Small Grant recipient dreams big in Bougainville

Sep 26, 2018

(R-L) Dr Jeffrey Noro – Kainake Project Director with Hon Timothy Masiu – South Bougainville MP and Ms Tracy Vienings – UNDP Deputy Resident Representative. Dr. Noro introducing the Kunai Siuwai Pokong book to media. © Serahphina Aupong/UNDP

Kainake, 26 September 2018Dr Jeffrey Noro is a man on a mission. A dreamer, a leader, and an inspiration to many.

After growing up in Kainake, in the Siwai District of South Bougainville, Dr Noro went on to study in Australia, the United States and Canada and it was this time spent away from home that convinced him that there was a gap that needed to be bridged.

“I had a feeling of responsibility that I had to do something. The community rallies around each other so well here, and I wanted to do something that saw me investing in the future of our people,” Dr Noro said.

So, with that in mind, Dr Noro established the Kainake Project, a not-for-profit organisation that works towards supporting and empowering the residents of his community.

The Kainake Project is the recipeient of funds from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Small Grants Programmme (SGP).

With just over US$30,000 Dr Noro has managed to establish a 75 hectare conservation zone, planted 600 Vanilla vines, established a school to teach traditional cultural values, a resource centre for skills training, and has written a book containing details on plant species and their traditional uses within Siwai culture.

It is fair to say that Dr Noro has been a busy man.

“We have a core group of 10 volunteers, but in reality the whole community has pitched in to get these projects up and running,” Dr Noro said.

It is evident that the biggest impact from the SGP funding is tied to engagement, with an entire community now invested in empowering themselves; a community now with a clear cut vision for the future.

Commenting on the launch of Kunai Siuwai Pokong, a book detailing the medicinal and healing powers of plant-life in the area, Ms Tracy Vienings, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative said that the work of Dr Noro and the Kainake community was inspiring.

“This is an exemplary set of interventions, and it is encouraging to see such an engaged and active group of community members taking steps to assess and protect the vulnerable habitat, species and local customs and traditions in Kainake,” Ms Vienings said.

 

There to witness the launch were National Regional Member for Bougainvile, Honorable Joe Lera, and Member for South Bougainville, Honorable Timothy Masiu, with their counterpart from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Honorable Willie Masiu, Minister for Police, Correctional Servic and Justice.

In 2017, UNDP’s Small Grants Programme celebrated 25 years of providing support to community-based interventions across 125 countries. In Papua New Guinea, the program has supported over 238 projects since 1994 with over USD$4.5 million disbursed as grant funds. 40 projects are currently being supported across Papua New Guinea.

Contact information

Serahphina Aupong, serahphina.aupong@undp.org, +675 7374 8724

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