by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Since the death of her father, Bishop George Ambo, the founder of Puwogave Ministry, Helen Ambo has stepped in to revive the ministry her father has started.
In her days of advocating in Horau Hururu community, a victim of Cyclone Guba that occurred in 2007, Helen said there were many social issues that affected the community. However, due to the struggles the community faced in accessing basic services, it was a challenge to educate the locals on these issues.
During the launching of the Community Based Disaster Risk Management Plan, leaders have elaborated issues affecting the community and the people. These include underage marriage, unwanted pregnancy, poor illiteracy level, and consumption of marijuana and the locally produced alcohol ‘Eveka’.
In her hope of reviving the ministry, Helen, with other women from the community, mobilised and started advocating on these issues in and around the community.
The approach taken by Helen, and her friends, included house to house visitation, ministry exchange programs, and awareness initiatives.
In their first trials approaching the locals, Helen said it was very challenging as many questioned her.
Despite these, Helen and her friends continued advocating and carrying out their programs.
After three years, the response from the locals shifted from negativity to some positive feedback.
The community encouraged Helen, and her friends, as they continued their advocacy role in educating people on the importance of balancing their spiritual life.
With the launching of the community Disaster Based Risk Management plan, Helen was also commended for her support in assisting to educate the locals on the importance of such initiatives taken by the International Organisation for Migration, or IOM.
Helen also thanked the locals for their participation and urged them to support, work together and implement the initiative brought in by IOM for their benefit.
According to Helen, one of the greatest challenges she encountered in her mission to reviving her father’s ministerial foundation, while help the locals, was poor understanding, communication barriers, and most importantly lacking basic services.
Now with the launched CBDRM Plan in the community, Helen is happy the plan will support the locals to address social issues, while they also prepare for future disasters.