Pikinini watch hosts first graduation for positive parenting programme

Positive parenting is very important but a lot of people enter parenthood without any skills and tools.

Rebecca Negere
Pikinini watch PNG local community.
Pikinini Watch/2021/PNG
06 April 2021

Positive parenting is very important but a lot of people enter parenthood without any skills and tools on how to understand children and the five development milestones, says Zohra Johnwell, founder of Pikinini Watch PNG, a Non-Government Organization which was established in 2013 with the aim to create a safer space for children.

"Pikinini Watch PNG is a local community based organization focused on child protection, child rights and the development of children, with the aim and hope to create awareness and understanding amongst duty bearers in the public sector, private sector and the communities to understand children and to have the right tools and information to change their behavior," Ms Johnwell said.

She said the organization was started back in 2013 with support and kind donations from individuals. Apart from donations, Zohra has time and again, utilized her own pocket money and her home office to run the organization. Last year the organization was able to secure some funding from the Sportlight Initiative program, which is the world's largest awareness effort to end all forms of violence against woman and girls.

The Sportlight Initiative is a partnership between European Union and United Nations that brings groups together from government, civil society and private sector. Over K75 million was invested in PNG for this effort.

"Just last year we received support from the UNICEF through the Sportlight Initiative with the European Union and are now running the Positive Parenting Program for child development under the United Church," Zohra said.

Pikinini watch PNG poster.
Pikinini Watch/2021/PNG

The Positive Parenting Program started last year in October 2020. Since then, there has been a total of 13 trained facilitators with the program being trialed in 5 provinces thus far.

On Saturday 13th of March, the first batch of 10 parents graduated from the Positive Parenting Program training and received their certificates. The small but significant graduation ceremony took place in the Servant Heart Ministry International Church at Gerehu in Port Moresby.

The parents were very grateful and emotional at the same time as they received their certificates.

"One thing that stood out for me during the 6 weeks was ACT. The acronym stands for Acknowledge, Communicate and Talk. During the training, I discovered that I must make my home become a sweet home. Because I am the mother and everything comes back to me as a mother. The father goes to work and brings food and money to the table but I am the one that gave birth to the children and took care of them. I will not put all the load to the father. I must share the load with him. I must pay positive attention to my children and in everything I do I must make my home a sweet home so my children will have a positive mindset wherever they are. This will enable my children to become better men and women of this nation," one of the participants said.

Pikinini watch PNG local community members.
Pikinini Watch/2021/PNG

The program is targeted at parents, baby sitters, grandparents, early childhood teachers and others in that category who have the responsibility to look after kids in the ages of 3-10 years old.

The six weeks training program has shone a light on a new path for the parents who attended. It had opened their eyes and each had testified and shared about all the things they were doing wrong previously to their children while raising them. They admitted their mistakes then.

"Being a strict mum at home, everything I say is final. When I attended the training I realized that the children have their own reasons as to why they are behaving in certain ways so I must approach them in a positive way to make them become positive children and positive citizens of this nation," another participant stated.

The participants were very grateful to the organization Pikinini Watch PNG and the founder Zohra Johnwell for such training initiatives that opened their eyes and helped them to change their negative way of parenting to positive parenting. As they received their certificates, they made pledges to become positive parents to their children so that their children can grow up and become better men and women of this nation.