Papua New Guinea
Caritas’ work in Papua New Guinea focuses on sustainable livelihoods, improving health, disaster preparedness and education.
Gender Violence Awareness Programme in Enga Province
The Catholic Diocese of Wabag approached Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand to request support for a gender-based violence programme in Enga Province. The province is the scene of many tribal fights, domestic violence against women and particularly allegations of sorcery against women and children, who are then tortured and often killed. Training sessions to educate people about the inauthenticity of sorcery allegations have reduced this violence and and given people the courage to stand up against torture.
The programme has attracted strong support in the areas where training has been held. A local group formed during the sorcery awareness training was able to stop some men who were about to torture a woman for suspected sorcery. This is great progress as before the workshops people were afraid to approach this kind of situation.
El Nino (2015/2016)
An extreme El Nino weather pattern, which causes high temperatures and low rainfall, had disastrous effects around the Pacific and particularly in Papua New Guinea at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. We have been assisting villages in four Highlands provinces to mitigate the effect of droughts. This includes training of villagers in planting drought-resistant varieties of staple crops, the establishment of nurseries and distribution of seeds, enhancing rain water catchment infrastructure and providing hygiene training. Response work to this emergency is ongoing.