Kup Women for Peace continue to promote peace building

Kup Women for Peace is a community-based organisation, based in Simbu Province, that has been working alongside formal and traditional structures of leadership to change attitudes about both violence and women’s roles in society since 1999.

May 2, 2023

Ms. Angela Apa, President of Kup Women for Peace group

Lydia Kaia | UNDP Papua New Guinea

Kup Women for Peace is a recognised and respected partner in the informal coalition of people addressing family and sexual violence and sorcery accusation related violence, engaged in peacebuilding, and promoting and protecting women’s rights and security. 

They form a strong group of advocates who play a critical role promoting peace building, reducing conflict as well as raising awareness and action against Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Sorcery Accusation Related Violence (SARV).In January 2023, the CBO reunited a little girl with her family after two years of separation, and after extensive work facilitated to halt a tribal conflict between two warring tribes in Papua New Guinea’s Chimbu Province. 

This are just two examples of conflict Kup Women for Peace have been able to resolve at the community level, which has been made possible with grant funding from the Department for Community Development and Religion (DFCDR), in partnership with UNDP.

In December 2022, they joined 12 other civil society organisations (CSOs) as recipients of grants to support to address GBV and SARV at the community level.

This support is co-funded by the National Government and UNDP through the EU-funded Spotlight Initiative to End Violence Against Women and Girls. Notably, in 2022, DFCDR was allocated 7.93 million Kina for the first time ever to address GBV and SARV through partnerships with CSOs. Providing direct grants to CSOs who already have the networks and knowledge to effectively engage with local communities is a major part of DFCDR’s strategy to address GBV more effectively and SARV. 

Ms. Angela Apa, a Human Rights Defender and President for the group, said the support allowed them to engage and lobby for leaders from the provincial government to act.

In the case of the fighting between the Damba tribe between the Kombtnagike and Mingaku clan from Jimi during an election dispute in July 2022. This was further aggravated by a dispute resulting in armed confrontations between the neighbouring communities. The conflict led to intense fight, loss of property, disrupting schools, destroying food gardens and forcing markets to a close limiting income generating opportunities for families.

“My officers and I were able to pay a visit and access the living conditions of the 26 families affected by the conflict from the Jimi side. We were appalled by what we saw, and it was sad to see the rise in sickness, skin infections and poor nutrition. Women and children were affected the most”, said Angela. 

“Luckily, the crisis response funds allowed us to respond to this need. We were able to purchase food, medicine, and much needed supplies to the families.” 

Angela and her team were then able to get the support from provincial leaders who attended the event with pigs, and food was exchanged between the two tribes. 

Kup Women for Peace CBO continues to conduct awareness raising programmes and projects which helped to bring peace and reconciliation among the communities.

These women emphasise that while the perpetrators of violence are mostly men, there are many fathers and sons who disagree with the violence and who stand up to stop it.

In another case a 5-year-old girl was brought to Chimbu from Lae, Morobe Province. She was left homeless after her guardian passed. She moved from home to home before she was taken in by a good Samaritan and her son who reached out to Angela and her team. 

After almost two years, with the help of Family PNG, Lae Police’s Family Sexual Violence Unit and KWP, she was returned to her parents.  It was a bittersweet moment as she embraced her mother surrounded by all these women who had come together to ensure her return.

She has been receiving care and support from the Angau Memorial Hospital and the Family Support Centre.

Angela says that KWP have been able to support these two significant incidents with the grants funding made available in December 2022 and will continue activities to respond to SARV and GBV. 

KWP will continue to contribute to improved coordination of referral services and capacity building of quality support services to survivors of violence against women and girls and those accused of sorcery and their dependent family members. Their efforts have been bolstered by the ssupport provided under the grant.