“We are so grateful to the U.S. Embassy for linking us up with the Japanese Embassy to make this possible,This grant will allow us to rebuild our center and redouble our efforts to support the women of Bougainville.”
Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency Director, Helen Hakena,
Picture: Helen Hakena shakes hands with Japanese Ambassador Morio Matsumoto and U.S Ambassador Walter North following the grant singing
On January 21, 2015, U.S. Ambassador Walter North attended a signing ceremony to celebrate the Japanese government’s awarding of a grant worth USD $81,252 (approximately PGK202,000) to build a new Human Resource Center for Bougainville-based NGO Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency.
Awarded through the Japanese government’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), the grant contract was si…gned by Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Morio Matsumoto, and by Mrs. Helena Hakena from the Laitana Nehan Women’s Development Center.
“Today’s signing ceremony will not only strengthen the friendship between the people of Japan and Papua New Guinea,” said Japanese Ambassador Morio Matsumoto, “but will also help foster future strategic partnership on gender equality and women’s empowerment between Papua New Guinea, the United States, and Japan.”
“We are so grateful to the U.S. Embassy for linking us up with the Japanese Embassy to make this possible,” said Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency Director, Helen Hakena, “This grant will allow us to rebuild our center and redouble our efforts to support the women of Bougainville.”
Since its office was burned down in 2010, Leitana Women has been doing amazing work out of temporary quarters, and has had to improvise to find space to hold counseling and workshops funded by the United States and other donors. The new center will provide critically needed office and training space for the organization.
U.S. Ambassador North said “The United States and Japan are deeply committed to empowering women in Papua New Guinea and eliminating violence against women. I applaud the Government of Japan for its leadership on these issues. We look forward to future joint initiatives, including collaborating on the PNG Women’s Forum in March.”
The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have supported work by Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency to carry out training workshops and activities on gender and human rights awareness, peace building engagements, and good governance capacity.