Over 30 Trainees Complete USP PEUMP Money Minded Business Basics Training


On May 29, 2024 – Over 30 trainees successfully completed the Money Minded Business Basics Training on Atauro Island in Timor Leste. This training was conducted by the University of the South Pacific (USP) as part of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme, funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden and in collaboration with the Timor Leste branch of the ANZ Banking Group Limited and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry of Timor-Leste.

The goal was to equip fishers—including youths, women, men, and People Living with Disabilities (PWD)—with essential money management and fisheries business skills. This program followed the Money Minded Financial Literacy training that also took place on Atauro Island in April.

Money Minded is a foundational literacy program designed to teach people the skills needed to make informed financial choices for their futures.

“These financial literacy trainings are crucial steps towards strengthening the livelihoods of Timor Leste’s fishing communities and ensuring sustainable development and management of the fisheries industry,” said Mr. Horacio, National Director of Training and Technical Study for Fisheries and Aquaculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry of Timor-Leste. “I hope the trainings will build the capacities of our trainees and help them transfer the skills they learn to local fishermen, vendors, and middlemen.”

The primary outcomes of the Business Basics training include building knowledge and confidence to help fishing communities make informed decisions about managing money earned from harvesting marine resources. This includes identifying their vision, planning, setting up, and growing their small businesses.

“Bringing these awareness trainings to fishing communities can be life-changing for skillful fishers who may otherwise have no access to financial literacy programs and qualifications,” said Dr. Jokim Kitolelei, a lecturer and USP PEUMP team member coordinating this program. “We will continue to invest in Money Minded in the Pacific because the financial wellbeing of these fishing communities is equally important.”

“With a family to support and a livelihood to sustain, I’ve learned the importance of having a vision, a business plan, and committing to saving for the future,” said Orias Marcal, a fisherman and participant in the Money Minded Financial Literacy and Business Basics trainings. “Through perseverance and newfound financial knowledge, I’m setting sail towards prosperity for my family and future generations.”

This Money-Minded Program has been rolled out in Timor Leste, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands, in collaboration with respective ANZ country offices. It will also be introduced in Vanuatu in the coming months.

The USP Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership Programme agreement with ANZ aims to deliver community-based literacy programs that will improve the livelihoods and sustainability of coastal communities in the Pacific-ACP region. This program complements the Money Minded Financial Literacy training held in April 2024, both of which are designed to enhance financial literacy within fishing communities.

USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP Programme, a EUR 45million program which promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity.

It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related to ocean fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action. The PEUMP Programme is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS).

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