In Papua New Guinea, disputes and issues in the communities are usually resolved through mediation facilitated by the leaders in the community. It’s not always easy for community leaders to carry out their duties in resolving issues, but despite the challenges, they always do what they can.
In doing so, community leaders play an important role in keeping the peace and maintaining order within their communities.
Some of the common issues brought to community leaders to resolve are related to family and sexual violence (FSV). Seeing the need to empower community leaders in addressing FSV, Femili PNG Outreach team conducted FSV information sessions to the community leaders in Daulo and Lufa Districts in Eastern Highlands Province. The two districts were recommended by the Eastern Highlands Provincial Community Development Advisor. The aim of these information sessions is to create a community FSV committee of ten individuals for each of the two districts. In doing so, community leaders play an important role in keeping the peace and maintaining order within their communities.
The Outreach team started with Daulo District in January this year, facilitating three sets of 2-day FSV information sessions to 76 representatives from the wards at the three Local Level Governments (LLGs) in the district, Watabung LLG, Lower Asaro LLG, and Upper Asaro LLG. The committee members were selected by the representatives who participated in the information sessions, and two of them were appointed to represent them in the provincial FSVAC meetings.
From 26th-29th April, Femili PNG Outreach team conducted two sets of 2-day FSV information sessions to participants from the two LLGs in Lufa District, Yagaria and Mount Michael LLGs. Unfortunately, the outreach team could not reach Unavi LLG due to logistics and communication challenges. However, Femili PNG continues to work with Lufa District and the Community Development Office to reach other LLGs. A total of 58 representatives participated in these sessions, and members to create the community committee for Lufa District have been identified.
After Femili PNG Outreach team conducted the sessions in Lufa District, the team continued to Daulo District and conducted awareness-raising sessions to the communities together with the Lufa Community FSV Committee members, including the District Community Development Program Manager Ms. Korobo Werry who is the Chair of the committee. Over 2,800 men, women and children were reached through the awareness in the communities and schools in Daulo District.
Ongoing training and support will be provided to the committee members so that they can address FSV issues in their communities. The establishment of community committees for the two districts in Eastern Highlands Province is one of Femili PNG’s activities supported through the European Union – United Nations Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls in all communities. #SpotlightEndViolence