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Trainers determined to educate their communities to be financially independent

Improving the way people manage their finances has persuaded two financial literacy mentor’s to brush up their Trainer skills and help their respective communities become financially independent and educated.

Leo Kaptigau who runs a local consultancy firm called ‘Strategy 4 Growth’ and Margaret Vakuru, owner of Oort Finance are two different people with different backgrounds but they have the same goal to educate and train Papua New Guinean’s to be financial inclusive and literate.

The pair were among 17 participants including 11 women, who undertook second EOI ToT training from May 06-10 at the CEFI Head Office.

The 17 participant’s also successfully completed the training and received certificates certifying them to be Trainers in Financial Literacy.

CEFI’s Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe in his congratulatory remarks during the certificate presentation, to the trainees urged them to be role models, set a good example and go back to their respective communities and pass on the knowledge acquired during their training.

Deputy Executive Directror Mr. Peter Samuel encouraged the trainers to be the eyes and ears representing CEFI on the ground and continue put into practice the lessons learned through the training.

Margaret Vakuru who is based out of Kiunga, in Western province, where majority of the people’s livelihood depends on royalty payments from the giant Ok Tedi Mine, says the local people need financial rescuing and that will be in the form of financial literacy training which she is determined to deliver.

“Back in the community that I come from, we have people that have been really dependent on Ok Tedi Mine CMCA (Community Mine Continuation Agreement) payouts and have been receiving these payouts for the last 30 years of the mines operation,” she said.

“They got used to just spending these money and they didn’t know how to save, as a result they are still struggling today with how to manage their finance and it’s a really worrying trend,” Margaret revealed.

“I have been running some trainings with the local communities, affected by the mine in Kiunga and now through the training I received from CEFI, I will use the experience, skills and knowledge I have learnt to educate my people about the importance of savings and how they can be able to do their budgeting and plan for their future,” she added.

Leo’s aim however is to introduce an online platform for SME’s to do their business through a program his currently running called SME Amazing Markets program.

“We realized that apart from us introducing technology and innovation to the SMEs, financial inclusivity is one of the very key essential skills that they need to understand and appreciate,” said Leo.

“So while we are introducing an online platform where SMEs can now sell their products, we realized that they’ll be making money, but then will they sustain themselves and grow?,” added Leo.

That question propelled Leo to attend CEFI’s ToT Training and he stated that the learnings gained from the training will be major boost for his SME Amazing Markets program.

“So that’s where we decided to attend this training so that we can not only impact them by introducing new innovations in emerging technology, but also help SME owner’s in terms of understanding basic finances, how to manage the finance, where to invest, where to save, and then eventually grow into bigger corporations to sustain our economy,” concluded Leo.


Photo caption: Mr. Leo Kapitigau and Margaret Vakura showing their respective certificates after successfully completing the five day ToT Training.  


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