The British ex-model, 29, is moving to one of the most dangerous countries in the world


Natasha Tordoff grew up hearing stories from her mother about her experiences growing up in Papua New Guinea where women were beaten and assaulted by men and no one batted an eyelid.

Natasha Tordoff moves to Papua New Guinea
Natasha Tordoff moves to Papua New Guinea

Natasha Tordoff was aware from an early age that her mother’s homeland was a dangerous place to live.

The former model grew up in Wakefield with her British father and mother Larissa, 54, who hails from Papua New Guinea – which has the second highest crime rate in the world.

Natasha heard stories from her mother about her experiences in a country where men beat and assaulted women and nobody batted an eyelid.

Despite this, Natasha is boldly moving from her west London home to Papua New Guinea for two years, where she hopes not only to be more in touch with her maternal side, but also to change the country’s archaic attitude towards women.

She told the Mirror: “My mum used to tell me horrible stories about what life is like there.

“She has seen her cousins ​​being beaten and people doused with water, but as horrific as the stories are, she also told me that Papua New Guinea is unique and has fascinated me enough that I want to see it for myself by living out there.

“There is a very strong tribal culture in Papua New Guinea without the moral boundaries that we in Britain take for granted. For example, it is normal for men to beat their wives, for tribes to murder each other, and for honor killings to take place.

Natascha with her mom Larissa



“Standards are blurring and I’m moving there to be part of the solution and to raise awareness of equality and acceptance for all people.”

Murder, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery are rampant in Papua New Guinea.

Data published last year by Retrospective of the world population shows that Papua New Guinea has the second-highest crime rate in the world at a shocking 80.79 per 100,000 people – which is just below Venezuela, which has 83.76.

This compares to the UK rate of 46.07 and the US rate of 47.81.

In fact, the Commonwealth Island, located in the Pacific Ocean, is considered so dangerous that the German Foreign Office’s website is issuing a strong safety warning to potential travelers.

She warns: “There is a high level of serious and violent crime. Law and order is bad or very bad in many parts of the country. Pay close attention to your personal safety, especially after dark, and monitor the media for possible new security threats. “

The data and the government warning don’t faze Natasha, but she knows she needs to change her everyday habits like driving alone or even talking to a man.

Natasha as a baby with her parents and older brother



Larissa told Natasha that she grew up with women being beaten by men



“I know safety is the top priority,” she said.

“There are concerns for my safety from both possible physical harm, rape and the elements as if I plan to travel to my mother’s island I will be exposed to many hours in the open sea and speedboats have been known to capsize and it is a threat indicates that I am suffering from tropical diseases.

“I will be living in a gated compound and will be expected not to travel alone outside the confines of the compound until I have established some presence in the area.

“I have to inform my colleagues about my travel plans and when I’ll be back etc.

“It will be difficult to give up basic freedoms like walking the streets alone, going shopping, talking to men and even driving.

“But I have decided to devote myself to this profession and see comfort and security as a barrier to reaching people.”

During her two-year stay there, Natasha, a business services manager, will work with the Christian organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in introducing locals to modern technology that she hopes will change their attitudes towards women.

“There’s a cultural attitude that men own women,” she said.

The former model is moving to Papua New Guinea for two years



“Men still have to pay a dowry to marry a woman because it’s one of those traditions that just hasn’t died out.

“Approximately 70% of women are victims of sexual assault, but I believe that women in Papua New Guinea are strong, diverse and so important to life.

“You have to learn that.”

Natasha’s parents met when her father was sent to Papua New Guinea in 1985, where he worked as a research scientist.

The couple returned to the UK, where they had Natasha and her older brother.

She said: “I think as a mixed race I’m seen as an outsider – but I want to learn to adapt and try not to take my Western way of life and adapt it to this new culture.

Natasha visited her mother’s native country in 2012



“I hope that my work through MAF will help build communities and understand that all life is precious and valuable – especially women.”

In 2012, Natasha returned to her mother’s birthplace to meet her family, which sparked her interest in the country.

She said: “It was an amazing experience.

“My mother’s family lives on a remote island and you can only get there by speedboat, which takes 24 hours.

“Flying fish jumped over the boat and at some point the driver lost his bearings, but we got there.

“I remember having to walk down a stream to use the toilet and was warned there might be crocodiles there.

“But Papua New Guinea isn’t just about brutality — it’s a beautiful island of jungle rainforests where tribes still live. 850 different languages ​​are spoken there.

“In fact, 80% is very rural and it can take three or four days for people to travel elsewhere.”

Natasha said the country’s vast rural parts mean things the western world takes for granted, like internet access, and finding medical help can be challenging.

“The country’s mobile phone coverage is not great and if you get injured it takes three days to reach a hospital.

“My job will include day-to-day operations of MAF’s technology services, which will install high-frequency cell towers and solar power, and we will provide technology training with WiFi in remote communities.

“The challenges will be worth it because I know my role is changing people’s lives. For example, installing a cell tower in a rural village so a community can communicate, or facilitating an online training program for young people so they can get education and jobs.

“I also look forward to learning more about my mother’s people and assimilation into a new community.

“I will have to change my way of life and it will be a very different way of living, but I look forward to the challenge.”

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