Femili PNG celebrated its two-year anniversary at an event in Lae in July 2016 attended by more than 40 partners and stakeholders.
The event was an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made through the power of partnerships since the organisation began its work in July 2014.
“All organisations were working in isolation until Femili PNG came into the picture two years ago. Their staff physically walked from office to office to connect all of us to address family and sexual violence issues in Lae,” said Zuabe Tinning, the chair of the Morobe Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC).
“Femili PNG connected all of us together. For the past two years, you have done a lot on addressing FSV issues here in Lae. I congratulate you,” she said.
The event also provided a chance for stakeholders and partners to reflect on their own progress after two years of collaboration.
Representatives from FSV organisations spoke of the partnerships that Femili PNG staff have established and continue to strengthen. The speakers included; Zuabe Tinning (Morobe FVSAC), Senior Sargent Cathy Rimbao (Community policing), Major Giam (safe houses), Colin Otto (Lae District Development Authority), and Denga Ilave and Daisy Plana of Femili PNG.
Every speaker acknowledged that with Femili PNG’s support, their organisation had been able to overcome many challenges and to serve many survivors of FSV.
One of the significant achievements highlighted by the partners was the role that case workers play in moving from partner to partner, linking and connecting them. This was helping to progress clients’ cases more quickly.
Femili PNG Operations Manager Denga Ilave highlighted the major achievements of the organisation in the past two years. Some of the achievements included providing support to more than 800 clients; bringing two cases to the National Court and seeing perpetrators prosecuted and charged; renovating the Salvation Army safe house; improving partner resourcing and supplying them with office equipment; and engaging local businesses to raise awareness of FSV among their staff.
Denga said that Femili PNG is looking forward to continuing to extend its services and to hopefully expand to provide assistance to other parts of the country.
Colin Otto, representing Lae District and the Community Development Program, acknowledged the support of Femili PNG in providing training for case counselling. He said that the skills and knowledge gained through this training is now being utilised in the community.
There are still many challenges ahead, however. Senior Sargent Cathy Rimbao raised some of those still faced by police, including; the challenges of monitoring gender-based violence, particularly due to people moving around; the need for further awareness on FSV in the police force; the need for more knowledge in communities on FSV; and the limited resources that survivors often have, which can be a barrier for them in accessing services or reporting violence to police.
A note written by Femili PNG chair, Stephen Howes, acknowledging the importance of the partnerships and networking among the stakeholders was also read aloud during the celebration.
Femili PNG CEO Daisy Plana made the closing remarks. She emphasised that FSV affects every human life, and it is affecting individuals, family, society and PNG as a whole.
Daisy said that achieving justice for clients depends on how effectively the partners work together to deliver services, and their individual commitment to help.
The event was attended by representatives from:
- City Mission
- Welfare offices
- Salvation Army
- Community Development
- Sexual Offenses Squad (Police)
- Family Sexual Violence Unit (Police)
- Public Prosecutors Office
- Public Solicitor
- Suburban/Community Police
- Stakeholder partners
- Local businesses
- Media organisations