The Lae Chamber of Commerce Incorporated is a very active and progressive organization that advances the interests of its members and the Lae Private Sector on the whole. Although the LCCI has battled for a fair go on many fronts, particularly on Government legislative, policy and administrative matters, it is now looking at ways to steer the Private sector into combating Gender HIV and AIDS issues.
In December 2008 the LCCI signed a 3 year contract with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to bring the private sector closer to the battle against Gender and subsequently HIV and AIDS. In the past 18 months the team of dedicated personnel engaged by the LCCI for this project has followed a strategy to develop 5 components to raise the awareness of the private sector about these potentially devastating issues. Our project complements the Lae Port Development Project, a major infrastructural project co-funded by the ADB and the PNG Government. Lae Chamber of Commerce Incorporated would like to thank the Asian Development Bank and the Swedish Cooperation Fund (SIDA) for their generous support in funding our project.
One of the first achievements of this project was the introduction of the Guidelines on AIDS Good Practice for Workplaces in May 2010. These Guidelines are the start of many tasks the Chamber is undertaking and are designed to help organizations decide on what steps they should take to introduce a workplace policy into their company. Although our project is linked to the development of the Lae Port it extends beyond to all companies in Lae that could face devastation if these diseases spread exponentially. We have not restricted the circulation of these guidelines to the Chambers members only as this would deny many businesses the opportunity to access this crucial information, and hence we have included many non member organizations so that they too can benefit from our efforts against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
A series of “Peer Training” courses have already been conducted which have been designed by our team, to make key company personnel aware of the problems in Lae with gender, HIV and AIDS and how they are best tackled. These informed people return to their workplace and further impart this information to their fellow workers so that the information has a significant impact at the company level.
Other components our project will deal with include:
- Renovation of the seafarer’s support center at the Lae port and equipping the centre with recreational equipment as well as confidential counselling facilities
- Institutional strengthening of city health clinics and equipping them with confidential counselling facilities
- Capacity development of NGOs, through a training module developed by ADRA
- Increase the availability of VCCT
- Enhancing the outreach/impact of Lae Ports Tingim Laip Site Committee (BCC Strategy and Action Plan)
- A needs assessment and situational analysis for improving police services to female survivors of violence
- A needs assessment and feasibility study for the establishment of an Integrated Response Center
The LCCI is proud to be playing a leading in the battle against gender, HIV and AIDS issues.