Digicel Papua New Guinea (PNG) Foundation commits to launching and funding the Man of Honor Awards campaign, which aims to break the cycle of violence by focusing on positive behavior. Papua New Guinean men have been vilified for decades but there are men who alleviate suffering and preserve human dignity. Very little, if anything at all, has been done to acknowledge these men or help the struggling ones in the country. Through the Men of Honor Campaign, Digicel PNG Foundation will encourage communities to identify role models and positive behavior, to look within their communities to nominate ordinary men doing extraordinary things.
Men of Honor are those who act in meaningful ways to foster respect, encourage healthy relationships, and create positive opportunities for people. They strengthen their families, communities, and workplaces. Men of Honor respect the humanity of vulnerable children and adults, particularly women.
With over 800 different languages in PNG, the nominations form is designed to be simple. Digicel PNG presently has 2.3 million subscribers in Papua New Guinea, and the growth of social media has been exponential. The Men of Honor Facebook page will allow the public to see the number of nominations and give timely feedback and commentary. With poor literacy levels in PNG, the Men of Honor campaign will be advertised on local radios stations using core trading languages: English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu.
There are five categories and an overall Man of Honor. The categories are: 1). Community Ingenuity Award, 2). Sporting Mentor Award, 3). Community Entrepreneur Award, 4). Community Education Champion, 5) Community Leadership Award. The 2014 Man Of Honour Award / Trupla Man Of The Year Award will be awarded to the most outstanding male citizen who has championed conflict resolution, making his community safe, protecting women and children and assuring their safety.
Six winners will be awarded at a Gala in March 2015. These winners will be tapped in an awareness campaign the following year to be male advocates. The winners will share their testimonies and advocate against violence in 10 High Schools and 5 tertiary institutions in 2015. There will be TV appearances and an audience with the Prime Minister and his government and lessons to be shared with other players in the gender based violence space.
At the core of the Digicel PNG Foundation's work is joining philanthropy and business to work with communities across the country to provide local answers to local issues.
August 18, 2014 - Launch of Man of Honor Campaign
August 18, 2014 - Nominations Open
August 25, 2014 - Drumming up support through the National Capital District & Central Province with a Road Show
September 1, 2014 - USSD Strings announcements commence
September 8, 2014 - Support for the program by UNICEF Country Director
September 15, 2014 - Testimonial Endorsement by Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on Independence Eve
September 22, 2014 - 1st Social Media update (a press release)
September 29, 2014 - Press Conference with the Judges - Number of Nominations Received to date
October 6, 2014 - Drumming up support through the highlands with a Road Show
October 13, 2014 - A Child's perspective (a press release)
October 20, 2014 - Drumming up support through the Niugini Islands with a Road Show
October 27, 2014 - 2nd Social Media update (a press release)
November 3, 2014 - Patron of the Awards, Governor of NCD
November 10, 2014 - A Teacher's perspective (a press release)
November 17, 2014 - Drumming up support through the Momase Region with a Road Show
November 24, 2014 - 3rd Social Media update (a press release)
December 1, 2014 - A Mother's perspective (a press release)
December 8, 2014 - Last Call for Nominations
December 15, 2014 - A young Youth's testimony
December 22, 2014 - Press Conference on the Nominations received to date
Every week from the launch, nomination forms received will be sorted in categories for the Judges.
March 14, 2015 - Gala Night
By 2015, Digicel Foundation PNG will engage its Men of Honor Winners in advocacy campaigns across PNG with visits to communities and education institutions and PR events through the year until their 'reign' is handed to the following years winners.
Family and sexual violence is cause for concern in Papua New Guinea and has disastrous consequences on personal wellbeing and public health. To provide some context on Papua New Guinea (PNG), it is one of the world's most heterogeneous countries with a population of 7 million people, according to a 2012 estimate, and over 800 different languages with as many tribes whose cultures are as diverse as their beliefs. Out of the 187 countries listed on the 2012 United National Development Program (UNDP) Gender Inequality Index, PNG ranks at 156, placing it in the bottom 10 per cent of countries worldwide.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Ms Rashida Manjoo, who visited PNG in March 2012, 'gender violence is endemic throughout the country. It is a public health crisis, as well as a humanitarian crisis'. In a March 2012 study by M?decins Sans Fronti?res, 67% of women report experiencing violence. This figure rises to a staggering 90% in some remote Highlands communities. 80% of children experience some form of physical, verbal and sexual abuse.
In February 2013, PNG's Health Minister Michael Malabag revealed that 68% or more than 2.3 million women in PNG have experienced violence. One third, or 1.13 million, were subjected to rape and 17% of sexual abuse involved girls between the ages 13 and 14. And suggestions were that the figures were even higher as numbers of were based on reported cases.
Sexual and gender-based violence has severe consequences for victims, affecting family members, communities and the country as a whole. It impacts the lives of women, accounting for physical, emotional and behavioural damage (such as drug and alcohol use, depression, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress, suicide and medical problems such as reproductive/sexual health disorders etc.).
Inroads are being made to address the problem. For example, the Government of Papua New Guinea passed the Family Protection Bill in September 2013 making domestic violence a criminal offence. The unanimous support for the bill signified strong political will to reduce the high rates of violence against women in the country.
The Men of Honor Campaign requires financial support in a few areas. Above the line awareness and Road Shows in rural emote communities where 85% of the population reside. Logistics to bring finalists in for panel interviews and to fly Judges out to visit the finalist in their communities to gather firsthand information where the finalist works and resides. Mainstream media support and social media support is also appreciated to give our program and the winners and nominees some airtime, starting a chain of community conversations. Most importantly, the endorsement of an international personality will give its program credibility.
Digicel PNG Foundation shares best practice information with its core partners in Government (the Department of Health, Education and Community Development) as well as and development agencies like UNICEF.