Recipient of the United Nation’s Development Programme’s Small Grants Programm, Dr. Jeffrey Noro, is a man on a mission. He is 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 organization that works towards supporting and empowering the residents of his community.
The Kainake Project is the recipient of funds from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Small Grants Programme (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 center 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 Bougainville, Joe Lera, and Member for South Bougainville, Timothy Masiu, with their counterpart from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Willie Masiu, Minister for Police, Correctional Services 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.
Source: Press Release