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Papua New Guinea is one of the poorest countries in Oceania with nearly 40% of its population living below the poverty line. Lack of security and law and order, alongside widespread corruption have stalled economic development, and remain a hindrance for business and investment opportunities.

DMI’s women’s empowerment programs are designed to alleviate poverty and hunger. Organized in self-help groups, women can create and support one another in a savings and loan program to improve their household income through income generating activities. In addition to organizing vocational training in catering and tailoring for women and young girls, women members are trained in business development to scale their small businesses. The groups also provide a platform where women can collectively solve community problems, promote personal hygiene and health and wellness, and increase their civic engagement by encouraging participation in local government.

DMI’s child development programs have two prongs: encourage school attendance and improve academic success, and promote civic engagement.

Oftentimes a barrier to education, especially for those in poor, rural villages, is that families cannot afford to purchase basic supplies. DMI identifies vulnerable children and provides notebooks, stationeries, school bags and sandals to continue and complete their schooling. They also created learning centers in an effort to motivate children to encourage regular school attendance and improve academic performance. DMI also offers extracurricular activities through organizations competitive sports.

Civic engagement is also a fundamental skill that DMI instills in young children. Young students are organized in parliaments to develop their leadership skills and improve their decision-making skills so that they can use their voices to advocate for themselves and safeguard their rights. Children learn parliamentary procedures, and gain an understanding of governmental roles.

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