The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG (MPIP PNG) finally launched its local pageant on Thursday night at the Alibi Bar & Grill Restaurant Downtown after a year of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pageant has two main functions, the empowerment of women through education & mentoring which is done through the pageant and its scholarship fund and secondly the empowerment of women through economic activities and SME.
MPIP PNG Chairperson Molly O’Rourke said MPIP PNG is a non-profit organization and therefore depends heavily on corporate and Government support to maintain the work of the pageant in the country.
Unfortunately, MPIP PNG could not stage a pageant or the Project Runway last year due to the tough economic conditions brought by the pandemic.
“The past two years have been challenging as COVID-19 took its toll on the pandemic lifeline as many businesses were affected by the pandemic leaving drastic economic decisions in order to maintain their businesses.”
One of the foundations of the platform is the Scholarship Fund which was introduced in 2012.
However due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the pageant was not able to provide scholarship for the young women because the pageant did not raise funds through the crowning of Miss PNG.
“The pageant was very fortunate this year when the Founder of the Institute of Business Studies Sir Mick Nades came forward by signing an agreement of K2.1 million worth of scholarships for 5 years to help young women in PNG complete their education at the IBS.”
“The first two recipients who qualified for the degree program were announced in April this year.”
The pageant also focuses on giving back to the communities through the ‘Give Back Initiatives’ which includes the Bomana prison visits specifically to the women’s unit and food and delivery supplies to the Friends of Port Moresby General Hospital for the COVID19 patients.
“70% of the women behind bars are due to Gender Based Violence as they are victims as well as perpetrators.”
Mrs Rachael Marape, wife of Prime Minister, James Marape during her keynote speech said MPIP PNG has not only produced wonderful young female ambassadors of PNG but has worked as a vehicle to empower Papua New Guinea women.
Mrs Marape said the MPIP Education Scholarship fund has awarded well over K1.3million scholarship to over 400 women in colleges and universities over the years since its inception.
“I also commend the MPIP PNG Project Runway program that provides a platform for young entrepreneurs in the fashion industry to showcase their designs.”
Meanwhile, during the launch, Minister for Housing & Urbanization, Justin Tkatchenko pledged K20, 000 to the MPIP to support the local pageant this year.
“As the member for Moresby South, I am supporting this local pageant and also supporting the local women of this country who want to use this platform as a stand to get out there to empower other women as well.”
An additional surprise was in store from Bmobile when the National Marketing Manager, Mr Devan Kula repriced their role as the official communications partner and by becoming the naming rights sponsors to the runway event with a sponsorship package valued over K200, 000.
“Over the last five years, we have been proud sponsors of the MPIP PNG and in that time, we’ve watched it gain much ground and fight to empower women in Papua New Guinea providing an amazing platform for upcoming women leaders and furthering their education through their scholarship program.”