foundation. The two organisations have worked in partnership since 2012 to equip men, women and youth with life skills and basic business knowledge.
Charlie Tenaliu is one participant who graduated from the first training program for 2016 conducted at Waikele in Gerehu who described the training as “life changing.”
“The two things that we really learnt were how to manage your life and business because both work hand in hand. Going home after the daily sessions, me and my fellow participants would go and talk and share with each other how we would take a new approach to our lives. These two weeks have really motivated and inspired us to move and take a new direction in our lives and not live as we were before. So after this program, as a changed person, with a new mindset and attitude and conduct, we would like to make a change in our community going forward,” Charlie said.
The Life & Business Skills Program is a holistic approach to address gender-based violence in PNG. The program uses a mobile approach where the facilitator takes the program to communities. The first week is a workshop on ‘Community Conversations’ where topics on basic health and hygiene, nutrition, family planning, HIV/AIDs and issues affecting day to day living of family units. The second week is a Basic Business training course where participants are taught on how to start and manage a small income generating activity so that profits made from these small businesses can be used to sustain the livelihoods of communities.
At the end of the program, participants graduate with a basic business certificate which they can then use to connect back into organizations for job training or vocational training for further skills development. The aim of this program is to firstly, create awareness on gender based violence and to prevent it from occurring in family units and communities and secondly, use the skills to connect back into formal institutions for on the job training and further skills training in technical and vocational training institutions.
To date the program has seen 14,691 people graduate with a basic business certificate. The Program is currently running in Port Moresby and Lae, Morobe Province and is facilitated by Ginigoada Bisnes Development Foundation in both locations.