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Anti-violence group seeks Australian support

BY SALWAH KIRK

SOME PNG ATTITUDE READERS may be aware of the very active group called Papua New Guineans Against Domestic Violence (PNGADV) set up by Lydia Kailap and others.

Of the original group, only Lydia is still involved in a big way and she is doing extraordinary work on several fronts.

If you have looked at the PNGADV Facebook page recently, you'll have seen how the numbers are exploding, to the point that we are about to appoint a committee so we can become incorporated and begin to lobby and apply for grants.

The reason I'm writing is to ask if you could encourage the ex-Kiaps group to donate to PNGADV, and/or to join our page and help give comfort to the victims of domestic violence.

For people in Australia, we are about to set up a special centre for donations and in the meantime we can send money to Lydia for current projects. We have some pretty amazing people on board now and it's starting to get exciting.

We would love to be able to train Papua New Guineans in the skills of community recovery and reconciliation by way of scholarships, for instance, and I was thinking that if the ex-Kiap group could be persuaded to donate even just $2 each, that would amount to a tidy sum.

Lydia and Peter Kailap have started the Ricochet Cafe, which sells good quality, huge hamburgers at an affordable price. They got a bunch of street teenagers and trained them in cooking, cleanliness, customer relations and so on, and only in the ninth week were they able to pay them a partial wage.

The kids get fed, of course, and sleep at the cafe, partly to protect it and partly so they have a safe place to sleep. Once Ricochet is fully on its feet they hope to spread into clubs, so more kids can be trained and hopefully kept off the streets.

When you add this to the petitions, street demos and emergency responses the group has organised, you will see how it is gaining momentum.

I'll leave this request with you, to do what you can with. I'm the ex-wife of an ex-Kiap and my first son was born in Mt Hagen in 1969. I grieve at what has happened to this lovely country since independence.

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Salwah Kirk

Thank you Keith. Much appreciated.

You will be pleased to know that we have had two emergencies dealt with by our members, especially men, recently.

One was a young girl who was too afraid to leave one of the big malls because her former husband was waiting with his wantoks around the doors.

A 'posse' of PNGADV members literally went and rescued her. She is now lying low but is back at uni and feeling much better.

The other was the abduction of a high school girl. Our men formed groups and for several days patrolled the area where they knew she was being held, though unfortunately they couldn't find her.

The police were wonderful in this instance, and came in for a lot of praise.

After nearly a week the girl was found and her abductor apprehended. Members of PNGADV provided support to her parents and grandparents the whole time.

On both occasions, those involved made it clear that violence was not to be used and that only persuasion (no doubt pretty robust) was to be used.

Part of my pride in these activities is that some of the men involved are former abusers.

It's Lydia Kailap who has shown them that there are different ways to live. She is really amazing in what she does, and is an inspiration to all of us.

If you get the chance, contact her and get some more details on these two incidents as she knows far more that I do. I'm sure the ex-Kiaps would enjoy them.

auslima@spin.net.au

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