Women’s group assists stranded passengers along highway


A GROUP of women from the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands, offered their assistance yesterday by helping stranded passengers along the Highlands Highway.
About 20 women from the Kainawa and Barineka SDA churches voluntarily assisted travellers over a 4.5km stretch of the highway between Bane and 4-Mile Bridge to carry their cargo and goods.
A section of the road was closed off by traditional landowners who demanded payment from the Government for the use of their land.
Ava Swizzy, their spokesperson and a woman elder at the Kainawa SDA church, said as Christians, the women felt sorry for the travellers who were carrying heavy loads.
“Our hearts were in pain when we saw the people walking with big loads of cargoes when the vehicles dropped them off on either side of the highway,” Swizzy said.
“We decided to help them because our church has a ‘total membership involvement programme’ where we go out and help unfortunate people.
“We helped to carry their cargoes  such as bags, bilums and even children from one point to another for free.
“We started in the morning and we will continue till the afternoon.
“We will continue to assist the travellers until the road is cleared.”
Noko Barako, another woman leader from the Kainawa church, said it was the first time after decades that such a thing had happened on their land.
Barako said they felt compassionate to see people struggling with their cargo so they had to assist them.
“Our men and boys have closed the road but we, the women and girls, will assist the travellers,” Barako said.
“We, the Agarabi people, are good people so nothing bad will happen to them (travellers).”

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