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COMMUNITY–TALLER BONIFACIA OUTREACH PROGRAM, BEREINA DIOCESE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (May 18-29, 2020)

SR. CONCEPCION, SSJ, BISHOP OTTO SEPARY AND SR. LUCRECIA,SSJ
Sr. Lucrecia Camiring, SSJ, Sr. Concepcion Cañonero, SSJ and companions travelled to Bereina on Sunday morning, 17th of May for the 2nd batch of training at Inauia. The participants were already waiting for them when they arrived in the place.

Majority of the participants, both in cooking and in sewing, are from far villages.Seventeen of them are from Oriropetana village which is more or less two hours walk to the training place and three are from Papagogo. The rest of the participants are from the nearby villages like Eboa, Inauia, and Inaoae.

Due to transport problem, most of the participants came walking with their mats, beddings and mosquito nets. Some of them carried bananas on their bicycles for their food supply. Lucy and Jack, the driver had to pick up three (3) young ladies from Papagogo, around forty-five minutes to an hour drive from Inauia. They had difficulty in getting a ride to Inauia because most of the time, due to social distancing, there were no more available seats in the vehicles that go to their area.

The training was participated by twenty-eight (28) trainees: fifteen (15) for cooking/baking and thirteen (13) for sewing. The cooking/baking group has six (6) male youth, six (6) female youth and three (3) mothers while the sewing class has five (5) mothers, five (5) female youth and three (3) male youth. Most of them reached Grade 3 and Grade 4 levels and a few, Grade 6.

During the training period, twenty (20) stayed-in. The young men slept at the stage while the young women slept under the house where the sisters are accommodated.

Those who are living in the nearby villages brought pumpkin or squash for pumpkin scones and donuts and cakes, pachoy for their soup, bananas for their banana cake and banana blossom for their salad and burger.

The cooking/baking students expressed that they are very happy because they learned several recipes using their garden produce. During their actual cooking/baking, they were very eager to learn, very participative and very sensitive in rendering service to one another. Every time they do their cooking/baking they reminded each other not to forget to mix their secret ingredients: the Nazareth values of love, peace, joy and understanding.



Most of the sewing students do not know how to operate the sewing machine and this became a challenge to the trainers. The sewing class had always overtime work and extra work in the evening in order to help the slow learners who showed great interest and willingness to learn.



When they completed sewing one pillow case, their first project in order to train them for straight sewing, they were all very happy to see their finished product. Then, they were taught to sew Meri blouse, man’s shirt and ladies’ skirt. Surprisingly, the three young men were the first ones to complete their projects ahead of the young ladies. They also learned pinning, basting and how to use the machine. They were challenged to teach each other, especially those who were lagging behind.


Each whole training day started with a prayer followed by brief formation sessions on these topics: SSJ Congregation, Founders, Spirituality of Work, Time Management, Health Care in the face of COVID 19- its effects and precautions to be taken, Care for Mother Earth, Costing and Financial Literacy.

After classes, the trainees were also taught how to sew their facemasks by hand and after every dinner, the Sisters, together with Martha, a co-trainer from Bereina met the students for the evaluation of the day’s activities.

On the 29th of May, there was a simple Closing Ceremony. The graduates presented their item presentations, one of them was a song they composed which expresses their deep gratitude for the skills and knowledge imparted to them for their future, and for becoming one family during the training, in spite of the fact that they came from different villages. This culminating activity was graced by the presence of Bishop Otto Separy of Bereina Diocese who gave an inspiring and encouraging talk to the graduates. With him were with Fr. Peter Aihi, Fr. Gerald and Deacon Gerald.
GRADUATES IN COOKING
GRADUATES IN SEWING
They became very emotional because they felt important and valued even if people criticized them because of their low educational attainment. They took this as a challenge and valued the skills they learned. They expressed through music what they learned and experienced and what inspired and challenged to grow and to develop as good members of their respective villages.

They also thanked their sponsor Commonwealth of Learning (COL) for the help extended to them and expressed their commitment to put into practice whatever they have learned when they go back to their respective families and even engage in selling whatever they cook or bake.

At the end of it all, no matter how tiring the training had been, it turned out to be very meaningful and hope-filled.

We would like to thank the COL for sponsoring this training and for continuously believing in us, considering us as their partners in facilitating the empowerment of women and youth.

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  1. QUE ALEGRIA!!! CUANTA VIDA REGALADA!!GRACIAS DAMOS A DIOS POR SU ENTREGA Y GENEROSIDAD EN ESAS TIERRAS. QUE EL DIOS DE NAZARET SIGA BENDICIENDOLAS. UN ABRAZO FUERTE, COMUNIDAD TALLER LOS TOLDOS

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