Agnes needs your help to get elected, so she can keep fighting for women’s rights in her community and bring back essential health and education services to her island. Agnes is running in the 2015 Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) elections in PNG for the open seat of Nissan.
About the elections
No woman has ever been elected to an open seat in Bougainville before but, because of Agnes’ outstanding reputation as a peace and women’s rights activist, she’s in with a fighting chance. All she needs is a little bit of your help to run her campaign.
A proud Bougainvilliean, Agnes was born on Nissan Island in the 1950's. She has a long history of helping her community and fighting for women's equality. After completing school, Agnes worked as a Community Development Officer at Panguna before the Bougainville Crisis errupted in 1990.
During the Crisis, Agnes co-founded the Indigenous NGO Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, with the goal of promoting peace and creating a world safe for women and children. You can read about the good work of Leitana Nehan here .
While the conflict raged, Agnes shipped life saving medicine to Nissan island. When the Nissan school closed because of the fighting, Agnes mobilised a group of local women to reopen it. She also helped put an end to the conflict by organising women’s protest marches and advocating fearlessly for a ceasefire on behalf of the women of Bougainville.
After the conflict, Agnes continued to help the people of Bougainville though working as a Regional Welfare Officer and running the local UN Women office.
About Agnes’ electorate, Nissan Island
Nissan Island, a small coral atoll in the north-east of Papua New Guinea, has a population of about 7000 people.
Agnes has witnessed a slow decline in health and education services there – it is becoming more and more risky for women to give birth on the island and local schools are becoming more and more run down.
"Over the years, I have seen the services to the Nissan people go down to the barest minimum. The Nissan people are not demanding their rights," says Agnes.
If elected, Agnes wants to bring back essential services to her community and improve their standard of living. She also wants to give her people the information they need to make an informed choice in Bougainville’s upcoming referendum for Independence. And finally she wants to help her community adapt to climate change.
Agnes says, "Nissan is experiencing the impact of climate change profoundly. Nissan islanders are going hungry because of unusual weather patterns; from drought to continuous rain which makes it difficult to grow food."
Where will your donation go?
Your donation will help print Agnes’ election leaflets and posters and support a small army of women volunteers who will campaign for Agnes across her island. Your contribution will also help pay for fuel for Agnes' boat so she can travel between mainland Bougainville and Nissan island to campaign there. Even though Agnes is known in Bougainville as the “Human Loudhailer”, she would also like to invest in a PA system to help her get her message out there.
Please help make history and get Agnes elected!
About this Campaign
This Gofundme campaign is run by Agnes' friends in Australia. We've had the privilege to work with her over the last two decades and she has been a source of inspiration to all of us. We wish her all the best.
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