It has been 12 years since the commencement of BSP Mt Hagen Branch Community Project in the Western Highlands Province, and for the first time, the branch has extended its reach to neighbouring Jiwaka Province, with the delivery of much needed infrastructure to Minj T Primary School.
Established in the 1950‘s, Minj T Primary School is one of the pioneer schools in the Anglimp South Waghi District of Jiwaka Province and it is the largest primary school in the province with over 700 students.
But with the increasing number of student enrolment every year, the school could not provide necessary infrastructure for student learning, including desks due to limited funds and financial support for infrastructure development.
“We decided to bring our community project down to Jiwaka Province for the first time as Jiwaka is home to two of our sub-branches (Minj and Banz). The project saw the delivery of a newly constructed basketball court, 20 new desks and a 9000L Tuffa Tank for the school,” said BSP Mt Hagen Branch Manager Theresa Pilamp.
BSP Group Chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou and Group CEO Robin Fleming handed over the project in July 2021, during the Highlands Region Board visit to the Western Highlands Province and Minj in Jiwaka.
“We’ve invested K305, 000 since 2009 through 13 projects in the communities in Western Highlands and in Jiwaka this year and will continue to invest in community projects to the people of Western Highlands and Jiwaka Provinces,” Mrs Pilamp added.
BSP Mt Hagen Branch manages four sub-branches; Banz and Minj in Jiwaka Province and the Tambul and Kerowagi sub-branches that are in the process of being re-opened soon.
Western Highlands Province economy is mainly driven by coffee and tea, grown in plantations and small-holder blocks. Vegetables grown for the domestic markets are also purchased and supplied to markets in Lae and Port Moresby.
As with most areas in PNG, people and culture play an integral part in strengthening community and business relationships and BSP as a bank promotes both including tourism as a key contributor to the country’s economy.
BSP is also supporting the 61st Mt Hagen Show scheduled for September 2021, at Rebiemu with K20,000. In presenting the sponsorship, Mrs Pilamp said; “we grow with our community and invest in events like this to enhance our community relationships.”
Project coordinator Ben Kal (foreground) & Staff Mr. Torikion assisting in preparation for the court’s cement boxing.
The Mt Hagen Branch not only supports cultural events, it contributes to the community through BSP Go Green Campaign and School Cricket development.
BSP Mt Hagen has been in operation for over 40 years reaching and serving customers from as far as the Southern Highlands, Enga, Jiwaka and Simbu Provinces.
BSP Group General Manager for Retail Daniel Faunt said with the growth in customer base in the Highlands region as a whole, BSP is assessing plans to establish a second branch in Mt Hagen City in the next 12 months.
“Mt Hagen is a strategic economic location in the highlands region and in supporting economic activities in the region, we are looking at opening another branch over the course of the next 12 months,” Mr Faunt said.