Jennifer Ponahai – Empowering Communities through Commitment and Passion

Making a difference in one's community does not require wealth, a high-ranking position in government, or extraordinary abilities.

It only takes commitment, hard work, and passion. Jennifer Ponahai, a 38-year-old Airport Officer with OTML and a Central woman, exemplifies this truth.

Recognizing her privilege, Jennifer felt compelled to help her community, especially youths, through sports and small business projects.

She is the President of the Soheneliu Village Youth Group in the inlands of Manus Province. Together with her husband, Herman Ponahai, they initiated a solar lighting project, funded entirely by the couple, to ensure the safety of their village's inhabitants.

The project not only provides light but also engages the youth in a positive activity, redirecting them from negative pursuits. The community appreciates Jennifer's and Herman's efforts, lauding them for their contribution.

Jennifer also coaches and trains nearby villages in volleyball, sharing her knowledge and skills. She is currently initiating an Egg Layer Farm project with the youth to generate income for the community.

Moreover, she has sought the help of trained Agricultural professionals to teach subsistence farming to her community.

Jennifer credits her employer, OTML, for providing her with opportunities to excel in her career while improving herself professionally and personally.

She recently participated in the RISE Program, a leadership development program for potential female leaders, which inspired her to share her knowledge and improve livelihoods in her community and the workforce.

Ok Tedi Women's Network Chairperson, Beverly Pasen, commends Jennifer's initiative, which aligns with the network's goal to encourage women to be resilient.

Jennifer believes that everyone can make a positive impact on people's lives by doing their best, regardless of their position or abilities.

Her motto is, "Just do what you can do to the best of your ability; you never know who you might inspire in the process for the better."

Loop author