Dinghies for ex-gang members

Twenty dinghies, worth approximately K1 million, were given to former gang members and a Seventh-Day Adventist church by Lae MP, John Rosso.

Eleven of the 20 dinghies were presented at the Tidal Basin on Sunday in the presence of residents from Papuan Compound, Bumbu and Hanta.

These vessels have been given to boost small business owners at wards 2 and 3 of Lae district – the communities living along the coastline of the city.

They will be used to transport betelnut and other commodities from ports like Popondetta and Finschhafen, to Lae.

Rosso said the vessels were presented following proposals from the recipients a couple of years ago.



“Most of them especially had a bad upbringing and are trying to convert their lives. In our suburbs, they are people who have a following – young people look up to them – like ex-gang leaders, that sort of thing,” he stated.

Rosso said this also contributes to the city’s long-term efforts to reduce crime by promoting SMEs.

“This is our way of helping those small SMEs and in turn, they can look after their communities.

“A lot of people look to the Member to try help change their lives and if I can help a few of those people change their lives, I hope that can reflect back on the communities they live in.”

The dinghies come with a mandatory SME training that two people from each household are to attend. The training will help the recipients learn how to manage their money and resources wisely to grow their business.

Carmella Gware