Over the last four months, the USAID, through its PNG Lukautim Graun Program, have trained 1,168 people, mostly women, in the two provinces.
The aim is to increase financial literacy in rural and remote communities throughout Papua New Guinea.
These participants now have a better understanding in the basics of savings and budgeting, the foundational skills for creating enterprises and increasing household and personal financial security.
Participants who completed the training received financial literacy certificates that can be used to meet the prerequisite for opening a savings account with commercial banks like MiBank, a nation-wide microbank.
Rachael Aputi, a civil engineer with Eastern Highlands Provincial Works Division, was among recent graduates to use her newly acquired knowledge and skills in financial literacy to start a small business and budget her savings to pay for her children’s school fees rather than take out a loan.
“I learnt a lot through this training but what stands out for me is saving money through sacrifice and cutting down on unnecessary spending. Prior to attending this training, I was getting ready for a bank loan to pay for my children’s school fees but after attending this training, I believe I can raise K4,000 through savings, thank you USAID,” said Ms Aputi.
Rachael and her husband started their poultry project in December 2022 and made their first installment payment of school fees earlier this year.
Financial literacy training is part of USAID’s commitment to improve financial inclusion in PNG, so that women and men are able to fully participate in the formal economy and access financial services like banking and small-scale village savings and loan schemes.
These achievements are made possible through the USAID Program and its partnership with CEFI, who together, continue to empower people in rural communities to access economic opportunities that improve their livelihood prospects.