By ELIAS LARI
JULIE Klowi is a heavy machinery fitter, a field she knows too well is dominated by men.
But Julie, 26, whose dad died when she was two, has learnt to fit into, or adapt herself to, different situations in life, no matter how difficult and impossible they may seem.
“People should not view challenges as barriers to a better life. They must find solutions. Life is not permanent. We just have to find a way through and never give up.”
The family is from the Pakura tribe in the North Koroba local level government of the Koroba – Kopiago electorate in Hela.
“ People should not view challenges as barriers to a better life. They must find solutions. Life is not permanent. We just have to find a way through and never give up.”
Her dad Takili Klowi passed away in Kimbe, leaving her mother Maria to raise the five siblings. They moved back to their village in Kopiago where Mum Maria tried her best to provide for them.
Julie remembers going in and out of schools since Grade Three for various reasons, but mostly to do with poor health and lack of money to pay school fees.
At one point, she decided to do something to help her mother and her siblings.
Although she missed grades four, five and 10, she was accepted by an institute in Jiwaka to do a heavy equipment fitting course. She completed the six-month training and received a certificate.
She needed on-the-job training and experience. So a friend offered her training but without pay at a tuna cannery in Madang.
She continued to look around for job openings. One opening came in 2014 when the Department of Works in Mt Hagen offered her an apprentice programme. She had to attend the entry test in Port Moresby. And she was one of the five girls who passed the test.
She was then sent to Lae for a six-month apprentice course and received her certificate in 2019 as a heavy equipment fitter.
In 2021, she was employed as a full time staff of a company which was one of the sub-contractors at the Ok Tedi mine.
Julie did not look back. She started to realise that struggles and sufferings are part of life which most people, including her and her family, had to go through.
She realised too that leaving the school system for whatever reason at a young age was not the end to life.
“There are many life opportunities out there which we should be looking for.”
Of course the family also got hit hard by those closest to them because of the predicament they faced.’
“After looking back at all the struggle and pressure, I have faced, I thank God for reminding me that He had created me for a purpose.”
Julie’s advice to those facing similar situations is: “Do not give up. There is always a way out. But you must know which direction to take.”