By ROBINSON LEKA
THE Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), a non-governmental organisation under the United Nations (UN) launched a micro-credit loan facility in Kerowagi, Chimbu, on Nov 18.
The facility will enable women in the district to access financial services.
WFWP’s country president Betty Kaime said the launch of the facility was to support the roll out of Kerowagi’s district service and improvement programme (DSIP) projects.
Kaime said Chimbu was the third chapter in the country to join the WFWP along with Morobe (21 members) and Jiwaka (62 members).
PNG participated in the WFWP Asia-Pacific Cnference in Palau in 2019 with initiatives from member nations in the region focused on micro credit projects.
PNG registered as a member for the organisation under the Oceania region in 2019 with chapters in Morobe and Jiwaka opening as its first branches in the country.
The Chimbu chapter was an important step for the WFWP in the country with 500 women from Kerowagi and other parts of the country joining to make it the country’s biggest chapter.
The launching of the loan facility in Chimbu saw the organisation carry out training in small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and financial literacy for its newly introduced members.
“Our team went in to educate them and on how to start a small business and teach a little basic book keeping, financial literacy, how to do savings and to basically get them ready to start their business,” said Kaime.
“It has the potential to empower our women and reduce the poverty rate and one key aspect of this organisation is that they’re a member of the United Nations (UN).
“We saw that the objectives and vision of the organisation was very good and we knew that it would impact the living standards of our women in the country.
“The WFWP shares the values of the UN and helps to carry out its programmes so that’s one of the main reasons we wanted to be a part of this organisation.”
Kaime added that the training programme was aimed at decreasing the poverty rate in the province by giving women and their communities a chance to manage their small businesses better.
“We believe that this is the first step in lowering the poverty rate and we start this from the home.
“Our training also involves the men and I congratulate the men in Kerowagi for helping to help with the launch.
“All the men we invited came and sat in with the women during the training and whatever the women learnt, the men also did and that’s a big step in uniting everyone.
“A mother’s first strength is in her husband and her sons and we’re happy that they’re working together with the women to make this training programme successful.
“After the training, they’ve graduated with a certificate which recognised by the Oceania body of the WFWP and they are ready.
“When they’re given a little bit of seed money, they will be able to manage it properly because of training.”
Present during the launch in Kerowagi was local member Bari Palma, who also gave his support to the initiative from the WFWP in Chimbu.
Palma said the district administration was happy to support the work of the WFWP with women in the district recognised as key components utilising and empowering economic activity.
“I myself believe that women must have financial power apart from their husbands, as they are better managers,” said Palma.
“If we empower our mothers to better manage the family their husbands and children, there will be peace as this programme will go a long way in sustaining the family unit.
“It’s a programme initiated by the WFWP and it’s a something that’s aimed at empowering our women through business.
“It’s a positive step and as the government we talk more about small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and their importance in our economy and how do we actually get on the ground to things moving at the community level.
“This project that our women have introduced and started is a stepping stone and as a district, we supported the logistics and training of the mothers.
“I see that the mothers have taken their training positively and they’re going to be doing well when they start applying what they’ve learnt.”
Palma said the work of non-government organisations in the region was welcomed as it had the ability to mobilise economic activities amongst communities in Kerowagi.
WFWP promotes women as an essential ingredient in creating a peaceful global society.
The organisation was united globally by its vision of addressing the unique issues and barriers in each region on the grassroots level and through high-level events.
WFWPI was founded in 1992 in the Republic of Korea by Dr Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband Rev Dr Sun Myung Moon.
Having addressed the United Nations within one year of the founding of WFWP, Dr Moon continues her work in empowerment through public message to audiences in prominent venues on issues that highlight women’s responsibility for the betterment of humankind.
The organisation quickly expanded to over 100 countries. Only five years later, WFWPI was granted General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
At the grassroots level, WFWP, through its member organizations and in cooperation with strategic partners, enables local women’s groups to address priority challenges in their communities related to business and other sustainable development projects.
Women groups are coached and supported to manage and supervise their own projects, lobby and advocate to influence local agenda’s and to become leaders or agents of change in their constituencies.
At the national level WFWP capacitates and supports member organizations to effectively contribute to the development and implementation of policies and programs in their regions and countries.
At the global level WFWP and its member organizations use their collective voice for women in global agenda setting and contribute to international policy development through UN and other global processes. WFWP looks out for improving policies and keeping governments to their commitments.
WFWP in Australia and New Zealand now work together to support women in the Pacific Islands through humanitarian projects and programmes.
The organisation through its vision has stated; “We are connected by our commitment to raising healthy and resilient families, empowering local women, raising future leaders, and partnering with other women organisations.”
The WFWP in Papua New Guinea now has its sights on partnering with sister chapters in the Oceania region with members from the country to receive more training and support from its neighbouring countries.
Talks have begun to have sister chapter arrangements that will see women from the PNG chapters partner with fellow chapters in Australia to support and provide exchange training for its members.