By JACKLYN SIRIAS
MISS Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) PNG yesterday announced Esther Aiga, 25, from Central as the final 2017 contestant.
Chairperson Molly O’Rourke said Aiga was the sixth contestant in the race for the MPIP-PNG that it was not just a beauty pageant but one that was with a purpose to empower young women through education.
“The MPIP has a scholarship fund and every year we send out nomination forms to eligible participants out there, including all the contestants that have come on board this year, to apply for the scholarship,” she said.
“Whether they go on to complete or enhance their tertiary education, and I believe that Esther is in that position. She wants to enhance herself and you give her that opportunity and she will go a long way.”
O’Rourke said Aiga was from Vabukori, came from a family of five and was a senior work permit and visa consultant at Pelamor Consultancy Service.
She is sponsored by local accounting company Kuna Taberia Kiruwi accountants and advisers that operate in Port Moresby.
Senior KTK partner Richard Kuna said because their firm supported women and 60 per cent of their staff were women, they were happy to sponsor Aiga.
“The reason why I decided to join MPIP is to empower young women,” Aiga said.
She said the three things she would like to advocate on the MPIP platform were education, health and safe sex.
“I come from a community where young women do not value the importance of education,. I’d liike to change that mentality,” Aiga said.
“Health is another big issue that a lot of people ignore. If we can find a way to help locals value their health, people will live longer.
“Lastly, I would like to also advocate about safe sex in my community.
“The MPIP is a regional event that was founded by the Samoan government in 1997. It provides a platform for cultural ambassadors and for women to build their potential as agents of social and positive change.
O’Rourke said the crowning of Miss PNG will be on Nov 11 at the Crowne Plaza.
This year the MPIP will be held in Fiji and the winner of the six contestants will represent Papua New Guinea in the regional pageant.
By JACKLYN SIRIAS