Pamela Abana, 65 from Aringana village, West Makira in Solomon Islands is the global representative to the Mothers Union, a global Christian movement working to develop communities, strengthen families and advocate for change.
She is also formerly the President of the Provincial Mothers Union, a mission arm of the Anglican Church of Melanesia in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The Mothers Union has 14,000 members and a presence in all provinces across the countries.
“Before communities were resilient because they worked together,” said Ms Abana.
“Back home in Aringana, my village planted yams together. You couldn’t plant yam alone and that collective strength enabled the planting of large yam plantations. We also shared baskets of yam as a form of thanksgiving after planting yams.”
“Nowadays, individualism means those large yam plantations and more importantly strength in working together is rare.”
“As a result, we lose the strength that comes from living and dealing with challenges in a collective manner.”
Ms Abana says the increasing loss of resilience is happening in the face of growing social issues that confound many communities. Issues related to drugs, alcoholism, increasing domestic violence, the devastation of the environment, child abuse and more.
“It’s a time for leaders to inspire their communities to regrow collective resilience,” she said.
“Acting together build our strength and bolsters our resilience regardless of the issues we face.”
She remarked the leadership and management training coordinated by the Institute for Mission and Research in Honiara deepened her knowledge of leadership, and inspired her to think more strategically about social issues.