These women are a powerhouse. All volunteers with the exception of two paid administrative staff, the Mothers’ Union in Melanesia runs parenting training, literacy programmes, girls’ groups, couples counselling and women’s savings schemes. Melanesia is an island region and communication between islands is not always reliable but they work across all of the region’s dioceses, making a real difference as they strive to fulfil the MU’s aim of supporting marriage and the family in a society where women are not always valued, it is estimated that 64% of women have experienced some form of physical violence and illiteracy levels are still relatively high. Not only this, but the chocolate banana cake is to die for – and they didn’t waste time baking it themselves. Women after my own heart!