VBAs with TTU trainers, Esther (L) & Jacklyn (R). Pic by TTU .JPG
By Marina Waita
Inspiration comes to each of us from different levels in different forms. Sometimes all we need is a little push in the right direction.
For three female Village Birth Attendants (VBA) of Kesevaka village in Dunantina LLG, Henganofi District, Eastern Highlands Province, it was ‘Women in Agriculture’ a locally produced film documentary showing how women in the highlands of Papua New Guinea use agriculture-specifically gardening, to their advantage.
The three women came across the documentary whilst doing their practical at the Goroka Based Hospital. They were part of a group of people trained by an NGO called Touching The Untouchables (TTU) who operates in the Henganofi District.
TTU in its process to bring knowledge of healthy living and practices to people also gave them the chance to explore in the people sector- or what is generally known as the informal sector.
After completing their training, the three VBAs went back to their village with the determination to plant more potatoes to sell. Their determination paid off when they filled ten big bags which is so much more than they anticipated.
They said agriculture is part of their lives so they could easily relate to and be motivated by the documentary, which was produced by Bismarck Ramu Group.
Agriculture is not a foreign concept to us Papua New Guineans.
In fact it is a practice that has been very much a part of us for the past 10,000 years. Evidence of which can be found in Kuk, Western Highlands Province.
It is a practice that is in harmony with our land. No rules, no policies just the farmer in total agreement with the land.