Port Moresby safe house now ever safer

Bel isi walk against gender based violence last year which raise K400 000

Bel isi walk against gender based violence last year which raise K400 000

More and more Papua New Guineans are saying “no” to violence against women – and they are speaking with their actions as well as their words.

Just days after hundreds of people rallied at Parliament House to support more action to address family and sexual violence, Port Moresby can expect a huge win with the comprehensive upgrade of a local Port Moresby safe house.

The upgrade is also a win for partnership. Last year the public private initiative Bel isi PNG (peaceful PNG) alongside Oil Search Foundation raised over PGK 400,000 to support urgent infrastructure repairs for local safe houses.

Safe house services are an important part of helping survivors of family and sexual violence by providing them with refuge from a violent situation. But safe houses struggle with funding which makes it difficult to provide the level of service that survivors require and deserve.

Many individuals and companies contributed to raising funds including Newcrest, Oil Search staff, Pacific Helicopters, Atlas Steel and many others. This is in addition to the many private sector companies including BSP, Oil Search, Brian Bell and Steamships that support Bel isi PNG and the generous support from the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea.

The safe house manager advised, “we are pleased to be able to continue to offer essential services to survivors in our newly refurbished facilities and thank all partners for their generous support. Funding in the sector is very limited and we would not have been able to make these improvements without support”.

BSA Construction, that was awarded the contract for the refurbishment also contributed by providing significant building services from their own supplies and at their own cost, over and above original scope of works.

BSA Construction Manager said that he and his team came to feel “honoured to be a part of such a great cause”.

“Domestic violence is something that is very common is this country and to have the opportunity to build something safe where woman and children can seek refuge was a privilege. This really hit home with a lot of the guys working with our team. That’s why we really tried to provide extras in every way we could, and we will continue to provide free maintenance to the house in every single way possible.”

“To see the team’s faces at the end of the job, when we were thanked by residents and pastors from around the church and school, was really a proud moment for me.”

Daisy, the CEO of Femili PNG that delivers the Bel isi PNG safe house and case management services said, "Working on the issue of family and sexual violence or FSV is complicated and you’ll always find that we are limited, but if we will work in collaboration and everyone is willing to take part, altogether can make a greater impact”.

Omar Dalagan