Few women in rural areas are prepared to stand up to pursue whatever they wish to do in life, regardless of how big or small it may be. One such woman is, Theresa Govara, of Watut LLG, Morobe province. Theresa is not only goes about doing things for herself but also encourages and shares her skills with others. She is considered as a model farmer in her community. Her role as lead farmer is slowly changing her status in the local community, commanding respect from the members of the community, particularly the women folk. We consider her as one of the best farmers in the Watut area and proud of what she is doing.
Theresa was one of the female participants in a TOT training we conducted in Watut last year under the European Union supported Climate Change Resilience project.
Prior to the training, she was involved in marketing doughnuts, making on average K40 – K60, during what she says as good days. She sits at the market the whole day, and most times she ends the day taking her products back home and would end up making a loss. While there could be other reasons, she believes customers did not like her products as her doughnut were harder due to the ingredients she uses.
This all change for the 47 year old mother, after she attended the training, particularly the food processing session. The skills she gained through the training has also allowed her to improve her recipe to make doughnuts.
Through the training, Theresa was able to improve her donut recipe where her donuts are soft and sells out fast. This led increase in earnings from doughnuts. She says, she now makes on average about K90 a day and K120 during major events or busy days. Theresa has customers coming to her house for doughnuts before she even goes to the market. Now she spends only a short time sitting at the market and has time to household chores.
Theresa has expressed gratitude for being part of the training with the benefits and changes she is experiencing with the use of skills and knowledge gained. Theresa, who the wife the Rural Development Officer, says the improvements to her earnings has allowed her to support her husband to share responsibilities of the family’s basic needs. An example, Theresa shared was “My son, who is attending high school as a boarding student came home for holidays two weeks ago. He came home armed with a notice of K400 outstanding school fee to be paid. With the earning from doughnuts, I gave my son K200 for part payment of the outstanding fees, I hope to do the same in the coming weeks to complete my son’s outstanding fees”.
Theresa went on to say that the earning from her doughnuts is a great towards supporting her family’s basic needs and including her children’s school expenses.
Theresa is also supportive of the project and as a model farmer, she supports her husband, the RDO to maintain the crop demonstration garden. She has further trained 5 females on sweet potato, cassava and yam planting and had distributed planting materials to them.
Theresa is now looking forward to raising chicken and is currently constructing her poultry house. She had learnt new knowledge on how to raise chickens including processing feed from training under the livestock component. She wishes to raise her own chicken in the near future. She says after the training, she can make her own chicken feed too and spend less money on chicken feed from stores. Theresa says she will continue to encourage other women in the community to do things to support themselves and be willing to learn and try new things.