It’s hard to believe, but it has been one year since Femili PNG first started its work with survivors of family and sexual violence in Lae. A huge amount has been achieved in the first 12 months, from commencing services, conducting training and advocacy, and building relationships with and supporting our partners. More than 400 clients, many with dependent children, have been supported to date.
Femili PNG staff and partners celebrated the first year of operations in an event in Lae on 30 July. Operations Manager Denga Illave wrote on the celebration here
, which included a play on how stakeholders work together with Femili PNG to deliver services, and a moving testimonial from the mother of a child client who was helped by Femili PNG and its partners.
In an interview on our website
, CEO Daisy Plana and Operations Manager Denga Ilave also discussed the successes and challenges of getting case management services off the ground.
Daisy cited the improved access to services for high-risk clients as a major achievement, along with the provision of comprehensive care, and the building of a strong network between key partners.
“Looking back to when we started, I could not then even imagine how much we would achieve.”
Though there have been great steps forward, many challenges remain and there is much more work to do. For Denga, one of the main challenges of her work is encouraging clients to realise their rights.
“That's a very challenging part of this work…. We need to educate our women that they have the right to live free and safe in their homes and communities.”
Look out for our first annual report, which will be released soon.
Improving safe houses
One of the successes of Femili PNG’s first year has been an improvement in the provision of secure accommodation for survivors at local safe houses.
As Femili PNG Management Committee Chair Stephen Howes writes
, finding safe accommodation for survivors in Lae used to be a considerable challenge. But now, the situation at the city’s two safe houses has improved and they are functioning much more effectively.
With project funding, Femili PNG has been able to support the improvement of their facilities. And we provide most clients with food, to reduce the burden on the safe houses, which operate on meagre budgets.
While there is still much more to do, the improvements show the power of working together to improve services, so that survivors can access what they need and feel supported after going through unimaginably difficult ordeals.
Bringing survivors home
How many jobs require you to be a detective, small business adviser, cost-of-living analyst, security assessor, accommodation coordinator, travel consultant, government liaison and family relations intermediary?
These are just some of the roles
that Femili PNG’s caseworkers assume on a daily basis.
When a client expresses a wish to go home, or to find somewhere else to live far away from violence, there is much work to be done and some hard questions to answer. There is no such thing as a ‘simple plan’. Our case workers are ready to help.
Femili PNG has assisted 17 women and their children to repatriate in the past year. In a story on our website, Senior Development Manager Kath Taplin takes us through
the often difficult yet rewarding process that Femili PNG case workers undertake to help clients return to a place where they can feel safer.
As one Femili PNG case worker put it, “it feels so good when you call [the family of a client], and they say ‘please bring them home’”.
Femili PNG is able to help more survivors, whether they are staying in a safe house, relocating, or being supported by our case workers, with the generous support of donations
Thank you to everyone who has donated to us through our AFAP website
: our partnership with AFAP allows us to provide tax-deductible donations. 95% of the funds you donate will support our project.
If you haven’t yet, please consider making a one-off or, even better, a monthly donation. We also have a platform
to support team or event fundraising. We undertake to provide you with information about the work your donation contributes towards via the Femili PNG Updates and our upcoming Annual Report describing achievements, challenges and planned future directions. You can also contact us at email@example.com
to discuss how Femili PNG helps survivors of violence.