Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Poro Support

The programme for this trip is fairly action-packed so finding time to write the blogs is an exercise in logistics itself and I am behind already!

Day one (yesterday) was spent visiting projects with NZ connections.

The second stop was the Save The Children Poro Support Project which provides a refuge and training place for Port Moresby’s sex-workers. The project focuses on providing information and training to new and established sex-workers and covers a range of topics including HIV/AIDS, safe-sex and self-defence.

The workers are often the victims of violence and have also faced discrimination from the Police and other groups – the project is helping build the raltionship between sex-workers and the police and volunteers from the project conduct ‘patrol’ of the areas known to be ‘hot-spots’ to keep an eye on the workers and monitor the numbers in each area.

The visit was a really positive introduction of how small NGO/community run project can make a difference to people who face significant challenges.

All the group spent a lot of time talking with the workers who were using the facilities and many had stories about violence, living on the streets and friends who had died as a result of HIV/AIDS.

Approximately 800 people are using the centre each month and the staff show such commitment and compassion for their project, it is easy to see why its considered such a success story.


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