This is Regina from Genoka settlement in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. Genoka is one of the most notorious settlements in the country. No NGO has entered before, mainly due to safety concerns. Only occasional volunteers distribute condoms. Genoka is now one of the exemplary communities striving for AIDS Competence. Former criminals turned into community facilitators, people take action on their concerns and Regina is making ‘bilungs’ (woven bags) and hats and sells them in town as an income-generating activity.
The WHO-UNICEF funded process in PNG has come to an end, but ACP is continuing. An external evaluation was conducted earlier this month in the five provinces with very positive outcomes. Click here for the full report.
Significant behavioural change was observed with clear transfer to a wider set of communities. Recommendations were made to scale up ACP in all provinces and the establishment of a National Facilitation Team.
At the same time, the ADB-funded process in PNG is wrapping up as well. NGOs, CBOs and community people from Port Moresby came together to review the last two years and plan for the future. There was a great amount of energy and confidence in the group at this last event. Concrete action plans varied from Rahamata settlement: ‘we arrange coffee, milk and sugar for every Sunday and discuss with the entire community further steps on our response. We now have all the elements to take this forward’
to 9-Mile settlement: ‘The last peer assist really helped me to see how I can convince the leaders in my community. I’ll call a meeting with them this weekend and now know the right way to approach them’.
Dozens of local solutions came from within the group, occasionally inspired by the facilitators. An incredible potential for learning was revealed between the communities and organizations. The evaluation of the event below shows that participants apparently found the event useful. People left this last event with big smiles and great confidence for the future.
Last week, PNG Red Cross already organized and financed their first learning event to introduce ACP in 13 provinces. The event was facilitated by only local
coaches and facilitators. They have organized themselves in a local entity called PNG AIDS Competence. Together with limited international linkages, capacity is now present within the country to take ACP to scale. PNG is just getting started......