Who

Local women-led organizations and emerging leaders, especially women and youth.

What

Promoting gender equality and mental health counseling to help reduce gender-based violence and improve safety for all citizens.

Where

Based in the town of Buka with activities throughout the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

How

Strengthening local peace-builders working to reduce impacts of trauma and raise awareness of gender violence prevention.

Challenge

For nearly a decade, civil war plagued the people of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. By the time the war ended, a tenth of the population had been killed and survivors struggled to recover from the effects of trauma and loss. Without adequate funding to support counseling services, the cycle of violence continued. Now women – the most common victims of this violence – have begun stepping up, leading church groups and civil society organizations to help their families, neighbors and communities reduce violence and create more peaceful communities.

Promise

Counterpart’s Women’s Peace Building Initiatives Program, strengthened the capacity of women-led community organizations and leaders working to heal Bougainville from the impacts of war. Our program provided training to men and women, especially youth activists, fighting gender-based abuse and improving safety for all citizens. It also provided grants and technical support to local organizations focused on trauma counseling, mental health and family and sexual violence issues, as well as those advocating for related policy reform.

Impact

  • Provided funding and technical support to six Bougainville women’s organizations delivering mental health services and combating family and sexual violence
  • Supported local women’s organizations in creating a national Trauma Treatment Policy Framework, embraced by the government, to strengthen trauma counseling services
  • Provided trauma counseling services to 1,516 people, 501 of whom received counseling on gender-based violence
  • Broadcast radio announcements about gender equality violence prevention reaching 38,439 men and women in the remote central and southern regions
  • Provided leadership training to 30 youth activists
  • Held five public awareness sessions about gender issues for 310 community members

Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Partners

Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Collaborators: Bougainville Women’s Federation; Tunaniya Open Learning Centre; Buka General Hospital’s Family Support Centre; Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency; ABG Division of Community Development; the Women, Peace and Security Technical Working Group; the Family and Sexual Violence Technical Working Group; and the Mental Health Steering Group.

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