Hela women packing new life for earthquake victims

Highlands

Port Moresby-based Hela women with support from their spouses and children, families and friends have been working together to organise relief assistance for their people affected by the Feb 26 earthquake.
The Hela Inaka group, with Gloria Arabagali as chairperson and help from Kathy Pitzz, had been collecting clothes and other goods after the earthquake which struck Hela, Southern Highlands and Western badly.
“Helas in Port Moresby including students from the Pacific Adventist University and the University of Papua New Guinea with other youths and students have been supporting our efforts,” Arabagali said.
“Hela Inaka means my Hela and our motto is Ki mero, Ki-Mia and Ki Mima which means I give towards the disaster relief efforts, you give and together we will give to our people.
“This job cannot be done by one person, it cannot be a responsibility left to the government, donor partners or other agencies.
“We as individuals from Hela need to come together to put our efforts to give something.
“Our target is to contribute to four villages that were heavily hit by disaster. We want to put a smile on the faces of people who may be wearing the same clothes from day one.
“We are really happy doing this, something worth living for to support our people. It’s a big sacrifice, but the satisfaction of knowing that someone will be given assistance through our efforts is pleasing.”
Pitzz said ike-minded women came together four days after the earthquake and formed Hela Inaka and shared their work at her yard to work toward the course of helping our people.
“There are other relief efforts being undertaken but ours is Hela for Hela and the first goal is the immediate relief supplies,” Pitzz said. “We want to provide some form of comfort, especially in terms of clothing and tents.”
The group had been meeting every Sunday since the disaster to put ideas together on how to gather relief assistance.
“Assistance from all communities is overwhelming, since we created our Facebook page, people have come with donations of cash and kind,” Pitzz said.
Some of the donors include Sogeri National High, Pagini Clothing, Our Club Management, Wardstrip Primary School, individuals and organisations from as far as Australia.
“We packed surprise packages for the people, not just clothes but other little things that can be of benefit to the people,” she said.
“We aim to have 200 bags for four identified areas which we believe are in big need of such assistance.”
Group matrons are Rachel Marape and Carol Thomas. The patron is Dominic Kakas and secretary is Jossie Pitzz.

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