The programme really helped the PNG seasonal workers in terms of money and skills like basic literacy and numeracy. The programme was undertaken for 10 days and was funded by the New Zealand Government. We all thank the New Zealand Government through the New Zealand RSE programme for giving us the opportunity to undertake such short courses during our short employment as seasonal workers.
I applied for seasonal work through the PNG Seasonal Workers Programme and was successfully recruited by Mr. Apple to go and work in the farm picking apples. The programme really helped me in many ways. Some of the important things that I learned while working in New Zealand:
This is my second year participating in the RSE programme and I am currently doing a poultry project. I am planning to go back and work and save more money to achieve my goal to operate a PMV business.
I’m very happy about the PNG Seasonal Workers Programme and the RSE programme for allowing me this opportunity to take part.
Rosseanne Asafo is one of the female candidates from PNG, under the Papua New Guinea Seasonal Workers Programme that is currently employed with the Eastpack Group. Rosseanne started her first season with the RSE scheme in March 2014 and worked through to September 2014. During her first season, she was put in the warehouse as a line sampler to record exported fruits for a period of three months.
She was then promoted to belt sampler, where she sampled fruit for the grading table. When she returned for her second season, she was promoted to the position of reject analyser, where the quality grading of the fruit takes place. She was there for another three months.
Before returning home, she undertook training to be a grading supervisor. She was told that in the next season, she will be the grading supervisor.
From her own perspective, she highly appreciates and thanks the effort and coordination that has gone into her training, and the encouragement given by them. She also wants to give special thanks to the RSE scheme, her bosses from the Eastpack Group, and the group of workers that have stood beside her.
The PNG seasonal workers participating in the RSE programme have had the opportunity to take part in other numeracy and literacy training aside from their work on the farm under the ‘Vakameasina Programme’.
Materials covered during the New Zealand Aid funded programme varies depending on the learning goals of the workers, their employers and their pastoral care workers.
The Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) workshops run by Fruits of the Pacific shows RSE workers how they can use what they have back home to meet community development objectives. The workshops culminate in the workers writing action plans for projects they wish to achieve when they return home.
My job performance with Apollo Apples is rated second to none and commendable. My team was rated the best in pruning, picking and planting. We accomplished every task allocated within our time schedule. And that is one thing that I have learnt is “Time Management”.
I am grateful to say that the farmer we worked with has also allowed us to participate in community work such as NZ National Disability Day and also in Church activities. I would also say that our overall Orchard Labour, General Manager, Mr. Morris Windle is a very understanding guy. He took good care of us with love and respect and treated us as his own countrymen.
The main challenge we faced each day during our work on the farm was picking 5-10 bins of apples (but the company only needed a maximum of 4 bins a day). Their instructions boosted us to work harder and we exceeded the company's policy and picked extra bins which made the company proud.
Because of management changes our jobs were affected so we had to leave and go to other farms to work. We were not steady, we moved around with our boss and worked on other farms. But we always managed to complete and do our jobs as instructed by our boss.
The RSE Programme has really shaped me and challenged me in many ways. It has also helped me and my family financially. Upon my return, I have started a poultry project, and look after 300 chickens. I bought land and built a chicken house and also bought a house from the money that I brought back. I am still planning to look after more than 300 chickens and therefore, if I am given the chance to go back and work, I will save up and fulfil what I have planned for the betterment of my family.
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