In partnership with KTF (Kokoda Track Foundation), Femili PNG delivered awareness-raising sessions, reaching over 3,000 men, women and children in and around the Kokoda area in Oro province from May to June 2021.
This partnership between Femili PNG and KTF is a collaboration to address gender-based violence and violence against children under one of KTF’s initiatives known as Project Zero. This involves providing information through awareness and sharing of information on the issue of family and sexual violence (FSV) with KTF-partner schools, health centres and communities, and working with other stakeholders in strengthening the referral pathway.
From 23 May to 14 June this year, the Femili PNG Outreach team worked with KTF in conducting awareness to schools, health facilities, communities and villages in the Kokoda area, including locations along the famous Kokoda track. The team also established ‘FSV corners’ at the schools and health facilities. The FSV corner is a space set up with information, education and communication (IEC) materials on different forms of FSV and where to get help. The materials include copies of the related laws, the Lukautim Pikinini Act 2015 and the Family Protection Act 2013, brochures and handouts about FSV, child abuse, child protection, and relevant information for everyone to access.
The team conducted awareness sessions at seven villages, five primary schools, four elementary schools, two communities, one business house, one safe house, one college, one high school, one health centre, one TVET school and a faith-based organisation (FBO).
In addition, Femili PNG facilitated a two-day information session on child protection to 31 participants at the Kokoda College. The participants included teachers, a safe house staff, and students from KTF’s Kokoda College. For many of the participants, it was their first time to learn more about child protection. John Tang, an assistant teacher at the Kokoda Primary School who participated found the information to be interesting and wanted to learn more. When asked what he will do after he had gone through the session, he said, ‘’I will start with my own family first and then to the classroom, by teaching the principles of discipline first and then their rights and responsibilities.’’
The Head Teacher for Gorari Primary School Mrs Dorcas Oivo also found the session to be vital and useful as there are a lot of abuses that children face in their homes, schools and communities. ‘’The highlight of this session is learning about confidentiality and the consequences of abuse,’’ Mrs. Oivo said. She also added that she will introduce what she has learnt in their teachers in-service, and carry out awareness during parents and teachers meetings, as well as during school activities. Most of the teachers who participated requested for such information sessions on child protection to be conducted with more teachers in Oro province.
During the trip, Femili PNG also donated bedding and cookware to Meri Seif haus in Oro province. It is currently the only safe house providing accommodation to survivors in the province.
Femili PNG will continue to deliver outreach and training activities in partnership with KTF into next year 2022. KTF is an Australian NGO operating in PNG since 2003, working with communities to deliver programs in equality, education, health and leadership. Project Zero is delivered in partnership with the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).