Three days of sensitisation training on family and sexual violence (FSV), child abuse, and the related laws facilitated by Femili PNG ended on a high note in Goroka last Thursday, 11th April 2019. Femili PNG staff facilitating the training included the Training Coordinator Andrew Zuhukepe, Lae In-house Lawyer Anna Raymond and Lae Case Work Manager Evan Bieso.
Thirty-six participants, including men, women and youth from the Unggai-Bena District attended the training which started on Tuesday 9th April 2019 at the Hotel Phoenix in Goroka.
The sensitisation training provided an in-depth understanding of the different forms of FSV and child abuse, its signs and symptoms, and its effects. Femili PNG Lae In-house Lawyer also facilitated the discussion on the United Nations Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and related laws: the Family Protection Act 2013 and the Lukautim Pikinini Act 2015. Participants were also asked to discuss and present their action plan based on what they will be doing in the respective communities with the information gained from the training.
The training was requested by Sallyn Lomutopa from Ginipa Coffee, an organisation working in partnership with Care International under the Coffee Industry Support Project which is supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program.
Mrs. Lomutopa identified that people in the Unggai-Bena district, especially community leaders, needed to be sensitised on the issue of FSV and child abuse, and that was why she requested for the training. The training also included some family members, church leaders, community based volunteers, village court magistrates and village court clerk, and also a ward counselor. She said that after 17 years, they have received other trainings but this was the first of its kind that made them understand what FSV and child abuse is. Mrs. Lomutopa added, “the network is already there, and everyone who will move this work forward are here in this training. Therefore, I am very grateful that Femili PNG has provided this training, because the information has been provided to the right group of people and it will not go to waste.” She concluded, “now we are able to identify someone who is experiencing any form of abuse, especially children, and with this training, we feel the responsibility to work together as a team and extend this awareness into our communities.”
Peter Wawe, a father of nine from the Lower Bena LLG, attended the training with his son Mohe. After the training, he expressed regret for certain abusive actions he had done in the past as a father and husband. He was very emotional as he apologised to his son and asked for forgiveness. He wished that he had attended this kind of training when he was young. Mr. Wawe said, “I will practice what I’ve learnt in this training starting in my home with my family, then in the small groups that I am associated with in the community.” Mr Wawe’s son Mohe also admitted that he used to abuse his younger siblings, but will stop.
Femili PNG CEO Daisy Plana acknowledged that violence is a learnt behaviour that we have accepted as our culture and practiced in our communities. Ms. Plana said, “our aim is to educate as many as we could with the hope that all these learning would help us change our mindset and violent behaviour.” She concluded the training on a high note, and expressed that we all need to work together to ensure that our young generation will grow up in a non-violent, supportive family and a safer community.
Eastern Highlands Provincial Community Development Advisor Siviri Lalave was also present during the closing of the training. She appreciated the training, and emphasised that we should above all look at our children as the primary resources as they are the future of our country. She said that the protection and wellbeing of our children should be of paramount importance. She also said, “those who have attended the training are the agents of change and are the ones who will be bringing change into their communities.”
Femili PNG is supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea as part of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program.