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  • Nigel Akuani 

DMI Sewing School Graduates 48 Women

Port Moresby: The Daughters of Mary Immaculate Sisters have officially graduated from their three-month Tailoring Training Course, 48 women from the Kogeva and Sabama Communities.

The graduation ceremony was held on 27th October, at the Kogeva Community Centre in Kaugere Port Moresby, and had as its theme, ‘A powerful woman can make a powerful world’.

It had the presence of His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat, Archbishop of Port Moresby; Mr Justin Tkatchenko, Member for Moresby South; Fr John Glynn, Founder of WeCare Foundation; Sr Catherine DMI, Country Director for DMI Mission in PNG; Mr. Kalyana Ranman, Social Activist; Ms Anna Skate, Moresby South Motu Koitabu Women’s Representative; and Media representatives from Radio Maria PNG and the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI. Also present to show their support were friends and families from the surrounding communities.

The ceremony began at 10:30am with a traditional dance welcoming special guests into the vicinity, given by local women from Gulf Province. A prayer and blessing were given by Cardinal Ribat before the singing of the national anthem that formally commenced the day’s program.

The day had welcome addresses given, token of appreciations and presentations to chief guests, sharing of experiences by students, awarding of certificates and special gifts, songs and traditional dances, and speeches from the guests.

According to Sr Catherine, the Tailoring program introduced in June 2020, is intended to promote women’s rights and to sustain their economy and life. “Seeing the heart-breaking situation of women groups, DMI initiated the promotion of women self-help groups, additional skill trainings and vocational skill training to equip them skilfully to allow them to sustain and find meaning in their lives,” she said.

She affirmed that the training generated employment opportunities for the women to be selfsustained to address their household poverty issues. “Enrolled women enhanced their tailoring skills and benefited from the training, and it is a means to elevating their dignity in the family, community and society to lead a normal life,”

Cardinal Ribat congratulated the graduates reminding them of how their achievement was a blessing and urged for them to use it in helping others. “What you have acquired from this training is a blessing and a lifelong gift that cannot be taken away. You now have a responsibility to help others and to alleviate poverty,” he said.

Mr Tkatchenko commanded the efforts made by DMI Sisters in empowering women in the area and reassured all present that he would continue to support their efforts in human development. “Thank you, Sisters, because the program you have taught has inspired many of our local women to become better people by earning their own income and becoming economically sustainable. My door is open to you for further discussions of any future programs that you might have,” he stated.

Fr John recalled how the WeCare Foundation was first drawn in to support the initiative by the DMI Sisters and reassured the Foundation’s continued support and supply of resources of the Congregation’s future works.

Mr Ranman, a long-time donor of the DMI Congregation, said the goal of the training was to give back with an open heart to society by helping fellow human beings. He highlighted the important role played by mothers and described motherhood as, “the highest embodiment of divinity and should always be respected and held in high regard”.

Magaret Maipa, a graduate of the course, expressed her joy with tears in her eyes over her accomplishment and described it as an achievement for her family and community. “This is a milestone not just for myself but for the people around me because the knowledge and skills I have acquired will help us to become financially independent, and I wish to impart what I have learnt with everyone else,” she added.

Extending her gratitude to the DMI Sisters, Alice Arupa, thanked the Sisters for providing a window of opportunity to better themselves and urged for women around the country to embrace the challenge. “It is through the vocation of the sisters, we as women were able in attaining this certificate and it is proof that we can become more that what society deems us to be,” she said.

The provision of light meals and refreshments concluded the joyous occasion. The DMI Congregation based in Korobosea, will be opening two of its new centres in the villages of Mahuru and Pari, in early 2021.

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