In mid-May, Pacific Women supported a three-day Financial Literacy and Business Skills Training-of-Trainer Workshop in Port Moresby. The workshop was facilitated by researchers and a team from the School of Business from Pacific Adventist University, who led the development and testing of the training.
The training uses a ‘family team’ approach, which Pacific Women supports and encourages implementing partners to trial and adopt. There were 52 workshop participants (39 women and 13 men) from Pacific Women implementing partners and other organisations. These participants plan to, or are already, rolling out financial literacy training in their communities. It was a diverse and interesting group, with representatives from Voice for Change, Oxfam, i2i Development Projects, Friends of Rambutso, the Papua New Guinea Assembly of People with Disabilities (Hagen and Madang), Fresh Produce Development Agency, and Women in Business (Lae and Telefomin), amongst others.
The training manual has been designed to teach money management skills to communities with low levels of literacy. Workshop facilitators took participants through the four modules in the manual. The modules cover the importance of goal setting and financial goal setting, skills and needs in a community, conducting a market survey, costing and pricing, location and advertising, and record keeping, budgeting and savings. Participants at the workshop were shown how the training could be delivered in a very simple way, closely linking activities to daily life and the existing knowledge of the women and men who participate. The training uses games to communicate key messages.
Rebecca Imbok, Project Coordinator with Wia Trade, attended the training. Ms Imbok works with eight clusters of a coffee cooperative in a rural area of Nawaeb District in the Morobe Province. There are 813 registered coffee farmers within this cooperative. Ms Imbok says she looks forward to piloting the training with coffee farmers in her rural community. She especially wants to talk with farmers about the family circle activity, focusing on how workloads within the family are distributed. Following the workshop, Ms Imbok feels confident to take the farmers through the process of setting business goals and identifying risks. She is keen for farmers to be able to identify the risks associated with the type of business they want to start and to be able to make an informed decision on the viability of any business idea.
Another participant, Margarette Kiroha, works as a Project Manager with the Young Women Leadership Program run by the Bougainville Women’s Federation. Two significant lessons that Ms Kiroha took away from the training were the importance of constructing rules before setting a business goal, and the processes involved in setting a budget and savings goals. For Ms Kiroha, the workshop was timely, as it came just before the planned roll out of financial literacy activities with the project she manages. She plans for her team to use lessons learned from the workshop to support their work.
The workshop was the first training–of-trainer workshop that developers have facilitated using the manual. Participant feedback at the workshop will be used to update the manual, which is still in its development stage. The Pacific Women Support Unit will follow-up with participants over a six-month period to track how they are able to use the training content and materials in their own work and within their organisations.