“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” Eleanor Roosevelt –
The Whitecember Walk which promoted and advocated for human rights was a great way to end the year. People from various communities walked in solidarity for World Human Rights Day. As many people in Port Moresby and around the world prepared to celebrate the holidays, it was ACDP’s goal to promote ‘peace on earth’ through outreach activities.
The Whitecember Walk was held on Sunday, 12 December. This physical activity advocated for overall human rights as well as highlighted women’s and children’s rights.
Abiding strictly with the COVID ‘nuipla pasin’ protocols; participants walked in groups of 20. The walkers came from the following locations: Joyce Bay, Konebada, 2Mile Fanima, Kaugere Savaka, Konebada, Kone, Koki Wanigela, Taurama Barracks, Murray Barracks and Pari. The participants joined the walk wearing white t-shirts and holding banners with messages of public awareness on human rights and gender-based violence.
During the public awareness the communities that participated also presented dance and drama performances based on the advocacy theme. One of the goals of the Active City Development Program is to use the arts as a creative tool to express the vision of a city that is healthy, safe and accessible for all persons. Using creativity to display these ideals empowers individuals and communities to know that there are additional options beyond what their present circumstances may present in the immediate situation.
Creative advocacy tools in communities invite the observers to recognize whether their current actions are contributing to or eradicating the highlighted issue. When paired with education awareness small steps are made towards creating a more livable environment for all persons no matter their gender biology or identity.
According to the World Report, “Equality, inclusion and non-description, in other words – a human rights-based approach to development- is the best way to reduce inequalities and resume our pathway towards realizing the 2030 agenda.” (World report, 2021). The communities came together with one goal, which was to ensure that through public awareness communities and eventually the nation’s capital would begin to advocate for human rights and pursue practical strategies towards ending GBV. Engaging with communities throughout the city is one way that ACDP is creating pathways to reduce inequalities in Port Moresby.