Yumi Sanap Strong is a community led initiative to support the implementation of the PNG Sorcery Accusation Related Violence National Action Plan (SARVNAP). The initiative and action research project is supported through the Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership and implemented by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and University of Goroka in partnership with four community based organisations: Kafe Urban Settlers’ Women’s Association (KUSWA), Goroka; Kup Women for Peace, Simbu; Kedu Seif Haus, Milne Bay and Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation, Bougainville.
Sorcery and witchcraft beliefs are part of everyday life in Papua New Guinea. They have been used to explain some of the good and bad things that happen to people but they have also been used to manage power structures within communities. Today, some of these traditional systems of managing society are being abused for personal gains. Sorcery accusations and violence associated with it often occur due to structural inequalities that people are facing, impacting on the most vulnerable of society.
The Yumi Sanap Strong project seeks to better understand the causes, impacts and solutions around sorcery accusation related violence. A media analysis of newspaper stories on sorcery and witchcraft undertaken by QUT showed that the voices and stories of Human Rights Defenders are not represented much in the mainstream media. The Yumi Sanap Strong Initiative seeks to bring their voices into the public sphere and have their stories inspire other individuals and communities.
Human rights defenders from Papua New Guinea produced photographs and stories which they use for advocacy and education. The stories demonstrate, through the brave leadership of the human rights defenders, how change emerges from within communities and how individual and community-led initiatives can be used to highlight the importance of valuing human life. Here, women collective movements have played a key role in addressing violence in communities.
The Initiative Yumi Sanap Strong captures
- Standing up against sorcery accusation related violence
- Dealing with the impacts of sorcery accusation related violence and talking about the issue
- Harnessing the collective strength of the community
- Valuing human life
We invite you to become part of Yumi Sanap Strong and get involved in our advocacy work.