By Jordon Becks- Project Officer, CUFA Bougainville
CUFA’s financial literacy education in Bougainville has taken a new and exciting direction due to a joint training collaboration between CUFA and the financial literacy team from the Buka branch of the Bank of South Pacific. This timely collaboration is aimed at providing high quality, factual and informative sessions to youths in various constituencies of North Bougainville. It will gradually move into other CUFA training sites around Bougainville in months to come.
This collaboration aims to provide young people with greater understanding of the importance of saving. It also helps them understand the requirements to open group accounts, business accounts, personal accounts, as well as the know-how to acquire loans to expand an existing micro-enterprise or start a new business venture.
The Haku and Halia constituencies were the first to receive the training sessions from CUFA and the Bank of the South Pacific. Participants were inspired to save money and understand more about the banking and financial systems. Ultimately, this work will encourage young people to participate successfully in the economy and pull themselves out of the cycle of debt and poverty.
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What do the locals feel?
Mr Kehali, a man from the Haku CUFA village training program added positively, “The majority of Bougainville’s population are in the rural areas but sadly the provision of basic banking services and financial education training locally has been non-existent. But thanks to CUFA all these issues are a thing of the past”. CUFA Bougainville looks forward to delivering more training on financial literacy alongside the Bank of South Pacific.
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These activities are implemented as part of the Australian Government’s Bougainville Youth Initiative (BYI), which works to encourage youth participation in Bougainville’s economic and social development.
CUFA has worked extensively in the Pacific, with over 20 years’ experience in Papua New Guinea (PNG). During this time, CUFA has built a number of strong relationships with local civil society organisations which represent a number of industries across PNG. Through these networks, CUFA will engage up to 10,000 youth between the ages of 15 to 25 in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville over two years.