The British High Commission in Papua New Guinea has donated K40,000 to support Bougainville Haku Women’s Collective to build a new Safe House for victims of domestic violence.
Haku Women’s Collective President Dorcas Gano said they were grateful for the assistance given by the British High Commission in providing the funds to complete the new Safe House which will be used for domestic violence victims to have access to emergency shelter, counseling, and referral to long-term services not only in Haku but throughout Bougainville.
“We are very grateful to the Acting British Deputy High Commissioner to PNG, Jessica Eccles, for taking the time to attend the opening of the Safe House in Haku and demonstrate the UK’s continuing commitment to the people of Bougainville,’’ said Gano.
Ms. Eccles, Acting British Deputy High Commissioner, said: ‘’It is fantastic to see how UK assistance – through an organization such as the Haku Women’s Collective – is making a real difference to local communities in Bougainville. I’d like to acknowledge the inspirational work the HWC has done to-date to help victims of gender-based violence in Haku, and congratulate them on the completion of the new safe house. I am delighted that the UK is playing a role in tackling the scourge of violence against women.”
The Hako Women’s Collective mission is to empower women and to build a safe, secure, and just environment within families and communities and so establish a better future for their children. The UK funding supported the completion of the Safe House, including providing furniture and erecting a fence. With the new Safe House (Meri Seif Haus), women and children fleeing family and sexual violence can seek refuge. There, women receive advice and referrals for health and legal services and support for building a safer environment for themselves and their children.
Acting British Deputy High Commissioner to PNG, Jessica Eccles and the High Commission’s Political and Public Affairs Officer, Pamela Pittard, visited Bougainville from 13- 17 November to attend the opening of the Safe House in Haku and call on government Ministers and officials.