24 Nov 2010

After fire, Bougainville NGO back on track

4:10 pm on 24 November 2010

An NGO working in the Papua New Guinea autonomous province of Bougainville says a destructive fire earlier this month hasn't stopped its work.

The offices of the Leitana Nehan Women's Agency, which campaigns against domestic violence, had its offices burnt to the ground.

It is now in temporary accommodation after receiving help from organisations like New Zealand's Volunteer Service Abroad.

It's director, Helen Hakena, says, since the fire, they've also had a lot of local support with more men signing up to their advocacy programmes.

Ms Hakena says this will be apparent during tomorrow's White Ribbon Day parade, which aims to encourage men to speak out about violence towards women.

"This year it's more significant. Because of the fire. We were really surprised to see more male advocates coming in for training last week - a five day training on human rights - and tomorrow we will be commissioning them to be defenders of human rights, particularly women's rights. And they have all vowed to eliminate violence against women, so tomorrow they will be coming in full force to celebrate the White Ribbon Day. It's time men speak out on violence against women."