By JINA AMBA
HEKURE Frank hopes the Girl Guides movement will be introduced in schools as an extra-curricular activity to develop the characters of girls and nurture them to become responsible women in life.
Hekure, 50, from Hanuabada in Port Moresby, is the Girl Guides Commissioner for the National Capital District.
She is married with two sons and a daughter.
“The challenge we face is at the moment is when we call on girls to join our association, most are not really interested.”
Hekure believes that the movement can teach girls how to make responsible decisions and right choices.
“From my perspective as a mother, I see gender-based violence as challenging because most girls when they get married do not properly choose their partners. They get married just because of the love they want to share and for the friendship they want to enjoy.”
She first attended St Michael’s Primary School in Hanuabada and the Badiagua High School, now a technical college. She started primary education in 1979. She was selected to attend the Nipa Mustard Seed School in the Southern Highlands. Hekure was sponsored by the United Church with two girls from the Solomon Islands.
The Nipa Mustard Seed School trains those who want to become pre-school teachers. It is now the Nipa Technical School. She was there for three years.
“I came back to Port Moresby and joined the United Church assembly office, working with youths.”
Hekure has been overseas twice sponsored by the United Church.
“The council for world mission sponsored me to further my studies in England for six months. On my return, I worked with the United Church again.
“Then I was awarded another scholarship for further studies in England as a Christian education worker. I spent six months in England.”
She later was sent to India to do her practical before returning home to continue her work with the church.
Later she focused her work on her congregation at the Poreporena United Church as a preschool teacher.
“ We are hoping that the education department allows us to get the girl guides movement into the schools, so that we can run our programmes there.”
Hekure went on to work for the YWCA before joining the Girl Guides in 2012.
“I enjoy working with women older than me and working with women and youths. I am now with the Girl Guides in the NCD. We have provincial commissioners working around PNG. At this moment, we are running small gatherings for girls in communities and churches.
“I am the provincial commissioner for NCD looking after six areas in Port Moresby. My role is to deal with leaders and teenagers. We educate them on leadership training, teaching them to be good leaders of the nation. We are also running courses to educate teenaged girls to become good mothers.”
She hopes that the Education Minister will allow the girl guides movement to run programmes in schools so that more girls can be mentored on how to deal with challenges including gender-based violence.
“Young girls are not interested in organisations that will help them but more into sports and other activities. But gender-based violence awareness is effective although challenging because many women in the city are bashed up and abused every day. Young women have to choose properly otherwise they will face problems.”
It makes sense that the Girl Guides’ motto is: Be prepared.