As we wave goodbye to a year that has seen tragedy and terror, it’s worth reminding ourselves that for every awful global event, there have been many acts, on a small and large scale, that remind us of the power and generosity of the human spirit
Papua New Guinea
VSO volunteer Charlie Taylor from Totnes in South Devon returned from Papua New Guinea in the summer of 2015 after two years helping strengthen community-based organisations of people living with HIV.
Here Charlie explains how his amazing volunteer experience has impacted his life and given him a totally different perspective on his home.
VSO Papua New Guinea has just received funding for four volunteer roles working in Tari, a remote part of the highlands famed for its bountiful birds of paradise and Huli wigmen, whose tribal dress includes large headdresses woven from human hair. As we seek to fill a number of urgent vacancies for positions strengthening healthcare in Papua New Guinea, we explore what it means to volunteer in this incredibly diverse island nation.
Catherine Bedford is VSO volunteer, working as a Psychiatric Nurse in Papua New Guinea where the rates of violence against women are amongst the highest in the world for a country not a war. She’s delivering psychological first aid and trauma counselling to survivors often with the barebones of tools and resources. Here are a selection of personal snaps and thoughts that detail her life on the Island.
The rates of violence against women in Papua New Guinea are amongst the highest in the world for a country not at war. Despite the regularity of severe attacks, particularly within the family, services to support survivors are few and far between. Robyn Borausiki, 25, is a social worker at Modilon Hospital in Medang where she works alongside VSO volunteer Catherine Bedford, a psychiatric nurse. Robyn is offering survivors a range of psychosocial care, treatment and practical support in their Family Support Centre, giving women who previously suffered in silence a chance to change their circumstances. She explains how she became a champion for women's wellbeing.
Carol Abiri Leo from Papua New Guinea is a language lecturer at Divine Word University in Madang. In association with VSO, she - like hundreds of other teachers around the globe - will be helping to communicate the new Global Goals to seven billion people over seven days. Here she explains how....
The rates of violence against women in Papua New Guinea are amongst the highest in the world for a country not at war. In the highland regions virtually every women suffers from domestic violence and throughout the country a shocking one of every two women has been raped. Councillor Peterson Kalip and Apelis Kunubake are two men trying to put an end to this.
VSO Volunteer Catherine Bedford usually works at Modilon General Hospital in Papua New Guinea, offering care and psycho social support to women who have experienced routine physical and sexual violence. Temporarily switching her post for a place at the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Catherine reports on how civil society organisations are demanding that the needs of people living in poverty are met by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Volunteer Elles Blanken finds out what it is really like to work and speak at the UN, and has 120 seconds in which to sum up a plea to bolster women's decision-making power through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
From the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the concrete jungle of Manhattan, Dutch VSO volunteer Elles Blanken starts her series of blog posts about travelling to the UN this week to speak at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post 2015 Framework.