*Recorded in ‘Tok Pisin’ translated by the Division for Local Level Government, Buka
I represent the women of Tsitalato in the Tsitalato Council of Elders as President of the Tsitalato women’s Association. I have 4 Children and i was voted in by the women as President of the Women’s Association. I am very happy to hold this position and my husband fully supports me and assists me in areas where I need have problem in managing the organization for the women. I do not have much skills and knowledge and depend on my husband to help me. I completed Grade 6 and went on to a Vocational School. With the little knowledge I gained, I am able to look after the office of the women, of course with the help of my husband.
I have an Executive Body made up of myself, the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer. We have done a lot of fundraising activities and have assisted a lot of women access funds to carry out little projects to benefit the women. There have been some problems and challenges, but we have overcome. Sometimes there is no consultation amongst the Executive Body on the expenditure of the funds. We continue to deal with this issue on the spot. This is to ensure the women have confidence in our leadership. So far we have worked well and there is no problem.
One of the major challenges is that most women lack skills in how to organize themselves. There is no training for the women. We have no idea which organization deal with capacity building although there are many women’s organization in Bougainville. We lack resources such as office space, stationeries and supplies, computers. We meet under the trees. Nobody is there to help us.
There are lots of challenges, however we are working hard to raise awareness and hopefully we will receive support from the government and the NGOs this year. Thank you.