Julie Bishop launches ADRA PNG community empowerment project

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop with Florence of Naliut who shared her experience of ADRA PNG's literacy program. (Photo: ADRA PNG)

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An Adventist Development and Relief Agency (Papua New Guinea) community empowerment project was officially launched in Kavieng District, New Ireland Province, on March 21 by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

The ADRA PNG Inclusive Community Empowerment Project (ICEMP) will provide a clean water supply, greater resilience to climate change and improved adult literacy for more than 12,000 people.

The event was significant as it was the first time that a PNG Incentive Fund project has been officially launched in PNG by an Australian Federal Minister. The Incentive Fund provides grants to high-performing organisations to improve service delivery and provide economic opportunities for the people of Papua New Guinea. It is funded by the Australian Government.

Florence receives a hug from the Foreign Affairs Minister after sharing her story. (Photo: ADRA PNG)

The official launch included the signing of the project agreement by the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Bruce Davis, and ADRA PNG Board chairman and Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Pastor Kepsie Elodo.

Mrs Bishop was welcomed with a traditional New Ireland “singsing” and met with recipients of the project. She acknowledged the work of ADRA in PNG and expressed her passion to see more women and girls empowered in communities in Kavieng District with improved opportunities for learning and sustainable livelihoods.

ICEMP is a 30-month project that was developed closely with representatives of the local community, who identified key issues affecting the livelihoods of their villages, particularly for women and girls, including water and sanitation, literacy and climate change. Communities also proposed the integration of leadership and governance programs to promote more women into leadership roles with the goal of improving household income levels.

ADRA PNG acknowledged the support of the Australian Government, which provided a K3.7 million grant to the project. ADRA PNG is also grateful for the support of ADRA Australia in providing match funding and program effectiveness support.

Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Bruce Davis, and ADRA PNG Board chairman, Pastor Kepsie Elodo, sign the agreement.
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