The Power of the Moving Image - Papua New Guinea
In February 2018, the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea (PNG) was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. CARE Australia was one of the partners to deliver The Australian Humanitarian Partnership’s response. As they worked on ways to get information out to the remote villages, the CARE team discovered that, with television a rarity, video was an effective way to attract interest, share information and provide some entertainment for those who were displaced.
In the days, weeks and months following the earthquake, Hiuya Village found itself hosting around 1,500 people who had fled their homes. For the small village, with a usual population of 150, the population increase was significant. CARE worked with the Hiuya community and those seeking shelter to build new houses, improve water and sanitation systems, plant crops and provide a range of support services to those in need of them.
Part of CARE’s response include a roving cinema, which they used to screen educational videos in affected communities.
No-one in Hiuya Village owned a TV, and many people had never watched a video before, so the cinema was exciting and new and crowds of people – men, women and children – would gather in a longhouse at one end of the village to watch the movies. The movies prompted much discussion, on the experience itself and also the content and messages.
The videos ranged from how to propagate staple crops to how to ensure water is safe to drink, and ensuring the different needs of women, girls, and people with disabilities were being met.
Each roving cinema system consisted of a projector, speakers, stands and the media player, all contained within a 10kg carry case. The roving cinemas travelled between four villages - Huiya, Dodomona, Walagu and Mogulu and reached almost 3,000 people.
Note: In addition to Australian Government humanitarian assistance funding received via the Australian Humanitarian Partnership, CARE also received funding from the New Zealand Government (MFAT) and the Canadian Government (CHAF). CARE supported the immediate and early recovery needs of almost 6,000 people close to the epicentre of the earthquake in Hela and Western Highlands provinces.