Archive for October, 2011
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
In Samoa, a Bill to prevent violence against women and children has been presented to Cabinet.
Currently domestic violence comes under the Crimes Ordinance Act.
But the Family Safety Bill aims to give more power to police, health officials and educators to prevent violence and rehabilitate victims.
Samoa’s Victim Support Group provides rehabilitation for victims of domestic violence.
Speaker:Lina Chang, president, Victim Support Group
- Listen: Windows Media
CHANG: How Victim Support looks at this bill, the only way that it will help us it broaden our work. At the moment, Victim S upport is very involved with domestic violence and rehabilitation, but with the bill coming along, we are hoping that with all the awareness that’s going on in Samoa at the moment for ……?? we will manage to convince our people to have a different mind set, to have a change on this, because if there is not a change in thinking, then it wouldn’t be cool to have this violence bill out, but at the same time, people in Samoa are well aware of the awareness that is going on for prevention of domestic violence in families and in homes.
COUTTS: Lina, in what way would you like to see peoples thinking change?
CHANG: Well, remember that due to the before it was good, it was OK that there is violence, there was violence, and at the moment, there will always be violence. But the only way that we’re looking at is that people to be educated of the importance of having this bill around. To us over here, we are looking forward to have this bill passed in parliament, so that we will be able to take over further and broaden the views of the people. What Victim Support is doing at the moment is we’re going back to the grassroot levels and that is through the villages and families. For your information, Australia at the moment, Victim Support will be doing a fun day for all families of Samoa on the 29th and that is Saturday and the message that we’re giving out is the same as we’re giving out for this Saturday and the fun day is for all families to come together building stronger families and to prevent domestic violence within families and we’re still here active and alive taking the message out.
COUTTS: Well how will the Family Safety Bill help the victims that you see of domestic violence?
CHANG: Victims of domestic violence are everywhere, not only through assault, abuse, but verbal abuse and they’re everywhere. So and we know that if we are not out there with our families, the violence will still be.
COUTTS: But it also gives more power to police. What will they be able to do now?
CHANG: Well, the police will still carry on their work as usual, meaning with the powers as well there’s a lot of powers for them now, and hopefully those powers will be used wisely.
COUTTS: When do you expect the Family Safety Bill might come into operation, when will it be passed?
CHANG: There’s a lot of lobbying going on for that bill and hopefully it should be passed before the end of this year.
Source: Radio Australia- Pacific Beat
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
In Papua New Guinea, a group of women have walked the Kokoda Trail to raise awareness of breast cancer. Along the way they met local women to talk about the disease and hand out early detection cards. The walk was organised by the Port Moresby Cancer Relief Society to raise money and awareness for the country’s fourth most common disease.
Speaker:Laura Davison, an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development
- Listen:Windows Media
DAVISON: We walked the entire thing in seven days, so it was quite challenging in a way, but we all made it across the finish line, so yeah, it’s great to be home.
COUTTS: Alright, you were there to promote awareness of breast cancer. How did you go about that along the walk that you did on the Kokoda Trail?
DAVISON: Well along the way, when you stopped for lunch or along the track,, when you sleep at night you’re often quite close to a village. So every time we stopped near a village, we would go and speak to someone in charge and someone that knew what was going on and try and gather up the women that were there and we took turns in speaking with them and handing out our early detection cards and we just had really casual conversations with them about breast cancer, if they knew about it already, if they knew someone who had been affected by it and then we spoke to them about how they actually detect it early on and what would be best for them to do if they did find something.
COUTTS: How familiar were the women in the communities with the concept of lumps and early detection and breast cancer?
DAVISON: It varied from village to village. We visited a few villages where they already knew someone who had had a sickness involving their breast and the way they described it often was well, they had a lump, they thought it was a cyst and they did nothing about it and eventually it grew and became very, very sore and when they went to see a doctor, they told them it was cancer and by then it was too late for them to do anything and they passed away. So actually speaking to them about being able to identify any of those changes early on was a fairly new concept for most of the women, except for the women we visited last year. We visited a few along the way that did remember us. But yeah, actually teaching people that you can find that early and you can actually treat it. It was a bit of a new idea for them, so it was a tricky one to get their heads around, but I think that our message did work well in the end.
COUTTS: Pardon me. How welcoming were the women in the communities that you visited, because it’s a fairly sensitive issue, isn’t it?
DAVISON: Yeah, it is. I mean they’re just like us. You start talking about breasts and things and everyone has a little bit of a giggle, but I’ve never seen such a welcoming group of people as I did along that track. As soon as you say to them, we just want to talk to you about a health issue. They’ll around and round up everyone that they can that can be involved in that for the day and they just sit there and just stare at you so eager for information. They’re really engaged in everything we have to say and they really did want to learn, so that was really encouraging for us.
COUTTS: Given the number of languages that Papua New Guinea has. It probably has one of the countries with the most languages, was that an issue or did you just stick to Pidgin?
DAVISON: It was an issue. We used to Pidgin the whole way along the track, which was I think more of an issue for me than anyone else, but yeah, we used Pidgin and most of the women understand Pidgin. There were a few younger women that may be weren’t so good at the Pidgin, and a few of the very older women that weren’t so good at it, but there were women who could understand Pidgin and then translated for us, so it worked well in the end.
COUTTS: And were they asking you questions, what sorts of questions were they that they did?
DAVISON: Yep, they asked a variety of questions and the questions were actually became quite technical, so it was very good that we had a doctor on hand. But they were so eager to learn. I mean they were asking us questions. So one of the things we recommend is that you check yourself every month after your period, and they wanted to know why that was and why that was the best time and they were really interested in the actual technique and also they wanted to know what they could do if they did find anything, because obviously being in such remote locations, it’s difficult for them to then go on and find doctors. We had to identify to them the community’s health workers and you can go and see them and they might refer you to someone else.
COUTTS: You said you met up with some women who remembered you from, not you personally, but the group from last year. Were they able to compare notes as to how enduring the early detection message was?
DAVISON: Yeah, they were, because it’s unfortunate, but that women who remembered from last year, that was one of the group, they remembered that ladies came though and they remembered the message and they’d sort of given up on it halfway through the year, so they’d stopped testing themselves which is the same thing that we all do no matter what country we come from. If you don’t have a constant reminder, you tend to forget about it and not think it’s important. So one of the things we try to battle that this year is to print the early detection cards that we have. They’re actually printed on indestructible canvas, so and we put them up in the villages along the way and hopefully they’ll act as a constant reminder for the women and we also engaged community health workers on the road,to continue to promote the message for us. So we’re hoping that we’ll have a greater affect this year.
COUTTS: Laura, it’s a double edge sword for you. The message that was being put out and also the walk itself. Can I ask you what was the most memorable moment or situation was for you?
DAVISON: To me, the most memorable moment was the carriers on the trip. So we went with a company called Get Away Trekking and they stage about 40 local men to grow, look after, we’re quite a big group. And halfway through the trek, they came up to us and they said, look, we’re doing this really great thing and we’re carrying all this awareness material for you, but you haven’t spoken to us yet. Can you please come and speak to us about it? We really want to learn. So we sat in their sleeping area one night and they were absolutely engaged with us. They asked us a million questions and they wanted to know if it could affect men, what do they go home and tell their mothers and their sisters and daughters and why we weren’t in their villages doing it. So that to me was a really fascinating that they were so eager to be involved in it.
Source: Radio Australia- Pacific Beat
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