Kobo Village Women Empowerment Training


by Gabby



Gabby’s 23rd Birthday Fundraiser Report

A Women Empowerment Project Conducted by the Morobe Development Foundation Inc.

Written by:

Willie Doaemo: MDF Founder and CEO

Gabby Richardson: MDF Fundraiser Coordinator, Content Strategist and Researcher

Image taken by Tanya Zeriga-Alone


Papua New Guinea (PNG) is categorized as a low human development country with a human development index ranking of 155 out of 189 countries (UNDP, 2021). Inadequate infrastructure, limited access to schools and lack of employment opportunities characterize many rural communities in PNG. Families practice subsistence farming due to poverty and food insecurity. Across PNG women are often believed to be subordinate to men. Hegemonic masculinity is prevalent in PNG society and women are at an increased risk of violence. In fact, over two thirds of women in PNG have been victims of gender based violence. This subordination of PNG women is also evident in their low economic and educational prospects and standings. Kobo village, like all of PNG, faces significant obstacles in its fight against gender-based and sorcery-based violence, and in its promotion of women’s empowerment. 

Kobo Village – Map Location

About the Morobe Development Foundation Inc. (MDF)

MDF was established and registered with the Investment Promotion Authority as an NGO to carry out a wide range of activities, interventions and projects throughout the country. MDF is made up of professional accountants, engineers, researchers and community development specialists who collaborate together and participate in rural development activities. MDF focuses on providing training workshops for women, youth, community empowerment and advocacy work to address any social issue that is impeding development in Papua New Guinea. MDF also promotes awareness of social and environmental issues by using drama as a tool to disseminate information. More information about the group can be found on www.mdfpng.com > MDF has also focused on research and publications.

Project Details and Goals

The project sought to provide approximately 20 women in Kobo village an opportunity to participate in a bread and jam making workshop. This project aimed to assist women in improving their occupational skills, so that they may provide for their families and become self-reliant. This project was designed to support United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5 “Gender Equality”.

Fundraising Campaign – Planning and Outcome

Prior to the start of this fundraising campaign, we selected an issue to address in PNG, a project idea, and location. Willie Doaemo made a preliminary budget and selected United Nations Online Volunteers to assist with this campaign. Gabby Richardson set up the Go Fund Me page and wrote the MDF blog post describing the project. MDF team members worked together to edit the fundraiser campaign video which was scheduled to be posted on YouTube on January 18th 2021. For one week, all UNVs and MDF team members promoted the campaign. (See video at the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_CZu408XH0)

On the first day of this fundraising campaign, we reached our $500 USD ($650 CAD) goal to run this program for 20 women. On the third day of our fundraising campaign, we raised $1,000 CAD to run this program for 32 women. Thanks to the incredible support from our donors, we decided to increase our goal to $1,260 CAD to educate 40 women on basic bread and jam making. To our surprise, as of January 25th, 2021 we had raised $1,470 CAD (K4,000 PNG).

The transfer of the money was done in two portions through Western Union as per their regulation with transfer done on (https://www.westernunion.com/global-service/tracktransfersuccess,MTCN 439-4488312) the 30th of January 2021. We thank Gabby Richardson for covering the exchange rate and the transfer rate fees. We appreciate the generosity, the time and effort put in.

Project Implementation

The “Kobo Women Empowerment Training Program” successfully trained 40 women between the ages of 18-35 years old in jam making and bread making. The team consisted of one MDF project officer and two trainers who travelled to Kobo village. The workshop began on February 22nd and lasted until February 25th 2021. 

Workshop schedule:

Day 1: Jam preparation (Theory & practical) 

Day 2: Bread preparation (Theory & practical) 

Day 3: Oven construction lesson

Day 4: Family planning, food hygiene, and basic bookkeeping education

Images from Kobo Village Women Empowerment Project

The family planning training was carried out to encourage women to be strong, independent and take charge of their sexual health. Hygiene, food health and safety education was necessary in order to ensure healthy and safe preparation and storage of bread and jam in the village setting. Bookkeeping was done to ensure the women have basic skills to start up a small income generating initiative in the future. We thank all the community leaders and elders who acknowledged this initiative and supported us all throughout the training with food. On the last day of the workshop, certificates were issued and a farewell feast was organized and provided by the community.  

Project Costs

The funds were spent on the following items which were critical for the success of the project.

  1. Hire of boat and fuel (K2200)           
  2. Trainer Per diem (K600)
  3. Bread and Jam Making Items (K600)       
  4. Dum Oven (K400) 
  5. Stationeries (K200)                
  6. Other food rations (K200)

Immediate Impact:

The immediate results upon the women’s completion of the training include:

  • 40 women become trained in basic jam and bread making
  • Women started to bake and make jam to improve diet in the family and community

Long Term Qualitative and Quantitative Impact:

  1. Improved social standing for women who operate small businesses, achieved through the transformation of women from home makers to viable financial contributors in the household 
  2. Enhanced stable employment and ongoing support for self-reliant women
  3. Enhanced business potential of women and increased prevalence of women owned businesses in future
  4. Establishment of successful women’s cooperatives, facilitating scaling up of activities and greater formal collaboration amongst women as support for women interested in assuming community leadership roles.

Feedback from Women in Kobo Village

90% of women who attend the training indicated that they have learned something new and 2 women who have attended the training are now able to produce bread and jam after getting assistance from their husband and family members to source and construct the oven. We have received feedback and comments from the community since the workshop took place and we have learned that a family of 6 have started baking bread and selling it at a market in a nearby village.

Image taken by Tanya Zeriga Alone (Kobo Village)

We thank the following people for their generous support:

Georgia Rodrigues, Eve Rotman, Mikey Mohan, Shaurya Bajaj, Quentin Périé, Chris Harrison, Thaliyah Phillips, Irene Galea, Angela Bryant, Sydney Reis, Jenna Lehocki, Sierra Richardson, Yannan Li,  Silvia Pizzigoni, Shawn Skilton, Kris Fabish, Agostina Gieco, David Park, Glenn Williamson, William Irving, Paul Richardson, Matthew Perri, Victoria Kay, Michelle Ngome, Vicky Huang, Christine Richardson, Claudia Ordecki,  Navin Seneviratna, Claudia Colombo, Mhairi-Louise Martin, Janice Webber, Rita Morgan, Eva Moss, Branka Sanjevic & family, Haocong Ma, Vikram Chadalawada, Mary Kate Murphy, Sharon Hockin & Andy Hockin, Lauren Garback, Amanda Reynolds, Stephanie Abbatangelo, Brian Fernandez, Ann-Marie Fernandez, Autumn Bruce, Hayley Preece, Susan Lehocki, Emily Baty, Sandro Aeschlimann, Karlee Vizi, Gabby Richardson, Anna Kvashuk, Jenny Greidanus & Lawrence Wuest.

We would like to thank the following UNVs for their support throughout this campaign:

Darwin Deivy Zambrano Castellano, Georgia Rodrigues, Ferreira da Silva, Okechukwu Collins Ononikpo, Ibrahim Ishaq Hassan,Rana Emad, Abd Elaziz Fouda, Joshua Ngala, Claudia Ordecki, Allaa Khaled Abbass, Bakhsh ur Rehman, Bertha Alejandra, Vargas Valero, Essam Abdel Rahman, Abdo Ahmed Saleh, Linda Cordoba, Sultan Salahuddin, Gabriel Chikusela, Haihui(Sabrina) Yan, Monica Oguge.


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