Enhancing Community Capacity to Sustain Peace and Development in Hela Province
Port Moresby – Guala, Tigibi, and Kikita 2 communities in Hela province have successfully launched their Community Peace for Development Plans (CPDP) to build peace and strengthen development at the local level.
Government staff and community members thanked the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the technical support in facilitating the development of the CPDPs. They expressed gratitude to the financial assistance from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund that made the development, launch, and execution of the CPDPs a success.
“We are settled in this community after suffering from three conflicts that displaced several people and destroyed our properties. It is with great joy to receive support from various organizations to drive our peacebuilding and restoration efforts,” said Mary Tapo, Kikita 2 women’s representative.
Before developing the plans, IOM worked in partnership with the Hela Provincial Government and the churches and identified that Guala, Tigibi, and Kikita 2 communities who were affected by conflict and displacement needed to nurture peace and development at the local level.
John Puni, the Ward Councilor for Kikita 2 said, “I am part of the CPDP work from the time it started here because I want our community to embrace peace and development. Our community needed a school, and we prioritized the construction of a classroom block in our plan.”
Constructed within Kikita 2 and with the support of women, men, and youth who provided local resources, the newly built classroom offers a decent and safe learning space for the students.
“Children had to walk long distances to attend school and no longer need to walk such long distances to go to school. Our plan is working,” Puni added.
President of Hulia Local Level Government, Michael Malingi, pledged his support of PKG5,000 (approximately USD1,500) to support the Tigibi community in implementing peace initiatives captured in their CPDP. He thanked IOM and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund for assisting communities in Hela with materials to build Community Resource Centres.
“A number of people, especially women and children, sought refuge in Tigibi when they were confronted by conflict and tribal violence. The Tigibi community continues to assist displaced mothers and children and work towards promoting peace. It is fitting to have a Community Resource Centre for the benefit of many of our people,” said Malingi. “This is a great model to build and maintain peace, and I will continue to engage with the government and partners to pilot this approach in other council wards,” he added.