Helen Kailo – Sista Gat Style

An avid reader, activist, mother, radio host and actress who has featured in dozens of Wan Smolbag’s films and plays, Helen Kailo is one of the country’s best actresses and is someone who is committed to contributing to Vanuatu. Although Helen works primarily in theatre and filming, she also engages in community development workshops, team building, promotion of social and political ethics through community awareness work, including gender equality, empowerment of minority groups and human rights.

This photo shoot was taken at Dunstan’s Nakamal where Helen and her gang often hang out after a hard day’s work.

#PNGNiVanQueen #AelanGoddess #KeepingItReal



Helen Kailo (Len)




Where are you from?

My father is from the island of Aniwa and my mother is from Manus Province, Papua New Guinea.

Tell us about your family?

I have a pretty big family. My father passed away about 11 years ago, leaving my 4 brothers, my mother, my daughter and myself. But now my family has grown and I have my step dad and 6 stepsiblings that I love dearly. My brothers dubbed us the ‘Paradise Family’.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy the usual stuff like watching movies or reading a good book. I like listening to music by Childish Gambino, the Internet, anything of the RnB genre, some Pacific music and anything that’s trending. I enjoy hanging out with the gang at the nakamal after work. I am also obsessed with True Crime stories and Greek Mythology.


What do you do for work?

I am an actress at Wan Smolbag Theatre. I joined when I was 18 years old and this year marks a decade of me being in the theatre group. My job description consists of us raising awareness on social issues through plays, films and community-engaged workshops. I absolutely 100% love my job! I get to travel, meet new people, act and talk about social issues in communities.

What do you aspire to do in the future?

To carry on the work that we are doing now by using theatre and film as a tool to encourage discussions in communities. Hopefully write a film or direct a play one day.


What is a quote that you live by?

“A day without laughter is a day wasted” – Charlie Chaplin

How would you describe your style?

I think you create your own individual style. I like to wear what is comfortable for me, which are primarily jeans and a t-shirt. I’m into the disheveled look. I don’t like when things are too neat and that is sort of reflected in my style of clothing. I will throw on a dress once or twice but for everyday wear, it’s my trusty jeans and t-shirt.


Who influences your style?

Comfort influences my style.

What beauty products do you use?

I grew up loving my mom’s scent, which is the Red Door Perfume by Elizabeth Arden.


Any fashion tips?

Find what suits you best and rock it!

What is the most difficult thing you have had to face?

The most difficult thing I faced was not being able to complete my high school education and move on to university. But one thing I’ve learnt about challenges is that they help shape you and make you stronger. I am happy where I am. It was the difficult things that shaped me into the person I am today and had I taken a different path, I would not be this version of myself.


What is one thing you wish you could tell your younger self?

To have more confidence in myself.

What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Funny, Sarcastic and Caring.


Assistant: Umi Nompavos

Photographer: Nicky Kuautonga

Hair, makeup, nails by Lotus Day Spa

This article was originally published in the September edition of the Vanuatu Daily Post Life and Style magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Mikate

    Go Helen


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Sista

Port Vila, VU
Mostly Cloudy
28°C / 22°C
26°C / 21°C
26°C / 21°C


  • Vanuatu advances efforts to promote greater inclusion for people with disabilities

    The National Disability Committee met at Tamanu on the Beach Resort last week. The five days meeting, organised by the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS) through the Disability Desk, aimed to explain the roles and responsibilities of its members, strengthen coordination processes, and pave the way for the effective implementation of disability-inclusive policies and initiatives. This important meeting happens twice a year and can be called at short notice in case of a disaster or during recovery. This year, it’s being sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project (VEEP) and the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP). The meeting included various stakeholders such as the Vanuatu Electoral Office (VEO), VSP, Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association (VDPA), and Vanuatu Society for People with Disability (VSPD). The key agenda items included reviewing the Terms of Reference (TOR) for NDC and Provincial Disability Committees (PDCs), outlining tasks for each member institution, and discussing the methodology and logistics for enacting legislation in alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Justice Minister John Amos emphasised Vanuatu’s commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The meeting aimed to develop a comprehensive work plan spanning from 2024 to 2027, allocate budgets, and clarify the vital role played by the NDC in driving inclusive development. Discussions centered on the implementation of the Education Inclusive Policy, social protection measures for persons with disabilities, and government support for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as VDPA and VSPD. Ms Ginette Morris, Disability Desk Coordinator, said the NDC meeting was a decisive platform for raising collaboration, sharing best practices, and working towards a more inclusive future. The participation of esteemed members from various governmental and non-governmental entities reflect Vanuatu’s holistic approach to disability inclusion. Among the participating institutions are the Ministries of Justice, Education, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs. _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

  • Juvenile detention challenges amidst push for rehabilitation

    A recent briefing has revealed that crimes in Vanuatu are sometimes committed by young individuals under the age of 18. However, the Vanuatu Daily Post has learned from the Director of Vanuatu Correctional Services (VCS), Johnny Marango, that there are currently very few minors in detention, presently only one juvenile is being held, and he is housed at the newly established juvenile facility in Santo. “In Port Vila, we keep teenage inmates with adult inmates. In Santo, we have a facility ready, but the juvenile bill that should be passed by the parliament is not yet approved,” he said. “We are still working on it with the Office of the Attorney General, and it may be passed by the end of this year in November. “We only have one juvenile detainee in our custody, he is currently in the juvenile facility in Santo. “We are managing him according to the Correctional Services Act, which also provides for separating minors from adults. He is 14 years old and has been remanded for unlawful entry and theft, we have one juvenile in Vila, who is 17 years old, but he is now out on bail.” Local psychiatrist, Dr Jimmy Obed, expressed concerns about the impact of detention on young offenders. “Anyone who goes through a facility here will go through something; we don’t know how he’s taken care of, and it will definitely have an impact on him,” he said. “There’s a whole change of environment for a young person; it’s a bit much. I’m not too sure about the services they (Corrections) provide for him in the prison, the prison experience for anyone is not a good experience.” Dr Obed highlighted the need for comprehensive mental health services within the correctional system, noting, “the whole system needs mental health assistance, but unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to provide the full experience.” “A prison facility as an infrastructure will not solve the problem; it’s the services in there that will,” he said. “Placing them apart from the adults will not help; it’s just a time-out, what rehabilitation services they (Corrections) have to help the inmates will help.’ The importance of rehabilitation was echoed in a 2021 article titled “Juvenile Centre to Provide Educational Training.” It stated that the new juvenile correctional facility opened in Santo aims to provide education, training, and skills development opportunities for young offenders aged 12 to 18. This initiative underscores the need for a more supportive and rehabilitative approach to juvenile detention, focusing on helping young offenders reintegrate into society. _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

  • 15-year-old raped 5 years old

    On the 23 of May 2024 Mr Dimitri Baba was sentence for 18 months in imprisonment for being pleaded guilty to one count of Indecency with a young person by judge Vincent Lunabek. The complainant was over the age of 5 years old when the offending took place. Her date of birth was 5th of March 2018. Mr Baba is 15 years old at the time of the alleged offending, in fact they are related. Baba is her brother-in-law. The offending took place on the 8th of December 2023. At that time the complainant, her mother and sister were at home. It was in the afternoon when the complainant was about to have shower that Baba committed the act on her. Mitigating factors 1.       15 years of age at the time of the offending. 2.       You are one of 5 children. 3.       Your mother left you at a very young age. You were then adopted by your mother’s sister. You do not know your father; 4.       You grew up under the care of your grandfather and aunty. 5.       You provide insight for your offending; 6.       During your time in custody, you have rehabilitated, coming to understand your wrongdoing and have learnt a lot spiritually undertaking bible studies. You say that you will not commit such offending again; 7.       The report writer viewed that the lack of parental support and unstable home is a contributing factor to your sexual urges leading to the offending; 8.       Your sexual urges can be addressed through a Sexual Offenders Module to give you the understanding on the pathway to your offending and the truth about factors that led you into your offending. There are various programs run by Probation that you can undertake; 9.       You have joinery skills working with your uncles; 10.   You are a first-time offender. Judge have Given Mr Baba a reduction of 4 months for his mitigating factors, a further reduction of 33% for early guilty plea. The remaining balance of his sentence is 22 months imprisonment but he has already spent time in pre-custodial period from 12 December 2023 to 15 April 2024, a total of 4 months. His sentence is reduced to 18 months. Disclaimer: All information is compiled from the PACLII Vanuatu database and are able to be accessed by the public online. _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

  • Terminate Education DG and Directors: WACC

    The Chairlady of the Women Against Crime and Corruption (WACC) group and Human Rights Defender, Jenny Ligo, has issued a powerful call for the termination of the Director General (DG) and all directors within the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET). This call comes in response to the alleged mishandling of teacher payments, which has led to significant disruptions in the education system, impacting children across Vanuatu. The DG of MoET, Bergmans Iati, responded to the allegations, stating that the signed agreement is separate from the teachers’ budget. “In the agreement that we signed, it has nothing to do with the teachers’ budget,” the DG said. He also dismissed the claims of mishandling as misleading by the human rights activist, further denouncing her statements against the Ministry and its staff. “That is not true, I don’t think that there is a mishandling of the payments of the Vanuatu teachers,” DG Iati said. Ligo, a staunch advocate for the voiceless in Vanuatu, emphasised the urgent need for the Prime Minister to uphold the fundamental rights of Vanuatu’s children as enshrined in Chapter Two of the Vanuatu Constitution and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically the right to education. She highlighted that the ongoing disputes regarding teachers’ employment status have resulted in government school students missing out on classes, thereby violating their educational rights. “The dispute should not take this long and should not happen if authorities in the Ministry of Education professionally handle the case as a priority and seriously,” Ligo asserted. She criticized the Ministry for its failure to address the teachers’ concerns promptly and effectively, stressing that the situation has deteriorated due to the lack of proper consideration, negotiations, and budgeting. Ligo further lambasted the Ministry for the repeated strikes by teachers over unpaid salaries and entitlements, which she believes reflect poorly on the government’s management of one of its highest-budgeted sectors. “It is indeed a failure on those in authorities,” she said, noting that any competent employer should understand the necessity of paying employees for extra work and honoring their entitlements. The Chairlady argued that the situation should not require intervention from the Prime Minister’s office, as it falls within the responsibilities of the MoET to manage and resolve such issues, “the Government of Vanuatu is paying public servants every day to sort out or manage the educational system for the Vanuatu Government and for the people of Vanuatu,” Ligo remarked, underscoring the importance of efficient and professional handling of educational affairs. Despite these assurances, Ligo remains firm in her stance that the Ministry’s leadership has failed in its duty to adequately support and manage the welfare of teachers, whose role is critical in shaping the future of Vanuatu. She called for immediate and decisive action to address the systemic issues within the MoET to prevent further disruptions and ensure that the rights of both teachers and students are protected. ____________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

  • Ex-SANMA VP Silvio Moli Sentenced for Molesting 10yr Old

    On June 4, 2024, Silvio Moli, aged 38, was sentenced to 2 years, 2 months, and 15 days imprisonment by Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek for two counts of acts of indecency with a young person. Case Background: Offence Details: Mr. Moli, a SANMA Provincial Government Councilor and Vice-President, committed these offences in 2019 when the victim, his 10-year-old relative, was spending weekends with him and his family at Banban, Luganville. He repeatedly touched the victim indecently while she slept. Discovery and Reporting: The victim reported the abuse to her family in July 2023, the police subsequently arrested and interviewed Mr. Moli, who admitted his actions, claiming he wanted to test the victim’s ability to keep secrets. Mitigating Factors: The court acknowledged Mr. Moli’s clean criminal record, his role as a community leader, and his participation in custom reconciliation. Legal References: The case drew comparisons to similar cases, including Public Prosecutor v Gideon [2002], emphasizing that custodial sentences are typically necessary for such offences to protect vulnerable individuals and maintain community trust. Final Sentence: Sentence start point was set at 4 years. Mitigating factors and an early guilty plea led to a reduction. Additionally, a delay in prosecution contributed to a further reduction. Mr. Moli’s final sentence is 2 years, 2 months, and 15 days imprisonment. Pre-custodial time served was deducted from this sentence. [Disclaimer: All information is compiled from the PACLII Vanuatu database and are able to be accessed by the public online.] __________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

Join Us