JOYCE Bay Tingim Laip Project site in Port Moresby and 35 other sites in the country launched their collection of success stories regarding their HIV-prevention and behaviour change activities yesterday.
The Tingim Laip: Success Stories from Papua New Guinea book, was launched by the Parliamentary HIV/AIDS committee chairman Jamie Maxtone-Graham in Port Moresby.
Joyce Bay, formerly known as the Horse Camp of Sabama, was a neighbourhood that was notorious for crimes such as car thefts, rape, violence and many others.
But since joining the Tingim Laip Project under the leadership of former bad boy Don Ole in 2004, the group had succeeded in reducing the crime levels.
The group does social mapping to identify high risk areas in the community, volunteers to work with the community by giving awareness on better living and involving the youths in all their activities.
Joyce Bay site committee member, Nellie Gelam, said that their first activity was to set up sporting events and venues to bring their youths together.
Ms Gelam said after this, they began to identify criminals and got them to take a more active role in their activities.
Next was the introduction to HIV awareness for peer education, music and behaviour change activities.
She said these activities proved to be successful that six months later, police cars became a rare sight in the neighbourhood, which was then that they changed their community name from Horse Camp to Joyce Bay.
Ms Gelam said that with so many youths getting involved, they were now advancing their programmes to hosting coffee nights and schools for the youths.
With the help of Family Health International (FHI), the success stories from these nationwide sites have now been documented to produce this first of its kind book.
FHI PNG country director Nayer Kaviani said that the Tingim Laip Project, an AusAID initiative, worked in partnership with Burnet Institute, Save the Children and World Vision to provide a bottom-up approach to communicating behaviour change projects.
This includes learning-by-doing approach to building a national network of communities or settings throughout the country identified as high risk settings or hotspots.
Mrs Kaviani said each of these settings were then managed by community-based ‘site committees’ to mobilise, train and offer onsite activities to help communities manage their HIV response, increase use of condoms, refer people to clinics for diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, increase voluntary counselling and testing and provide referrals for HIV care and support.