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In advocating and supporting the fight against family, sexual and gender based violence, Bank South Pacific has extended its partnership with Grass Skirt Project to spark students in identifying red-flags and cultivating environmental awareness on family, sexual and gender based violence in their communities.

This “Grass Skirt Project – 10 million strong leadership program” was approved by the NCD school board and is being piloted at the Badihagwa Secondary School which will be supported by BSP for the next three years.

The 10 Million Strong Leadership Program nurtures open communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and emotional intelligence, while reinforcing good behaviour and providing opportunities for youth development. Together, these programs aim to combat gender-based violence, promote gender equity, address health issues, and build resilient and inclusive communities. This was further elaborated by Priscilla Paissat, Head of Procurement with BSP’s Finance and Planning Strategic Business Unit and BSP PNG Family Sexual Violence Action Committee Member.

“This program aims to work with students and survivors in communities to breakdown vicious behaviour and attitude towards women through awareness on gender equity and gender based violence programs,” Paissat said.

“At BSP, we understand that family and gender based violence is the most prevalent form of gender inequality that affects households and communities that spans across workplace. Since launching our biggest social justice campaign against family sexual violence and gender based violence in July 2020, BSP continues to observe #BlackThursdays,” she said. 

BSP is also a partner of the PNG Bel isi program and has a number of initiatives in place at the workplace including the BSP Group Family Sexual Violence (FSV) policy that sets out the company’s commitment to preventing and responding to GBV/FSV.

“As an advocate against family, sexual and gender based violence, BSP also provides training and staff access to referral pathway to support services, such as counselling, legal assistance, financial assistance and support safe houses,” Paissat said.   

The Grass Skirt Project Operations Manager David Wesley said, to partner with organizations like BSP is important in getting the message out, about the Grass Skirt Project’s 10 Million Strong Leadership Program.

“Through this pilot project, we’ve had selected students from Badihagwa Secondary School to undergo training. We have 11 more weeks to train our evolving leaders who will influence positive change in their respective communities. We are proud to have BSP as our partner,” Wesley said.

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