Restoring Dignity

Restoring Dignity

The Problem.

HIV / AIDs  – Still destroying Lives and destroying Dignity in PNG

In Papua New Guinea, HIV/AIDS is a continuing and sadly a growing problem, causing many issues in families and their communities.  Many lives, especially young people and children are being impacted due to this epidemic – with HIV orphans on the rise every year.  Numbers are likely to be well underreported but most recent data reports a HIV prevalence among the general population was near 1% and up to 17.8% in some select ‘at risk’ groups1. Over 95% of HIV cases in the Pacific are reported from Papua New Guinea.2

The impact of HIV in PNG is vast, causing devastation to health, disconnection amongst families and communities, destruction of dignity and the human heart.

PNG is a nation made up of many tribes whose culture in the past provided safety for those orphaned or sick. With the HIV epidemic, ignorance and fear has turned families away from supporting their own loved ones.  Now children are finding themselves abandoned and isolated, needing care, treatment and safe, loving homes.  It is estimated that perhaps 1,200 children are born HIV positive every year.

HIV is a condition that sadly continues to poorly understood and managed in PNG. Those affected (or even suspected have HIV) are faced with a daily dose of fear, shame, rejection, isolation, depression, social stigma, low self-esteem, neglect, abandonment and death.  What’s worse than a negative physical outcome are those who are already dead inside while living – those who have lost all hope.

There are many reasons why HIV is on the rise in PNG while in neighbouring countries it is in decline. An ambulance officer working in PNG and seeing many cases day in and day out stated “rape is like a national sport in PNG” and “not only by strangers but many times within families”.  These sad realties along with ignorance of hygiene and sexual health measures, promiscuity, infidelity and prostitution around big centres like Port Moresby – it is no wonder the epidemic is on the rise.

Moreover, current treatments are many times poorly managed and often ineffective without sound education and follow up.  Australian Doctors International (2016), have identified that:

  • PNG has one doctor per 17,068 people, compared to 20 per 20,000 in Fiji and one per 302 in Australia.
  • Health expenditure is US$49 per capita, compared to $107 in the Solomon Islands, $154 in Fiji and $4,775 in Australia.
  • Based on our own iCare4U survey/study of “pregnant women newly diagnosed with HIV at Port Moresby General Hospital over a six month period”(data collected as we give iCare packs to those women) we found there were an incredible 105 new registrations! And these results are from only one hospital in Port Moresby.


Estimated number of people living with HIV in 2014 Estimated number of new HIV infections in 2015 Number of people on antiretroviral therapy in 2015
37000 2000 18 342


*This could be done as a “strip” with the stats done in a better graphic or whatever your team thinks will look bestJ

  1. Kelly, A., Kupul, M., Man, W.Y.N., et. al. (2011) Askim na save (Ask and understand): People who sell and/or exchange sex in Port Moresby. Key Quantitative Findings. Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research and the University of New South Wales: Sydney, Australia.
  2. Global AIDS Response Reporting Papua New Guinea 2015.

The Solution.

Restoring Dignity, Health and Life! (and the Care factorJ)

iCare4U aims to advocate and act to provide genuinely caring and holistic care for those within the community that are impacted by HIV. This includes offering:

  • Immediate and ongoing care to children orphaned or abandoned by their communities suffering the impacts of HIV.
  • Immediate care and ongoing sustainable solutions to women diagnosed as HIV+ who face severe stigmatisation and exclusion from family and community and need a safe place to receive treatment and personal restoration.
  • Immediate care and support (even while still in hospital) to young women recently sexually assaulted by a stranger or family member and who may have contracted HIV through the exchange
  • Temporary housing, meals and care plus medical – life skills training, emotional and spiritual rehabilitation for the “whole” person at our iCare4U Community & Respite Centre on our iCare4U property in Gereka PNG (in the making – works starting early 2017).
  • Free Community training for those “at risk” or already affected by HIV and/or domestic violence at hospitals, schools and various community groups
  • Linking local PNG and International groups, other NGO’s and individuals to the cause of seeing an end to the HIV and dignity destruction epidemic in PNG!

iCare4U also recognises the need to support communities in understanding through education and practical measures to be able to accept and provide sustainable long term support within the community, allowing people (and even orphans) to remain in or return to their family/community units.

At iCare4U we believe (and already see) that we (+ You!) can make a massive difference to help individuals rebuild their identity, restore their dignity and release hope back into their lives.  Small changes (and even small change) can have massive impact!

The Fix

Step 1 – Engage

Engage with and be amongst the local community
(Our BUILD project for our HIV and DV Respite and Community centre is underway and needs your help!)
Meet and Connect with the women, men and children newly infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Engage with the local medical community, hospitals and existing HIV support groups
Engage Govt. organisations, churches, community groups and partner NGO’s to bring resource and access to individuals who need support and resources where they are needed.

Step 2 – Empower

The individual –medically, emotional and spiritual rehabilitation, financially
Parents and families to care for their HIV+ child
Communities and Families -Teach life skills, educate and teach ways to break the cycle of poverty in finances and thinking

Step 3 – Educate

Individual and group training
Training to Volunteers
Women’s groups
Church groups
HIV+ support groups

YOU CAN make a difference!

To be a part of any of the above life giving and life changing Steps – it’s as easy as clicking the ‘iCare’ button.  You can then choose what part you want to play to show you care. You can ‘iCare to Donate’ or ‘iCare to Volunteer’ or ‘iCare to Donate services’ on any number of our projects.

Alternatively you can click the button to just learn more and then email us on to answer any questions or work with any ideas you have on getting involved.


At 17 years old she finds herself pregnant with a new diagnosis of HIV combination TB. Her hopes for tomorrow are drowned out by the sudden reality she finds herself in. Decisions she did not make for herself have lead her to this point, All of a sudden the shame and guilt is too real, too much.The grief weighs heavily upon her as she struggles to grips a new understanding in where she finds herself.
Family offer little to no support…in fact she is to hide her new diagnosis from them. It is a secret, her mother says, for if they find out we could not bare to live with the isolation and shame it would bring.
What future is there for me, she thinks. How can i ever recover from this. How will my unborn child ever survive. In fact, with the future I can offer, this child would be better off dead.
This, unfortunately, is the reality of many young women living with the impact of HIV her in PNG today. Little to no support from those they call family and no future to offer their children. iCare4U is here to help reach these women with new hope and to help them find their future. A future worth living!

This story was written in memory of iCare4U’s first client. Due to some personal issues and struggles she chose to go off her treatments. In doing this she sadly sur-come to her illness and passed away in December 2016. It is for woman like her that we believe we can help make a difference. We can Restore Dignity, Rebuild Identity and Release Hope! Every life matters….her life mattered.

Finding Family

Newly born…just days old…Abandoned…No Mother….No Father…No Family to call his own. Not even a name to be called. The future was not looking bright for this little guy.

That all changed when at just 10 weeks old this precious boy was placed into his new forever family and home. He found a Mum and Dad. They found a Son. The son they had been praying for. The child they had longed to have.
His life matters and now he has a future that is bright and full of hope for tomorrow.

You too can change a life and say “iCare4U”.

If you want to show you Care and be a part of changing a life (just like the heart touching stories above), Click on the [iCare] button to find out how even in small ways and small change can make massive impact to lives to restore Dignity, to rebuild Identity and release Hope!