My name is Shirley Namhito. I grew up and went to school in Buka. When the crisis occurred we returned to the village. We lost family, friends and property. Schools were closed and we stayed home helping my mother. It wasn’t safe as young men would come around at night with guns.
When services resumed, my mother and I flew out of the province and I went back to school in my mother’s village in the Papua New Guinea highlands. My father was unemployed and he later joined us. I completed my education there and so did my sister.
After the crisis, we returned to Bougainville where I was employed at Hotjena Secondary. My father attempted to run a small business but unfortunately passed away.
My family continued to live in Buka where I eventually found a job with the Buka Urban Council. I’m got married and had a child. Unfortunately my husband left me, but I continue to work with the council and raise my child on my own.