YOUTHS in Papua New Guinea can earn a living in many ways by engaging in economic activities through perseverance, according to a young entrepreneur from the Highlands.
Upcoming businessman Paul Toimbo, 25, of Nogar village in upper Gena, Kerowagi district, Simbu province, who sells phone cards on the streets of Goroka, Eastern Highlands province, made this bold statement after trying and succeeding.
Mr Toimbo completed his Grade 10 education at Kerowagi Secondary School in 2001 but could not afford to proceed any further in the formal education system.
“Because I have not entered the formal work force or continued my education, I went back home and got involved voluntarily in community work in my area for five years,” Mr Toimbo said last week.
He said his village was located in a very remote part of the Kerowagi district where the people could not access basic Government services.
The only health services were aid posts set up before Independence, and were barely operating.
“These were contributing factors that forced me to migrate to urban centres in search of a better life and where I can have easy access to services like other ordinary Papua New Guineans,” Mr Toimbo said.
He said in Goroka, he lived with relatives at Mambu market settlement in 2006.
Mr Toimbo said he ventured into street vending to make ends meet because he found out quickly that no-one wanted to employ a Grade 10 drop out.
“Until May this year, I was given an opportunity to work for a mobile phone company, selling phone cards and doing phone-to-phone top-up for customers,” he said, adding that he received commission depending on his sale of products. The more he sold and serviced, the bigger his commission.
“This is a challenging task, I work from 6am to 4pm every day.
“Sometimes I am too tired to even eat a single piece of kaukau (sweet potato) for dinner.
“If I had not done my duties by talking to customers and doing sales, I know that I would not have food on my table for my dinner so I have to talk to get money to survive in town,” he said.