Helen Mangula is a community advocate in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In 2017, she founded an organisation called Eden Empowerment to strive for gender equality in PNG. Helen also created the Facebook group PNG Women Empowerment, the group has over 5,000 members.
Helen participated in DTP’s Business and Human Rights Program in Port Moresby in 2019, after being introduced to DTP by two other PNG community advocates working to stop illegal logging, palm oil plantations and to prevent Deep Sea Mining.
Helen says the training provided invaluable information, opening her mind.
“I sort of felt very powerful after the training, knowing and appreciating how empowered I was to access information and connection at the training”.
Helen says she felt humbled to bring back the knowledge gained at the DTP training program. looked forward to applying that knowledge to defend the most vulnerable and to those living in rural and remote areas of Papua New Guinea.
“DTP training is so strategic as far as I see and considers fundamental human rights and how people are being affected by changes and developments in their respective areas against the backdrop of foreign mining companies violating human rights in rural and remote areas of PNG”.
Learning and applying new skills like creating short and impactful presentations was also an important part of the training.
“We created a 2-minute video presentation on climate change and the impacts of business and it was shown at a global UN conference on Business and Human Rights”
DTP training was fun, too, says Helen. She remembers singing folk songs by the pool BBQ during the November 2019 training.
Helen was also a part of DTP’s UPR Capacity Building Workshop in 2021/22. As part of that program she led a joint Coalition to submit a recommendation to the UN for the PNG Government to adopt the UNCAT and its Optional Protocol. Other CSOs and human rights defenders (HRDs) made other recommendations on human rights issues affecting their people and these were presented to the PNG Government during the 39th UPR. She also made a video presentation as part of a UPR Side Event.
“This would not be possible without the trainings, support, and network established by DTP and I am very thankful to DTP for linking us up to OHCHR and PIANGO and Asian HRDs.”
Helen is highly appreciative of DTP offering a networking space for human rights advocates worldwide. It boosted her sense of belonging to the human rights community and offered her hope. She says,
“DTP training is beneficial in empowering NGOs, CSOs and individual HRDs with knowledge and linking us all to a greater network in Asia and Pacific.
I am so thankful also to DTP for keeping me in the loop in terms of training and workshops to build capacity for HRDs and appreciate them for recognising where each of the HRD is coming from in terms of fighting for something that matters to every one of us, no matter how small and insignificant we may feel at most times.”