Liz Cosson - Making a difference
It was completely destroyed. I would explain it as they had imploded. They had destroyed the heart of Bougainville, the capital of Arawa where we lived We had a house there with the commander and myself and the leader from Vanuatu and from Fiji and we had a house in the middle of Loughborough. And every morning, we'd go for a walk. And there was nothing. It was all overgrown, all the buildings that used to be the administrative buildings in the heart of the government, and it was all gone. There was nothing.
And I remember getting into the records and flying to our different team sites across the island. And it was dangerous because there were definitely no-go zones, that we would make sure that the helicopter didn't go to. There were incidents during our period there. There were still tensions between the different factions. Yeah, it was heartbreaking but the people, and that's what it's all about, the people, and being a female and it is a matriarchal society. T
hey wanted to rebuild 10 years that they hadn't been able to go back to schools and the highlight for me was the reopening of a school and standing up there on the stage with the teachers and seeing the kids and the mothers and the fathers just saying, "We're coming back" and being able to go to church on Sunday with the communities. And it meant so much to this community.