Feature Story 29 March 2023
PNG-Australia Partnership supports inclusiveness in community project
Diana Sendea is an active participant in her community’s rice project. Diana’s leg was amputated when she was a child but she has never let her disability stop her from going about her daily life.
From Kavianga in the Middle Fly District of Western Province, Diana is among 2, 000 others from her community participating in the Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) rice livelihood project.
The PGK3.8million rice project is funded through a Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership Incentive Fund grant-supporting women’s groups and families to trial rice production for consumption and commercial purposes.
“I am really happy with the project here and I feel empowered to help and give back what little I can to my community through this project,” Diana said.
“Rice planting is new here and I am very happy with the knowledge shared on cultivating the different varieties of rice. It is good to see some families going into small scale rice planting as well, with the knowledge they have.
The project has also helped with cashflow, especially for the women who are able to cater for themselves and their family’s needs.”
Diana assists with weeding in the lowlands, cleans around project area and helps sharpen tools.
The project aims to scale up production and venture into processing and marketing at a larger scale. Through the project, communities were provided farming tools and participated in training on improved food production techniques and family business management and received support for building sustainable agribusinesses.
Twenty project participants, including 10 women, were trained on the rice farming cycle to ensure long term sustainability of project activities.
Through this project, Incentive Fund has opened spaces for equal participation and engagement of people with disability, like Diana, in all activities, so they can benefit from improved livelihood and economic opportunities.
This is the same in all Incentive Fund Phase IV projects - people with disability are identified as priority participants in all projects. All partner organisations are encouraged to create spaces and include them fully in all activities and benefits, in a meaningful and sustainable way.
This applies across all project activities and infrastructure lifecycle. This includes ensuring construction projects and training courses are accessible and inclusive for people with disability, through to identifying people with disability to benefit from activities such as provision of water facilities.
The first successful rice harvest under OK Tedi Development Foundation project was celebrated on 27 August 2022.