Everyday People PNG: Molly Vani

Hello my name is Molly Vani. I am from Makerupu village in Hula, Central Province. My husband and I have four children and six grand kids. I’ve lived in the city for the past 40 years and so much of what I grew up to know has changed.

My story entails the village court life. I have been in this employment for the past 24 years starting out as just a clerk. I am now the Deputy Chairperson of the village court, as I found that being the Chairlady was too much to take on.

In the village, we are faced with many types of cases ranging from forms of Gender Based Violence, rape, attempted murder, sorcery, adultery, drunkard disputes and the list goes on. Our main grievance of request for summons has been the violent use of verbal abuse. The act of this obscene language is not taken lightly and compensations are presented to resolve matters.

There are moments where a certain case can be rather overwhelming, thus, it is put forward to the police department to rectify and my team and I do our best to resolve issues. A growing concern in our society is the fact that some deaths are being blamed on the superficial practice of sorcery. It is a challenge when you try to educate the stigmatic ignorance in society or community. A person could die of obvious health issues, but others will choose the latter.

Children get affected greatly when it is a DV case, as they too get hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. This situation can scar them for life and will create in them a violent and insecure persona one would never wish upon another. Our communities are being tarnished by negative influences and these wreak havoc in our homes and daily lives.

It has been quite the struggle trying to manage village issues with a team of 11, and bringing court into session under a raintree isn’t always ideal as we are unable to provide a professional setting. Despite our vigorous efforts to accommodate our necessities we continue to fight the good fight in tirelessly trying to bring peace into our community.

Through our commitment we try to help our community to make beneficial changes in their homes, imploring them also to walk a better path in scripture and prayer, but this requires conforming to authority. Change begins and ends with you.

Carol Kidu