Papua New Guinea
VSO has worked in Papua New Guinea since 1960. Our current strategy focuses on strengthening the capacity of our development partners (government and non-governmental) to improve the quality, delivery and access of services, mainly in the area of education and health.
Women and girls, disabled people and people living with HIV and AIDs are our main target groups and we aim to ensure they are included in all of our planning, activities and reviews. We also try to focus on remote rural areas where service provision has historically been poor.
Our main priority in education is to support the implementation of universal basic education so that all children in PNG complete nine years of free, quality education. We support the quality of education and education management in elementary, primary and secondary schools. We work alongside national and provincial level divisions of education, schools, teacher training institutions and standards officers. Our volunteers are working to support in-service and pre-service teacher training across a range of universities and teacher training colleges. VSO is becoming more involved in national policies and curriculum development and the inclusion of children and young people with disabilities in mainstream education.
Our aim is to increase access to quality health services, particularly sexual and reproductive health, and to improve service delivery for people living with disabilities. Our volunteers are working with Provincial AIDS Councils to ensure the coordination of relevant responses and also to enhance national monitoring of sexually transmitted infections and the HIV epidemic. We are also supporting disabled peoples organisations to advocate for the rights of disabled people and hope to build on our long history of developing physiotherapy services in PNG with a new focus on community-based rehabilitation.
VSO Papua New Guinea is developing new partnerships and programmes to support the national response to mitigate the impact of family and sexual violence. Focussing on the prevention and treatment of sexual violence, these programmes will also support the coordination and integration of services at national and provincial level.
Severe gender inequality exists in PNG. Women and girls are disadvantaged in numerous ways, mother and child mortality is high and educational enrolment rates for girls are low. So, addressing gender inequity is at the core of our work in health and education.
We also address gender inequality through our advocacy work to increase women’s participation and influence in political life and decision-making forums in PNG. Our volunteers are working with national women’s groups and women’s rights organisations, helping to build their capacity to support the participation and influence of women in public life.
Environment, conservation and climate change
PNG is one of the most diverse countries in the world – not only culturally and linguistically – but also geographically and ecologically. The vast majority of people live in rural communities and livelihoods are often linked to natural resources and the environment. We are currently exploring how to support partners and programmes to conserve natural resources, land and marine environment, for future generations.
Get in touch with VSO Papua New Guinea at:
PO Box 1061, Madang, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea