Papua New Guinea
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Selling clothes to earn a living

SELLING an item that people use every day will rake you in much higher profits than other vendors and small businesses, says Hennie Lapra, who sells affordable used clothes just near the Waigani traffic lights in Port Moresby.

She highlights that the city is filled with all sorts of different vendors; however, vendors who sell clothes should be given a space of their own because they are selling a basic need.

“I see myself as a service provider in the city. All the clothes that I sell are all under K5, which is quite reasonable considering the tight economic conditions in the city and across the country.

Although I make reasonable profits, I think the struggles are just not worth it,” she said.

“Clothes are very expensive in shops these days. We are meeting the needs of the majority out here, but most of us are struggling with this business.”

“Out in the open air, there is no safety guaranteed for women. We face harsh treatment from the authorities, the public and the weather alike. I would say our most basic need right now is shelter and security.”

Hennie is appealing to the general public to respect women who sit and stand around places to sell their items, because they are just struggling to earn a living.

“Our lives are already difficult as it is, please don’t make it worse than that.

When our sales get disrupted, we have to start all over again from the ground up to earn our living,” she said.

“These women like me, are just mothers trying their best to feed their children, get them through school, and put a warm roof over their head.

I would especially like our elected leaders to consider this when making decisions in regard to street vending.”