by Fabian Hakalits – EM TV, Port Moresby
God speaks in the silence of the heart and listening is the beginning of prayer.
This is one of Mother Theresa’s quotes, used by US Ambassador to PNG, Walter North, when describing the work of Maria Lakamiku Towai Nepel – US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award recipient.
Maria, from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, is a PNG nominee and recipient of the 2015 Women of Courage Award. She was recognised for her leadership role in critical areas and for her commitment to comprehensive health services.
Ambassador North, speaking at the PNG Women In Business Forum said Nepel’s great work is rewarding, especially in the post-conflict situation in Bougainville. She did small things with great love.
Maria said serving others is not for name and fame but for love and a change in individual lives and the community. For this change to happen, it depends on support from both men and women.
The United States Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award honours women with courage and leadership who advocate for human rights, gender equality and social programs.