Life skills training, in Tongujam villages, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
Following the requests of the women from Blek Wara – a wetland area close to Waskuk Mountain, on Middle Sepik – the Catholic Church from Wewak sent there two sisters to teach women how to bake and to use the sewing machine.
Around 150 women, some coming from villages situated a day of walking and paddling away from Tongujam, enrolled for the six days training. They paid 50 Kina fee (20 USD, money which requires weeks of savings) necessary for buying materials and ingredients, like cloth and imported flour.
I question how many of them will make use of the new skills, but I think that’s less important. They took this initiative and managed to attend a vocational training. They are from communities which live entirely from their forest, river and swamps, deep in the wetlands surrounding Sepik River. Most of the adult women never been to school and about 80% are illiterate (according to local admin. accounts).
At the closing day, watched by their relatives and neighbors, the daring women were awarded with a Participant Certificate.