Story by Caine Ruruk & photos by Gollinson Wena
The Hauna HF Radio installation is the result of a combined survey by MAF PNG, MAF Technologies and Rural Airstrip Authority (RAA) in 2019.
Hauna is a village in the East Sepik Province and is situated along the Mighty Sepik River, which is the longest and second largest river on the mainland of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Shaped almost like a serpent the river flows across 1126 km through swamplands, tropical rainforests and mountains. This river system sustains many communities who live along its banks and waterways, Hauna being one of such communities.
It was in 1967 when Wycliffe began their work amidst the Hauna community. Marilyn Laszlo and Shirley Killosky started the literacy project. As Marilyn translated into the unwritten Sepik Iwam language, Shirley taught the people of Hauna to read and write in their own language. Marilyn and Shirley also did medical work and trained the people of Hauna to run a school, medical clinic and a store. Marilyn passed away in in September 2021 leaving an amazing legacy.
This region is boasts of an incredible variety of flora and fauna which provide food and local resources to many Sepik tribes and clans which have dwelled along its bank since many generations. The SCM, started by Marilyn and Shirley is akin to the Sepik river that continues to be a blessing for Hauna and other communities providing education, health and spiritual growth for its people.
Gollinson Wena says that “I saw the old model HF Radio which was beyond repair and observed that the ministry urgently needs a good communication network”. MAF Technologies team in PNG decided to act upon this with zeal.
The installation was completed successfully and they set up a highly efficient communication system which enables ministry workers and even people in the village to communicate anywhere in the country through the HF radio network. The entire community was grateful and conveyed their gratitude to MAF for fulfilling this critical need. Mr. Tension who is now the appointed Ministry’s Radio Operator, said this on behalf of the SCM, ‘’We couldn’t afford a good HF radio set and we are thankful to MAF Technologies for setting up a reliable HF radio system for us. We are really grateful as this is an answer to our prayer. We pray that God will bless those who gave donations towards this project.’’
Knowing different seasons is very important to people living along the banks of the Sepik River. We either have a hot dry season where it takes a longer time to walk for our basic needs or the wet season where our fields are submerged in water. But now with a good communication network, it is possible for to send messages for assistance to the concerned authorities or organisations to provide us help we need.
We are grateful for the gift of technology so that we can bring help, hope and healing to the Hauna community in the time of need and appreciate the Wycliff team that have left a legacy of love and sacrifice for our Iwam speaking people.