The agreement brings together two local Papua New Guinean organisations and will improve access to response services and health providers including referral where needed for gender-based violence survivors and communities.
The foundations said that gender-based violence, including family and sexual violence in Hela was a major challenge and it had been providing support to the Hela Provincial Hospital Family Support Centre for a year,
"It's a critical need in Hela. By strengthening existing services, we're not only reaching and informing communities about the issues, we can also help to make sure survivors get treatment closer to their villages and if needed, referred to the Hela FSC or other support services in a holistic manner," foundation chief executive Kymberley Kepore said.
The foundation said that PNG was currently experiencing very high levels of sexual violence directed against women and children. But the response to survivors is hindered by lack of proper coordination and knowledge to adequately provide help that is needed. Often survivors need medical, psycho social care, emergency shelter, police protection, legal assistance and vocational training services.
Since 2014 Femili PNG has been using an innovative approach in Lae to work with partners and provide critical case management services to help survivors' access crisis counselling, support and other interventions for protection and justice. It aims to help drive change through training stakeholder partners, case management and research.
Femili chief executive Daisy Plana said: "We are determined to highlight the issues of family and sexual violence in PNG. By partnering with the Oil Search Foundation in Hela we are helping to strengthen the nationwide response and providing improved services to survivors."
The comprehensive program will include training at all levels of the Hela Provincial Health Authority; district health workers; community prevention and awareness activities; outreach; communication materials; mentoring and counselling support for the Hela health officials.