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Learn more about MercyWorks
Mount Hagen/Goroka

Mercy Works

PNG - Mount Hagen/Goroka - MercyWorks



Papua New Guinea is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse countries in the world, and the country suffers from a shortage of medical staff and a weak justice system. It is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. The ABC  (Nov 4 2015) reported that more than two thirds of PNG women have experienced family violence. In some parts of the country, 80% of men admit to perpetrating sexual violence against their partner.

Culturally, it’s a patrilineal society, whatever the man asks, the woman has to submit. There is a cultural tradition where a man intending to marry must pay a bride price – culturally this carries with it a perception of ownership of both his bride and children.


Current Asian Development Bank statistics reveal that:


  • 26.3% of the population lives below the poverty line:

  • for every 1000 babies born, 45 die before their first birthday:

  • only 19 in 100 people use improved sanitation facilities.


The Projects


Mercy Works Goroka/Mt Hagen focuses on youth, their families and communities by raising awareness through life and skills training in areas including Human Rights, Reproductive Health (including STI’s and HIV/AIDS), Addictions and Anger Management, Domestic Violence Prevention, Budgeting, Positive Parenting, Gender Equality and Leadership, sporting programs and the creation of markets for income generation.  A drop-in and referral centre is central to the program with emotional support offered. Sessions are held at two local prisons with the women, men and juveniles focusing on life and skills training activities.  The program began in Goroka in April 2006 and Mt Hagen in 2007.


What is Lenity Australia’s involvement?


Lenity Australia is funding a community development program to develop and implement life and skills training to alleviate poverty, unemployment, crime and violence which have escalated due to the movement of people to urban areas where severe living circumstances prevail. The funding specifically targets:


  • life skills and training in prisons, villages and town settlements;

  • support group for street people - for youth to include life skills, training and sport, people living with disabilities and the elderly;

  • drop in and referral centre:

  • creating markets for income generation:

  • repatriation of prisoners:

  • use of media (radio programs) and targeted days of activism to raise awareness of local and global issues affecting the communities.


Lenity Australia is committed to the work of Mercy Works Goroka/Mt Hagen.  Papua New Guinea, where only a minority of people have access to basic services, ranks poorly on the Human Development Index.  The Mercy Works PNG Project was launched in 2006, and has been operating successfully ever since.  Prior to that, the Sisters of Mercy have had a presence in Papua New Guinea since 1956.


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