Child Protection awareness for West Papuans
Rainbow, Port Moresby: A General Child Protection Awareness program was conducted at the Rainbow Refugee Camp of the West Papuans that had more than 50 families present on Monday 23rd August.
It was the first of its kind and was hosted by the Right Relationship in Ministry of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands together with Mr. Olaf Wayangkauw, the leader of the camp who arranged to gather the people for this awareness.
The program began with an opening prayer led by RR Secretary, Sr Ancy John SCSA. This was followed by the presentation on Child Protection.
The first part of the presentation focused on what and who is a child with an explanation on every child being a precious gift and an absolute blessing of God to their parents. This precious gift, the child has to be loved, cared for and protected well. The parents have the responsibility of taking care of their children from the time of conception. It includes physical, mental and spiritual needs of the child are met within accord with the family-parents capacity.
The session continued on with what child protection is and why it is needed. Children who are in need of protection, types of abuses and it’s impacts on children; the significant factors like family, parents, peer groups, neighbours, environment and the wider community has a great contribution to children in their personal growth, behaviours and attitudes.
Action as a community is needed to help each other for child protection. The protection for every child regardless of all the differences. Everyone has an obligation to protect the children under the age of 18 years old as good community. Our focus is CHILD and so let us create a safe environment, a safe home, a safe community, a safe school, a safe society and a safe nation, we protect our children from danger and harm.
“I usually discipline my children with love and care, but I also acknowledge that there are so many issues that affect our children’s development including child protection matters”, one participant stated.
“Despite our struggles and suffering situation as refugees or displaced people, we still try our best to protect our children from any kinds of crimes and abuse. Situation cannot change us, but only we, as human persons or as a community can change the situation,” said another participant.
The leaders of the camp acknowledged that the Catholic Church has been in the forefront to assist West Papuans in Education and Awareness.