By Patricia Keamo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Today (March 14, 2019) saw the launch of the SASA Pilot Project. SASA is a community mobilization approach developed by raising voices for preventing violence against women and HIV.
This project is led by Population Services International and supported by the partnership between Australian and Papua New Guinean Government as part of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Project.
SASA focus on engaging communities in the city to identify and address social issues.
The community project started in December last year with community engagement activities in three communities within the city.
Kaugere, Hanuabada and Morata communities were involved in the SASA activities where the communities signed partnership certificates with PSI to prevent violence against women.
This was followed by four-day training in February this year where 125 participants were certified as Community activists.
With the launching of the pilot program today (March 14, 2019), PSI will assist the activists to prevent violence against women as well as addressing issues in their community.
PSI Acting Country Representative Shannon McVey says they will assist the activists on how they are going to apply what they have learnt to their communities.
Prior to the launch, the activists from the three communities engaged in group activities where they were able to identify certain social issues that are affecting their communities and measures they can take to address these issues.
A community spokesperson from Hanuabada, Reverend Mea Lahui Kinibo says he is adamant that the activists in his community will go back and be agents of change in the community.
Since this is a Pilot program, results and evidence from the communities involved in the project will determine how effective the project is in order for PSI to reach out to other communities as well as other centres in the country.