Mission to End High-Level Sexual Violence in Papua New Guinea |


“The majority of survivors of gender-based violence you see in clinics are young adults,” says Primrose, youth coordinator for the Family Health Association (FHA) in provincial East New Britain.

As part of FHA’s School Outreach Program, she stepped off the stage after giving a presentation to third-year students at Kokopo Secondary School. She said that if her students need help, she can contact the FHA and the violence never belongs to the survivors, she said. mistake.

Primrose and her team of fellow educators hope to reduce physical and sexual violence through outreach in schools and communities across East New Britain.


Primrose, youth coordinator for the Family Health Association (FHA) in East New Britain, speaks to third graders at Kokopo Secondary School in Papua New Guinea.

Spotlight Initiative/Rachel Donovan

Primrose, youth coordinator for the Family Health Association (FHA) in East New Britain, speaks to third graders at Kokopo Secondary School in Papua New Guinea.

The FHA team not only talks to students at school, but also distributes pamphlets and condoms in an effort to educate the public about sexual and reproductive health and STD prevention.

“We engage in clinical and community outreach,” she says. “We focus on family planning and especially prevent unwanted pregnancies so that young girls can complete their education.”

The team started with 20 fellow educators, but that number dropped to 10 as the pandemic progressed. Primrose is now looking to recruit new educators to join her in promoting her health care provided by her family health association. Providing information about healthy, nonviolent relationships. Sharing information about sexual and reproductive health.


Papua New Guinea highlands.

© Spotlight Initiative/Rachel Donovan

Papua New Guinea highlands.

speak the same language

FHA Commissioner Michael Salini said, “We believe it is very important to make sure that young people understand that it is not right to use violence on anyone, whether in a relationship or with another young person.”

“We have to convey that message to them. That’s why we engage these young people to work on behalf of our organization. Having young people talking to young people is the most effective way to change the perceptions and values ​​of the community.”

“It’s like we speak the same language when our fellow educators speak to young people,” says Primrose. “We belong to the same group of peers and we can better communicate that message.”

The approach is important because older people are often unaware of the experiences of younger people.

Margaret, a third-year student at Kokopo Secondary School, said, “Personally, I had a cyberbullying experience. “At the time, none of her teachers really understood it,” she said.

According to UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Agency, in 30 countries, one in three youths are victims of online bullying, and one in five reports that cyberbullying and violence have resulted in school absenteeism.

“I think cyberbullying is one of the most difficult issues for older people to understand,” says Margaret. “If a young person stands up and speaks in a way that young people can understand, people will pay attention.”

Spotlight Initiative in Papua New Guinea

The Spotlight Initiative is supporting East New Britain’s Family Health Association to undertake youth outreach that fosters positive relationships and connects young people to sexual and reproductive health services.



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Author: bm4ey

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