Papua Partners spent a week in the district of Ninia in the mountains with our local partner Yasumat helping them evaluate with the local people what has been achieved in just over one year of working together.
After a 30 minute flight throught the steep mountains from the highland town of Wamena, Papua Partners and Yasuamat were able to meet with all the groups that we had worked with over the past year. It was especially important for the women to meet together and with other representatives of the community to tell each other what they had achieved.
There are 24 groups in all involving over 70 women and all are doing well. Half of them are breeding rabbits and half of them have cake making businesses or small shops which they operate out of their huts. It was hugely satisfying to hear them report back what a difference this small process has made in their lives. The ownership of rabbits, which we thought would bring income to women, has instead given them social position. By prioritising women and providing them with ownership of livestock their position in society has become stronger as they can help others, pay the local officials, and share out to other families.
It has been exciting to see that the majority of the women have shared out their rabbits to other families, given them to sick people or used them to pay a lawsuit for their family. Women who had direct income from selling bread have all doubled their money and then supported children who are at school.
Papua Partners together with Yasumat is currently supporting the establishment of 12 new groups and also trying to encourage new types of enterprise. An exciting new development is that we are working with ILO (International Labour Organisation) to provide training for all groups in Ninia including the 10 small shops that we helped village groups set up last year.
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This program is funded by UNDP.