Papua New Guinean named Commonwealth Pacific Young Person of the Year 2017

acqueline Joseph, 27, Papua New Guinea Jacqueline co-founded Equal Playing Field to end violence against women and girls and promote gender equality (photo: Youth Action Net)

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea-March 16: 11:13am(COMSEC): The co-founder of Equal Playing Field, a not-for-profit organisation in Papua New Guinea that uses sport as a tool to prevent violence against women and children and promote gender equality in schools has been named Commonwealth Pacific Young Person of the Year 2017.

Jacqueline Joseph from Papua New Guinea is the co-founder of Equal Playing Field, a not-for-profit organisation that uses sport as a tool to prevent violence against women and children and promote gender equality in schools.

She created Equal Playing Field for School (EPF4S), an eight-week respectful relationships program that uses sport to engage with adolescent boys and girls.

Through the program, Jacqueline educates around two thousand 13- to 15-year-old girls and boys in schools in Port Moresby each year about the importance of respectful relationships as a way to reduce family and sexual violence.

Within two years of operating Equal Playing Field has trained 90 volunteer facilitators, who have worked with over 4,000 young people and 80 teachers in over 18 schools.

Its model was recognized as ‘emerging best practice’ at two recent international conferences in Fiji and Australia.

Equal Playing Field aims to also run a training program for school sports coaches in the Solomon Islands as well.

Jacqueline said: “The award brings in great recognition for Equal Playing Field in the Pacific region and the globe. As an organisation we have done great work however we have not been able to share to great extent what we have achieved. This award is really beneficial in this context because the hard work and passion of the Equal Playing Field movement is felt by the world. Young people not only in the Pacific but the world now get to hear about an initiative run by young people just like them and a program that is supporting their future generation.”






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