By PETER ESILA
WHEN her husband left her in 2018, Diana Dop made it her priority to make sure that her two sons get all the support they want.
Diana, 45, is originally from Wabag in Enga, and lives at Wildlife in Port Moresby with her sons Samuel Shane, 7 and Joshua 5.
“I am a single mother. My husband left me and I am raising my two boys. My two boys are in elementary school.”
Diana sells iced water and juice in bottles on the roadside near her home. She is a member of the Mt Mu Farmers Ltd Group registered under the Moresby North-East women’s micro, small to medium enterprises programme, an initiative of MP John Kaupa. There are 250 women in the group.
They recently attended a financial literacy programmer to broaden their knowledge on how to run a business.
“We learned about financial literacy through MSME and the SME programmes on how to manage money, how to do small informal markets and then how to go get a loan and go to the next level in paying off loans, or getting another loan to do business.
“I joined this group to go big, hopefully earn some good money and go back to school and earn a living in the city.”
“ Now I am looking for any opportunity to further my education. I do not want to lose hope. I start by selling small things on the roadside.”
The financial literacy programme was facilitated by Professor Binta Abubakar of Oshoma Business Institute in Port Moresby.
Diana was employed as a school secretary in Western Highlands and had the opportunity to attend the Pacific Adventist University. But due to personal problems, she opted out.
“I was a once a secretary at a school in Western Highlands. In our custom, when we marry, we have to go to our husband. When I was with my husband, I wanted to go to school, but didn’t. So I stayed at home.”
Although her broken marriage has impacted her life, she wants to look to the future with confidence and hope.
“Because I go to church, I believe in Jesus. I ask the Lord to give me the strength to live and survive. So I grab this opportunity to attend the MSME training.”
She plans, when her small business is running well, to go back to school.
“Now I am looking for any opportunity to further my education. I do not want to lose hope. I start by selling small things on the roadside.”
Her sons’ future motivates her every day to work hard.
“To women like me out there, there is no end to the life we face. It is a reality that we are left with.
“But there is hope if we can grab opportunities like the trainings so that we can stand strong without a husband’s support.
“We must be brave and push on in life. If an opportunity comes your way to improve your life, grab it. Stop wallowing in self-pity and worrying.”