Local organisations working in Partnership to combat FSV in Hela

The Oil Search Foundation and Femili PNG Inc have entered into a partnership to strengthen existing health and survivor’s referral systems in Hela province to respond to Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The agreement signed on the March 2, 2017, brings together two local Papua New Guinean organisations and will improve access to response services and health providers including referral where needed for GBV survivors and communities.

GBV including Family and Sexual Violence (FSV) in Hela is a major challenge and the Foundation has been providing support to the Hela Provincial Hospital Family Support Centre (FSC) since March 2016.

“It’s a critical need in Hela. By strengthening existing services, we’re not only reaching and informing communities about the issues, we can also help to make sure survivors get treatment closer to their villages and if needed, referred to the Hela FSC or other support services in a holistic manner.” says Foundation CEO, Kymberley Kepore.

PNG is currently experiencing very high levels of GBV and especially FSV directed against women and children.

But the response to survivors is hindered by lack of proper coordination and knowledge to adequately provide help that is needed. Often survivors need medical, psycho social care, emergency shelter, police protection, legal assistance and vocational training services.

Since 2014, Femili PNG has been using an innovative approach in Lae to work with partners and provide critical case management services to help survivors’ access crisis counselling, support and other interventions for protection and justice. It aims to help drive change through training stakeholder partners, case management and research.

CEO of Femili PNG, Daisy Plana said: “We are determined to highlight the issues of FSV in PNG.

“By partnering with the Oil Search Foundation in Hela we are helping to strengthen the nationwide response and providing improved services to survivors. Our message is clear. Family and Sexual Violence is not acceptable and must be addressed.”

The comprehensive program will include training at all levels of the Hela Provincial Health Authority (PHA); district health workers; community prevention and awareness activities; outreach; communication materials; mentoring and counselling support for the Hela FSC.

“At the Foundation we are committed to a Papua New Guinea where gender equality is realised and women are empowered to live productive lives free of violence and this partnership with Femili PNG Inc. is critical to working towards this vision,” adds Jean Martin, Head of Expansion Programs.

The invaluable Femili PNG experience to Hela will be critical to driving forward a response to FSV and GBV and ensure that systems are strengthened to continue to respond into the future.

Press statement