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Janet Pais: widow, breadwinner in Lae’s informal sector

Janet Pais is a widow who has been selling drinks at the market to support her family since her husband died in 2014.

Mrs Pais is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 11. She resides at West Taraka, a suburb in Lae.

It has become part of Janet’s daily chores to wake up early in the morning just to make sure soft drink containers, bought for 10 toea each, are washed and cleaned before being filled with water and powdered drinks to sell at the market.

Three years on, and she has been doing it on her own.

Mrs. Pais sells them for 50 toea each and earns K30-to-K50 daily from her sales.

She said her life is built around her grandchildren. Mrs. Pais told EM TV News in Lae that she would continue to support her family with the resources she has available.

Janet is 59 years old. She’s originally from Kerowagi in Simbu Province. She married Pais Tamty from Tinputs in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

They met in Simbu, got married and had three children. The family then moved to Lae in 1985 and settled at West Taraka, where two boys were born including their youngest son Michael.

When Michael was doing his grade 7 in 2014, Pais Tamty collapsed and died at their family home in West Taraka.

Janet is always happy that her husband has left her with this home and her children, four sons and a daughter.

Pais encourages other women who are in such situations not to be lazy but to be proactive and make use of resources available to sustain them and their family.

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