Author: Sista Magazine

VTU THREATENS LEGAL ACTION

The Vanuatu Teachers Union (VTU) has threatened to seek legal action against the Government, to ensure it maintains the allowances of workers with the GRT determination (Teaching Service Commission and Public Service Commission). VTU Secretary General (SG), Jean Joel Pakoa says VTU does not take the issue lightly and would seek appropriate legal advice to take the matter to court due to the alleged damage caused by GRT. In line with the current controversy, VTU is urging all authorities concerned to delay the academic year for 2018 to February next month. “The government must make sure that it pays (salaries) according to the new scale on January 26 of 2018 (in line with the letter from the Director of Finance, dated January 11 of 2018)”, says the VTU SG. “Failure to act on the promise would leave VTU with no other choice but to seek legal action against the Government”. VTU wishes to assure its members that it has already advised its employers (PSC and TSC) of the situation. It has copied its concerns to the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) and Education International (EI), Vanuatu Council of Trade Unions (VCTU), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and South Pacific and Oceania Council of Trade Unions (SPOCTU). Its concerns are that the delay of GRT also removes all benefits and welfare of teachers as employees of the government. VTU wishes to...

Read More

DRIVER CHARGED IN SYLVIE’S DEATH

A bus driver has been charged over the death of the late Sylvie Sam. Driver Emile Iaruel was charged with causing death by reckless driving, contrary to section 12 of the Road Traffic Control Act [CAP 29], as police investigations into Sylvie’s death continue. There are allegations that Iaruel ran over her after she allegedly ‘fell’ off the moving vehicle. Iaruel was also charged for driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to stop and report the incident to the police. The prosecution alleged that after Ms Sam ‘fell’ off the bus, Mr Iaruel stopped and reversed the...

Read More

Ambae’s very own

North Ambae’s very own product is an all-weather basket like no other basket. It is tough and an ideal basket that you can rely on both in an urban community as well as in a rural village. The basket can be filled with heavy shopping without any fear of any tear. It can also keep cooked food from going bad inside as it allows air to filter through the tiny holes throughout the basket. According to the owner of Tropical Coconut Products, Esline Aru, who comes from North Ambae, the copyright of the origin of the basket must go...

Read More

‘REINSTATE DR BASIL’

The Council of Chiefs on Maewo have called on the Public Service Commission (PSC) to immediately reinstate Dr. Basil Leodoro, the suspended surgeon for the Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) in Luganville, Santo. Dr. Leodoro was suspended by the PSC for comments he made in the social media, allegedly “threatening” the Prime Minister. In a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, signed by Maewo Custom Chief Ellison Rasaure and five Maewo Area Council Chiefs, they asked for the immediate reinstatement by the PSC of Dr. Leodoro. Writing on behalf of the Maewo Council of Chiefs, the people of Maewo,...

Read More

Merilyn Temakon wins Master’s Degree in Intellectual Property Law

The woman who was instrumental in setting up the Vanuatu Intellectual Property Office (VIPO) under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry and ni-Vanuatu Business Development, has become the first ni-Vanuatu to qualify from a university with a Masters in Intellectual Property Law. Mrs. Merilyn Leona Temakon, the Assistant Registrar at the VIPO, took leave from work during last year to complete the eight months Master’s program on Intellectual Property Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) jointly run with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). She successfully completed eight subjects over two semesters and qualified at the end...

Read More

Reflections of Sista Gat Style in 2017

What Sista Gat Style first started in 2016, it was supposed to be a simple feature celebrating individual style. We wanted to showcase the unique beauty of Ni-Vanuatu women and girls as they are rarely represented in the handful of magazines that can be accessed in Vanuatu. We felt it was important for young Ni-Vanuatu girls to see themselves in pictures rather than the status quo of euro-centric beauty symbolized by thin, white models. We wanted young people to be proud and connect with themselves and fashion seemed like a good platform to express that. Back then, our only...

Read More

Yu redi blong findem wan wok?

Sapos hemi fes taem blong yu long luk aotem wok, hemi olraet sapos yu fraet smol. Hemi meanem se yu tingting long fuija blong yu afta bae yu redi blong acceptem responsibility mo makem money. Congratulations blong gudfala tingting ia! Hemia wan smol list blong tingboat taem yu redi blong findem fes job blong yu. 1. Resume Preparem wan resume wea hemi gat education, skills, availability mo contact details blong yu. Make sua se information hemi tru mo yu write long englis or franis. Askem wan man blong checkem se i no gat wan spelling mistake. 2. References Yu...

Read More

Women dies after ‘fall’

A 36-year-old mother has died, after she ‘fell’ from a yellow bus on the road at Etas Road on Saturday. Police have confirmed the deceased is Sylvie Sam of Tanna. They told Daily Post that her body is at the morgue and added that an application will be filed to the coroner today for an autopsy, because a court proceeding is likely. They said nobody has been charged yet over the incident but confirmed they have received a formal report yesterday from the victim’s relatives. Police have refuted allegations that Ms Sam was hit by another vehicle that was...

Read More

Couple photoshoot with Lava Photography

Have you always wanted to capture you and your partner’s relationship? Lava Photography is offering couple photo shoots and is a wonderful opportunity to keep some lifetime memories of you and your partner. Whether it’s just for fun, an engagement or wedding, make the most of affordable and high quality photography available from Lava Photography. Here is a sample of some of their couple photographs and you can find more on Facebook. Follow Lava Photography on...

Read More

Man receives suspended sentence for killing his baby

A man has escaped an imprisonment sentence after the court convicted him for killing his nine-month-old daughter when he threw a fire wood at his wife. Justice David Chetwynd said that the facts which were conceded by the defense are that on December 28, 2015, Alfred Nasse was very angry with his wife. The wife had involved a chief to resolve a domestic dispute between her and her husband. Justice Chetwynd said that Nasse was asleep when he was called to the meeting. This angered Nasse and he left the house with a piece of firewood and threw it at his wife. The firewood missed her but struck their nine-month-old child on the head. “The injuries caused were so severe that the child died,” the Judge said. “The defendant has entered a plea of guilty to a charge of unintentionally causing the death of his daughter. “It is difficult to know how to sentence this man. “Sentencing implies punishment but how can you punish a man when he no doubt was punished himself for causing the death of his daughter. “Be that as it may I am obliged to sentence him.” The Judge said that the maximum penalty for such an offence is five years imprisonment and it is a serious matter to cause someone’s death whether unintentional or not. He said that this is an offence caused because...

Read More

Beach Volleyball looks to take another big step

IT is a new year and there are new goals on the horizon for Vanuatu Beach Volleyball. Following on from the Women’s team success at the Van2017 Pacific Mini Games last month, the reigning Oceania champions will be looking, not only to continue this good form, but build on it with a strong push to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April. As part of this preparation, the team will be heading to Australia to participate in the Queensland Open, which is scheduled for the Australia Day weekend in late January, and will then continue south...

Read More

BAN ON IMPORTATION OF SINGLE-USE NON-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC BAGS & POLYSTYRENE TAKEAWAY BOXES

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, which has responsibility for Vanuatu’s Ocean Policy, wishes to inform the general public about an important decision taken by the Council of Ministers in December 2017 to ban the importation and local manufacturing of non-biodegradable plastics. The Government’s decision to ban certain non-biodegradable plastics was based on the outcome of field study reports done by environmental marine coastal groups working jointly with the Department of Environment on areas around Efate which discovered that a considerable amount of different forms of plastic waste have already entered our oceans. Plastic waste in the ocean is referred to as marine litter. In 2018, the Government will be taking a number of important steps to manage the issue of marine litter and sincerely hopes that business houses, local authorities and the general public will assist the Government in keeping our oceans healthy and clean. The Government through the Council of Ministers has agreed to the following first steps in the management of marine litter: 1. To ban the importation of single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags and polystyrene takeaway boxes in Vanuatu starting on 31st January 2018. 2. That local manufacturers of plastic bags can only use biodegradable plastics beginning on the 31st January 2018. 3. To review and provide a new method for disposal of plastic bottle waste in Vanuatu starting on 31st January...

Read More

PSC praises PVMC plans to introduce ‘School Bus’ in 2018

The Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) Lord Mayor Ulrich Sumptoh signed an agreement with the fleet management committee of the Public Service yesterday (Friday) to enable PVMC to purchase 15 buses from it to run School Buses next year. “I have seen school children walk back from school in rain and sometimes buses refuse to pick them, and I wish to state the PVMC School Bus proposal has the entire support of the Public Service,” Secretary of the Public Service, Mr Jacques Gedeon told the Mayor and the Acting Town Clerk, Ms Michelle Jonas. Mayor Sumptoh signed the agreement...

Read More

15% VAT INCREASE

The Government of Vanuatu has officially advised that Value Added Tax (VAT) rate will increase from 12.5% to 15% from next Monday January 1, 2018. This change comes as a result of the recent amendment to the Value Added Tax legislation by Parliament. The change has already been gazetted in the Government’s Official Gazette on December 22, 2017. The VAT Office has instructed all retailers to put up a notice between January 1 and 21 next year in their shops to let customers know that an adjustment may be made at the till (cash register) to account for VAT at the new rate. “The simplest way to increase your VAT inclusive prices to reflect the increase (2.5%) in the VAT rate to 15%, just multiply your old price by 115/112.5,” the VAT office instructed retail owners. In another statement to business houses, the VAT office has advised in a summary of how the rate change will impact business. “Businesses registered for VAT on a payments basis; Payments received or made on or after 1 January 2018 for invoices issued on or after 1 January 2018 will attract the new rate of 15%,” it stated. “Payments received or made for invoices issued before 1 January 2018 will remain at 12.5%. “However an adjustment will be required on your VAT return to correctly account for it. “Details are in the Transitional...

Read More

Suspended sentence for unlawful sexual intercourse

A man has escaped a jail sentence after he admitted to raping a 14-year-old victim in which he was having a relationship with her. The 19-year-old man has pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse. The Court heard that the girl entered that relationship with the man over a period of two years. The defendant admitted having a sexual relationship with the young girl over a period of two years. Justice David Chetwynd said that the sexual relationship was consensual in the sense that the young girl was not forced to have sexual intercourse with the defendant. The defendant entered a plea of guilty to the one charge but accepted that the relationship involved more than one occasion when he had sexual intercourse with the girl. The offences are said to have occurred before February 24, 2017. That is the day the amendments to certain sentences were enforced under the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of 2016. “As such the charge accepted by the defendant attracts a maximum penalty of 5 years,” he said. “Had the defendant committed the offences after that date he would have faced a maximum sentence of 15 years. “The defendant and the victim have now married and are the parents of a 3-year-old boy. “I must confess I do not understand the maths of their having a 3-year-old child.” Justice Chetwynd said that...

Read More

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

“I am now signing the new Minimum Wage Rate of Vt200 an hour across the board, to be gazetted to come into effect on January 1, 2018.” The new Minister of Internal Affairs and Labour, Andrew Napuat made the announcement then signed the instrument in his first press conference yesterday after his appointment this week. This represents around 17% increase from the previous minimum wage rate per hour of Vt170. While the Minister says Parliament has passed the Appropriation Bill to implement the determination of GRT for all Government public servants to enjoy a salary increase in 2018, he...

Read More

Top 5 Places For Xmas Shopping in Port Vila

Sapos yu wantem karem wan smol Christmas present wea hemi locally made, environmentally friendly, supportem local people mo hemi no expensive tumas, mifala long Sista luk aot ol shop wea yu save karem fulap difren kind products.  Yu save findem locally made jewellery, artwork including paintings mo lino print, basket, bags, placemats, mats, pandanus Christmas decorations, jams, chocolate, organic food items, noni juice, perfume, natural beauty products mo plenti moa. I gat fulap presents blong evriwan, hemi esi blong findem wan present blong wan pikinini kasem wan apu. Supportem local, celebratem Vanuatu.  Merry Christmas!  Haos blong Handicraft, downtown seafront...

Read More

Seasonal Worker Program: Vanuatu to the rescue

For South Gippsland asparagus farmers in Australia Frank and Donna Bombaci, the Pacific Islander workforce they bring to their region each year has saved their industry. Before taking on their first three Vanuatu workers in 2011 under the then pilot Seasonal Worker Program, they said their asparagus harvest workforce was becoming more and more unreliable. “We wanted to get out of the asparagus industry because of the problems with (labour hire) contactors … you’d never know if your staff was going to turn up,” Mrs Bombaci said. The couple run Deep Creek Organics asparagus farm at Dalmore, near Koo...

Read More

Behind the scenes of Sista Gat Style with Umi Nompavos

As the year drew to the end, the Sista team were frantically trying to pull everything together for the final Sista Gat Style of the year. Our model had pulled out in the last minute due to work commitments and we weren’t sure if we could find someone who could replace her. But then….. Umi came. The gorgeous Solomon Islander/Japanese/Spanish goddess rocked the set at Tanna Russet and the infamous ‘Port Vila’ graffiti wall near SMET with not a care in the world. Laughing, unafraid to be unapologetically herself, Nicky Kuautonga managed to capture the care-free spirit of Umi...

Read More

Umi Nompavos – Sista Gat Style

They say there is nothing more dangerous than a woman who is comfortable with her own skin. Umi Nompavos is one of those women. The young and fierce mixed race Solomon Islander/Japanese/Spanish girl represents the new and progressive generation of Ni-Vanuatu youth – those whose blood may not be ‘man-Vanuatu’ but whose heart embodies 100% of the island nation they were born in. Umi is unafraid to be explicitly herself. One look at this fashion shoot and you can see a young woman dangerously free to be who she was born to be. Go Umi! Name Umi Nompavos Age...

Read More

When LBT Women Face Violence, Our Opportunities To Become Economically Empowered are Reduced

At the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women held in October in Fiji, GG Baxter was a panelist at a side event to discuss the socio-economic impacts of violence and discrimination against Pacific LBT Women, and gender non-conforming people. This is a slightly edited part of Gigi’s moving speech at the event, talking about the impacts of bullying she faced in school and how it led to her later dropping out of school. As the theme of the Triennial was ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment’, it was clear that violence against women, especially LBT women, both in and out of the...

Read More

Queen’s Baton event to launch the State of the World’s Children Report in Vanuatu

Make the digital world safer for children – while increasing online access to benefit the most disadvantaged Download photos, videos and a copy of the report: http://uni.cf/2j2GvHC Port Vila, 13 December 2017 – Despite children’s massive online presence – 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child – too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world and to increase their access to safe online content, UNICEF said in its annual flagship report released today. The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a digital world presents UNICEF’s first comprehensive look at the different ways digital technology is affecting children’s lives, identifying dangers as well as opportunities.  It argues that governments and the private sector have not kept up with the pace of change, exposing children to new risks and harms and leaving millions of the most disadvantaged children worldwide behind.   “Safeguarding children and reducing risk factors of cyberbullying in this digital age of technology is becoming increasingly more difficult,” said UNICEF Vanuatu Field Office Chief, Andrew Parker. “Mitigating harmful online practices while also ensuring children have access to relevant and educational digital information is one of the biggest challenges governments in the Pacific, including Vanuatu, face”. The report examines how the internet increases children’s vulnerability to risks and harms, including misuse of their private information, access to harmful content, and cyberbullying....

Read More

Advocating for women’s health to promote respect and dignity

Jack Kalsrap works in the area of feminine hygiene, at the Mama Laef office in Pango producing washable eco-friendly and chemical free sanitary pads.   “As a man I am confident working in this field. When my two daughters were young I helped them to understand about reproductive and sanitary health so that they could have a good future. I saw how important this was, how there are many young teenage pregnancies due to limited education and information.”  In his role Jack cuts the materials and assists the female staff where possible, including lifting heavy items. As well as...

Read More

ANZ’s zero tolerance for violence

Paving the way for corporate businesses to stand against violence in any form and offer support for its employees, ANZ has included a progressive approach in its policies and services provided for its staff. Sheng Lee, Acting Country Head Vanuatu, is a strong supporter of combatting violence. “Domestic violence is a problem around the world and Vanuatu is certainly not immune. ANZ has taken a strong stance on this globally and we have a zero tolerance for domestic violence. ANZ has a number of policies and support services for staff and families at risk from family violence.” In Vanuatu...

Read More

Riding the wave of change

John Stephen, founder of Surfvanuatu and long-term volunteer at the Vanuatu Surfing Association, is using his voice to leverage support, equal inclusion and advocate for zero tolerance of any forms of violence within the surfing community. 25-year-old John was given the opportunity to attend a child protection policy training through the Vanuatu Surfing Association in 2015. The course helped him to realise how society currently treats girls and women, how often men look down upon women and girls and treat them as if they are different. He began to travel overseas for surfing contests and he observed how women...

Read More

The Majority of Men and Women Believe A Woman Sometimes Deserves To Be Beaten

The majority of men (81%) and women (79%) in Vanuatu believe that a woman sometimes deserved to be beaten. The acceptance of violence as the norm has led to a frightening reality – 60% of women will experience violence by their partner. To understand how common domestic violence is in Vanuatu, just imagine that for every woman you pass on the street, the one after her has been abused by her partner. 91% of men and 84% of women also believe that domestic violence is a private matter that should be handled within the family. What does that say...

Read More

#YumiStanap anti-violence video campaign launched by female-led community organizations

On November 25th 2017, Sista and Solwota Sista launched a video campaign through social media to mark the beginning of 16 days of activism. #YumiStanap is a one-minute video that features a range of people standing in solidarity against violence. “We managed to pull this together in barley two weeks,” said Yasmine Bjornum, founder of Sista magazine. “Considering our limited time frame and non-existent budget, it was heart-warming to see how many people took the time to show their support and feature in the campaign.” Sam Suendermann, founder of Solwota Sista, the female branch of the Vanuatu Surfing Association,...

Read More

Mother convicted on rape related charges

A mother of two has been convicted after she was found guilty by the court for helping her husband to rape a girl who sought their financial assistance. Magret Timothy from Tanna was found guilty on three counts of complicity to sexual intercourse without consent contrary to sections 30, 90, one count of an act of indecency without consent contrary to section 98 and an additional count of threats to kill contrary to section 115 all in the Penal Code Act CAP 135. Justice Jean Paul Geoghegan said that these events are alleged to have occurred on February 13 and 14, 2017 at the couple’s home in Teouma Valley. He said that Mrs Timothy was to have been tried together with her husband Timothy Kavila who was charged with five counts of sexual intercourse without consent, one count of an indecent act without consent, one charge of threatening to kill and one count of intentional assault. He said that Mr Kavila pleaded guilty to all of those charges against him while Mrs Kavila maintained her not guilty plea and the trial proceeded against her. Her defense presented in court was that she only did those things under duress and violent acts from her husband. The 20-year-old victim had approached the couple asking if they could help her with passport money at Salili and they took the victim to Teouma...

Read More

Man sentenced to community work for act of indecency

A man has been ordered to do 100 hours community work after he admitted to four counts of act of indecency without consent contrary to section 98 (a) and (b) of the Penal Code Act CAP 135. James Bong initially entered a not guilty plea to five counts before and just after the commencement of the trial, Bong sought court’s permission to re-arraign where he admitted the offences done to two victims – victim one is his biological daughter from first wife. The second victim is Bong’s niece. He admitted four counts and denied one count before the prosecutor withdrew that charge and was acquitted on that. Justice Oliver Saksak said that the facts are simple as the charges in counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are laid under section 98 (a) and (b) which states; ‘A person must not commit an act of indecency on, or in the presence of another person: (a) Without that person’s consent, or… (b) With that person’s consent of the consent is obtained: By force, or… Penalty : 7 years imprisonment’. In March and April 2017 on the first occasion Bong touched the victim’s breast while on the second occasion he touched her private part. He said that on the third occasion he held her hand and forced her to touch his private. “Later on July 18, you deliberately exposed your penis to...

Read More

10th Pacific Mini Games officially opens

It took Vanuatu six years to finally open the 10th Pacific Mini Games yesterday evening at the Korman Stadium, with a bang. President of the Pacific Games Council (PGC), Vidhya Lakhan, paid tribute to the late Joe Bomal Carlo, who led the delegation of Vanuatu to the 2011 Pacific Mini Games in New Caledonia to submit and win the bid for Vanuatu to host the 2017 Pacific Mini Games. “I am delighted that the Games have returned to Vanuatu since it first hosted the Pacific Mini Games in 1993. “The Games were cheered by the late Joe Bomal Carlo,...

Read More

Paraathletes to watch Marcelline Moli

Marcelline Moli of Abobo Village on Ambae was only 10 years old when she climbed a very high mango tree and reached out along a branch to grab a mango. She over-balanced and fell. A compound fracture of her right arm failed to heal and eventually, her arm had to be amputated. Further complications set in. Miss Moli had a very long path to recovery. “I had to leave school and stay home,” reflected Marcelline. “It was very difficult, I really missed school, learning and my friends but I didn’t give up.” She continued to show real courage and...

Read More

Women’s football invites all to first game

It has been a long year getting here. The young ladies of this team are amongst the privileged of some 200 athletes who were able to attend training in China for five months, thanks to the collaboration of Vanuatu and Chinese governments. It has been an eye-opener experience for many where they would be away from their families for so long in a foreign country and now realize that it is one that is worth the while given their goal to win a medal at the upcoming games. The five months have been packed with toil and sweat to...

Read More

Australian public take Vanuatu Para athletes to their hearts

The Australian public has taken to heart the story of the Vanuatu Parathletic team training recently on the Gold Coast in pre-selection trials for the Commonwealth Games to be held in April 2017 on the Gold Coast in Queensland. After TV Station Channel 7 ran a story, the generous Australian public appeared at the stadium day after day leaving track shoes, lycra running shorts, sports support clothes, t-shirts, sneakers, track suits and spikes. Why? Well its bit of a long story starting back in April in Luganville! Earlier this year the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee (VPC), the organization responsible in...

Read More

18 YEARS FOR RAPIST FATHER

A father has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment after the court found him guilty on eight counts of sexual related charges with his daughter. The man, who could not be named as it may identify the victim, was reported as the biological father of the victim. Justice David Chetwynd said when delivering the judgment, that the father was blaming his wife for encouraging their daughter to report the matter to the police in which he has already confessed to the church and has been forgiven by God. The father had previous criminal convictions some 17 years ago and most of those offences were related to rape, which helped to aggravate this present case. On the charge of sexual intercourse without consent (count 1), the father was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and ordered the other rape charges to be run concurrently with count one. In relation to each count of incest (count 7, 8 and 10) the defendant was given eight years imprisonment and shall be served concurrently. The offences were committed prior to the effective date of the amendment of the Penal Code Act on February 24, 2016 when the penalty of incest was increased to 15 years imprisonment. The father was sentenced to another eight years imprisonment for the act of indecency with a young person but all those charges will run concurrently with other counts....

Read More

Vanuatu Civil Society Forum on Gender Equality – past, present and future

All civil society and NGO representatives, government partners, private sectors and other community members interested in gender equality and women’s economic empowerment are invited to attend a Post-Triennial Forum at the Farea Pasifika, Le Lagon, Port Vila on Thursday 30 November at 8.30am. This forum is a follow up event of the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women, a regional conference which took place in Suva, Fiji from 2-6 October 2017. The Vanuatu Civil Society delegates to the Triennial Conference included representatives from the Vanuatu Women’s Centre, Vanuatu Young Women 4 Change, World Vision, ActionAid, Oxfam, CARE Vanuatu, V-Pride,...

Read More

More than 2,000 people on Malo Island benefit from largest Vanuatu water system

Port Vila, 28 November 2017: Today is a day of celebration for Vanuatu, particularly children and women on Malo Island, as the largest water system in Vanuatu spanning 44km benefitting over 2,000 people is launched.  Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Ralph Regenvanu stated, “This project has pulled together many key partners of the government to address the crucial need for safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the communities on Malo Island in line with the National Water Strategy’s vision of sustainable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation for the people of Vanuatu.” East Malo communities no longer have to rely on rainwater but now have access to piped water that is more reliable during the dry season. Situated just outside of Santo, Malo Island’s 19 villages on the east side will benefit from the construction of the largest water system in Vanuatu.  Andrew Parker, UNICEF Vanuatu’s Chief of Field Office stated, “UNICEF is proud to support the Government and partners in the water and sanitation sector to implement a project that has far reaching benefits for women and children.” He added, “Due to Vanuatu’s vulnerability to natural hazards a focus on increasing the community’s resilience is key.”  As part of the Government’s Water and Sanitation Sector Strengthening Project, the NZD2.5 million Malo project in East Malo, West Ambae, and Malekula is a collaboration between the...

Read More

Leaders publicly pledge to eradicate violence against women and children

  The 16 Days Activism Campaign was launched at VAN2017’s Festival Village on November 25, 2017. Speeches, music, purple hand-paint marks and signatures, give-away brochures and wrist bands were handed out to commemorate the event. Highlight of the occasion was when the leaders took their pledges to end violence. Besides the launching of the 16 Days Activism, it was an occasion for VAN2017 to test out the crowd arrangements and test the sporting facilities at the Korman sporting complex. Many leaders came forward taking their stand and publicly pledged against violence, particularly against Women, children and impaired people. Former...

Read More

‘Gel narasaed’ takes love from Vanuatu to Bangladesh

Today, ni-Vanuatu woman, Leinasei Isno is flying from Wellington to Bangladesh with the New Zealand Red Cross to help provide life-saving emergency relief for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence in Myanmar. Ms Isno, known to her friends as Leina, is the first dual citizen of Vanuatu and New Zealand to join the New Zealand Red Cross as a health delegate on an international mission. Along with two other New Zealand nurses, Ms Isno will spend a month at a Red Cross field hospital set up in the city of Cox’s Bazar. There the team will face complaints...

Read More

Behind the scenes of Sista Gat Style with Natasha Issachar

Natasha Issachar works at NRI Management and is a mother of twin boys. She managed to find some spare time over the weekend to allow Sista Gat Style to celebrate her. The 24 year old wore clothes by local seamstress Anna’s Creations and we shot it in town and by the new seafront. This is what the capital of our country looks like – a newly developed seafront on an azure bay dotted with yachts with the famous Irririki and Ifira island in the backdrop. It is the epitome of a Pacific nation, so unlike other fashion shots you would...

Read More

Natasha Issachar – Sista Gat Style

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS! NEVER SEEN BEFORE!  Natasha Issachar is not a woman who plays – she’s a woman who slays. A mother of twin boys with a busy job at NRI Management, the 24-year-old stays focused on the grind but isn’t afraid to step outside the box either. Wearing clothes sewn by local seamstress Anna’s Creations (who also happens to be her mother) Natasha brings high quality Pasifika fashion to the streets and seafront of Port Vila.   Name Natasha Issachar Age 24 Years Old   Where are you from? My dad is from Atchin in Malekula and my mum...

Read More

#YumiStanap anti-violence video campaign

16 Days of Activism is a global campaign that calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. It is held every year from November 25 to December 10. In Vanuatu, Sista and Solwota Sista reached out to a range of people to show solidarity against gender-based violence in the #YumiStanap campaign. Tugeta yumi stanap agensem vaelens!   Watch the video here!  Follow Sista on FB and Solwota Sista on...

Read More

HOSPITAL NEGLIGENT IN BABY’S DEATH

The Court of Appeal has overturned a Supreme Court decision that prevented a couple, whose child was stillborn, from making a claim against the Republic of Vanuatu. The claim is against Repulic of Vanuatu as representative of the midwives and ‘Port Vila hospital’ (Vila Central Hospital). The Court cited midwives’ negligence as a contributing factor to the baby’s death and set aside the Supreme Court orders. The appeal judges said that the case will be taken back to the Supreme Court and entered a judgment as to liability in favour of the couple and ordered the trial judge for a damages hearing. Monique Joseph and Kalfatak Kalnaure had lost their second child after she was admitted to the maternity ward at VCH. The Court heard that on May 20, 2014 the labour pain was high and tragically the next day the baby died in utero before the couple pursued the claim in the Supreme Court claiming negligence on the part of midwives that the baby was born dead. After trial on liability only, the judge in the Supreme Court concluded there was no breach of duty of care and dismissed the claim. Ms Joseph was examined by a midwife and was told that the heartbat of the baby was normal and she was sent home and told to return at about 3.30pm. She returned at 3.40pm with the contractions...

Read More

No major threat detected on Ambae water

Testings of water quality on Ambae by the Department of Water Resources (DoWR) due to Volcanic ash shows there is no threat. The main sources of water tested and sampled were from rain water catchment systems and ground water (ground dug wells and boreholes) covering the North, West, East and Southern part of the island. The testing made recently on Ambae targets volcanic ash and the main chemical leachates that could pose major health threats to the people that consume the water. Erie Sami, Acting Manager of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit under DoWR has dismissed claims reported on Radio New Zealand Pacific news few days ago saying, “all our results show very low Fluoride and Sulfate levels which we were concerned could pose a major threat to the people”. He was not in favour of some of the scientific terms used to criticise water on Ambae because he said they are misleading and very inaccurate when it comes to testing of quality water. “I wonder how the term sulphur nitrate was used in the article. “This term exists nowhere when it comes to testing quality of water.” Mr. Sami said fluoride and sulfate are important when taking into account the health of human beings and their results shows no threat. “All our samples from the different sites tested at Vanuatu Services Engie shows that the fluoride and sulfate...

Read More

Made in Vanuatu

Mahitahi Handikraf Senta on the sea front is accepting vendors to fill 53 stalls in the newly built cool, breeze-filled, open thatch-roofed house that will open on November 29. The criterion for all vendors is to strive to eventually sell only ‘Made in Vanuatu’ products in the new handicraft house. National Handicraft Development Coordinator, Ian Baniuri, from the Department of Industry explains, “It is the long term objective of Mahitahi Handikraf Senta that we will have one central shop or warehouse here in Port Vila where handicraft products from the Provinces are kept in stock for vendors to tap...

Read More

The Final Days of a Tax Haven

In Vanuatu, a remote archipelago in the South Pacific, a popular tourist attraction is something called land diving. Villagers on the lush outer island of Pentecost jump headfirst from a tall wooden tower with tree vines tied to their ankles to break their fall. For the divers, the rite of passage is a plunge into the unknown—and that’s not a bad metaphor for where this secretive tax haven is headed these days. Anchored in the deep seas between Australia and Fiji, this exotic microstate has faced sanctions since last year for not complying with stricter anti-money-laundering standards established by...

Read More

Kiwanis Melbourne Cup Ladies Luncheon

For the second year in a row the Kiwanis Melbourne Cup Ladies Luncheon was held at The Reefers Restaurant & Rum Bar, on  November 7, 2017. This charity lunch was kindly sponsored by Vila Distribution, Prouds and Lionfish Studios. Proceeds raised during this event will contribute to the sponsorship of students at Pikinini Playtime, an educational facility for children living with a disability, to the Vanuatu Women’s Centre’s workshops and training program on Violence against women and to Ni-Vanuatu women para-athletes in the upcoming mini and Commonwealth Games. The lunch and afternoon were entertained by Rosie Jacobs, our fantastic...

Read More

Chantal Foster Exhibition opened early November 2017

Fondation Suzanne Bastien Gallery situated on Pango Road opened an exhibition of pacific inspired paintings by Chantal Foster on Wednesday 8th of November at 5pm. Born in the 1959 in the south of France and daughter of an artist father, Chantal’s artworks reflect her travels and life experiences. Married and mum of 2 girls, professional life took her and her family to South America, Polynesia, New Caledonia where they lived for 15 years and in recent years, Vanuatu. “Shy and solitary painting is my preferred art form. My preferred medium is mainly acrylic on canvas. I paint on favorites,...

Read More

Laplap Ice-cream

Laplap Ice-Cream Wanem nau yu nidim 6 apple banana 2 ripe apple banana 2 kokonas skrasem mo milkim 6 lif laplap Smol oel blo rupem long lif Fasin blo wokem Rasrasmen ol banana long rasras blo laplap. Addemap milk kokonas i go mo tantanem gud blo i mix wetem banana. Terem lif long ol smol pis (luk photo numba 2). Rupem oel long shine side blo lif. Foldem lif folem shap blo ice-cream (bae yu luk fasem blo mekem long ol photo) Fulumap mix blo banana i go insaed long lif mo klosem Fulumap long sospen Addemap smol wota...

Read More

Transforming Plastic Waste in Vanuatu

In August 2017, local company and Pacific Mini games Platinum Sponsor Azure Pure Water launched its “Give Me 5” bottle buy back and recycling scheme. Recognising that waste management and plastic disposal in Vanuatu is a challenge, the company shouldered its responsibility as a manufacturer in Vanuatu and has been working to provide a viable and sustainable solution for the management of the plastic waste which they produce within the unique Vanuatu context. At this same time, more than 2000 kilometres away, on the north coast of NSW, Australia, Louise Hardman, Founder of Plastic Collective, was joining forces with...

Read More

Solwota Sista in Tanna teaching surf and promoting sanitary health

The Vanuatu Surfing Association and Solwota Sista are in Tanna! The horn buzzed kicking off the very first Tommy Tanna surf competition and a whale jumped out of the water!! We have descended on Yenkateli, Whitesands Tanna with clean glassy waves forecasted for the two days of competition attracting surfers from all over the whitesands area. The Vanuatu Surfing Association is offering judging and competition management support for the Tommy Tanna surf club’s very first independently organised surf comp. We have been based in the area since last weekend providing surf training, judging courses, board repair and maintenance sessions...

Read More

Women’s employment on the rise with PVUDP contractors

PVUDP contractors have been working to support gender equality through one of the most practical approaches; women’s employment. Contractors working with PVUDP created a gender action plan, setting targets and reporting against activities such as employment, HIV and gender awareness and on-the-job training, according to the PVUDP Progress Report Newsletter Issue 15 for September and October, 2017. It says Downer Vanuatu Ltd, developed their gender action plan for George Kalsakau Drive (GKD) Concourse and for the Septage Treatment Facility (STF). Downer have surpassed the targets they set for women’s employment with 50% of STF maintenance staff and 33% of...

Read More

ORPHANAGE LAUNCHED

The groundbreaking ceremony for El Haven — a safe home, a refuge for unwanted babies or orphanage, took place at Number Two Lagoon two days ago. Thanks to Pastor Dorolyn Laloyer and her husband Leonard Laloyer for pioneering the project, Vanuatu Mission for supporting it and two dynamic couples namely Shirley Coombs and husband Leon Coombs and Katie Snyder and husband Joseph Snyder, for standing with the ni-Vanuatu couple to make it happen. When completed it is going to be the first institution of its kind in the country. Pastor Dorolyn Laloyer says it is going to bring hope to the hopeless and home to the homeless. Where mother and baby are not welcome at home, they have a place to stay at. She says it is where mother and child can seek refuge until they are ready to return to their families again. Landlord and custom landowner, Chief Andrew Kalpoelep, of Eratap Village says the project falls in line with his dream to build such a place for unwanted babies some years earlier. “I brought the idea to the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs during my term, only for the chiefs to knock it back saying such an idea would be detrimental to traditional family unity and orderliness,” he recalls. However he is excited knowing that he is now connected to the project and offers his full support....

Read More

Child dead after tragic incident involving bus

A one-year-and-eight-months-old girl was killed in a tragic incident yesterday afternoon. A Hiace Toyota bus ran over the child at Anamburu yesterday sparking great tension within the surrounding communities. Erima Richard died yesterday minutes after impact. Police confirmed she was standing in front of the white 15-seater bus and the driver failed to see her and ran over her when he took off, killing her instantly. Rumours flared in the community of Anamburu that the driver was drunk but police said John Mera of West Ambae was on his way to drop a passenger when he unintentionally killed the...

Read More

Looking for Gold in Sanma!

It’s a clean sweep for parathletes from Santo with an exciting letter reaching Vanuatu yesterday confirming the qualification of three Luganville based parathletes to the Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Cost in Australia from 4th to 15th April 2017. Margaret Macfarlane, President of Vanuatu Paralympic Committee explained, “In Vila, we have several experienced parathletes but we wanted to see what potential parathletes there might be in the provinces. Our funds are very limited but with funding and technical support from the Agitos Foundation and Oceania, we held a Talent Identification Program in April followed by a...

Read More

Do longer sentences not stop people committing crimes? No. No they do not.

We read recently of a case that came before the Supreme Court concerning a case of a man sentenced to 15 years in prison for the rape of his 3 daughters. It’s not surprising that a report of this type provokes a strong reaction. The day this doesn’t make us feel sad, angry, and confused about the state of our society is the one that we should really fear. It’s also not surprising that this type of case generates a reaction along the line of ‘if there were harsher sentences, people wouldn’t commit this type of crime’. Sometimes, this...

Read More

Stepfather sent to prison for rape

A man has been ordered to serve six years in jail after he admitted to raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter on two different occasions. Jack Taiwia 32, was charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent contrary to section 90 and 91 of the Penal Code Act CAP 135. Justice Dudley Aru said that Taiwia pleaded guilty to one count of sexual intercourse on March 1, 2017 and pleaded not guilty to three other counts. Mr Aru said that at the commencement of the trial, the man’s lawyer asked for amended information and he admitted the other three remaining counts. He said that the offending involves penile and digital penetration on the complainant. “The complainant refers to the Defendant as her stepfather and she alleged that Taiwia had sexual intercourse with her when they were living at Bladiniere Estates,” he said. “The first incident occurred around January 14 or 15, 2017”. After the defendant committed the act he told her not to tell anyone about what just happened. The second incident occurred in the laundry sometime also in January 2017 where the victim could not recall the exact date. The victim then reported the matter to the house girl and later on January 22, 2017, she reported the incident to her adopted mother. Taiwia was then arrested and on January 23, 2017 he was cautioned and interviewed. He admitted...

Read More

Global climate financing too small: Climate Change DG

The global climate financing pledged under the Paris Agreement for developing nations like Vanuatu to access and cope with the consequences of climate change, which is USD 100 billion per year, is too small. Director General (DG) of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC), Jesse Benjamin, will be highlighting this in his presentation on climate financing to delegates at COP23 today (Monday). USD 100 billion is equivalent to 100 trillions of vatu and will be shared by all developing countries across the globe. Vanuatu alone needs a minimum of USD 500 million per year to address mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage, according to the DG. The strongest cyclone to hit Vanuatu two years ago caused USD 270.9million in damage and an estimated USD 178.5 million loss, he said. Apart from cyclones, Vanuatu sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is being accustomed to being hit by other volcanic related natural disasters. Cyclones which are becoming severe and frequent as a result of climate change will cause dramatic flooding and erosion to many communities. How can developing nations access international climate funding to adjust to the negative impacts of climate change as well as reducing emissions is one of the most important topic debated at the COP23 climate change negotiations underway in Germany. As part of Paris Accord, developed or rich countries that contributed largely to greenhouse gas...

Read More

Young man sent to prison for rape

An Epi man has been sentenced to serve time in prison for raping an 18-year-old girl while his colleagues were standing around observing the act. He was given five years imprisonment by the Supreme Court after admitting one count of sexual intercourse without consent contrary to section 89 and 90 of the Penal Code Act CAP 135. Justice James Paul Geoghegan said that Alfred Kelson pleaded guilty to this charge on May 15, 2017 on Epi Island and was remanded on bail for sentencing in Port Vila on June 16. He said that the sentencing was unable to proceed because Kelson absconded, in breach of his bail conditions and the authorities had to locate him and transport him back to Port Vila for sentencing. The brief of facts of the case revealed that the victim was 18 years old at the time of this offence and the offence took place on Epi Island on July 14, 2014. Justice Geoghegan said that just prior to the offence the victim was with three other female friends and they were walking home and it was dark. The young women were chased by a group of young men and that group included Kelson who caught up with the victim and grabbed her and removed her clothes forcibly. The victim resisted him and she tried to kick him but he squeezed her neck and...

Read More

Northern Islands Market Vendors host first ever Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 8 November 2017 (Vanuatu) – More than 300 market vendors from around Santo island and offshore, under the Northern Islands Market Vendor Association, have gathered for their first Annual General Meeting. “This is the first time for us to have an AGM since the Association was set up,” says Marie Vuti, President of the Northern Islands Market Vendor Association (MVA). “I would like to thank the Luganville Municipal Council, Sanma Provincial Government Council, Honourable Minister Alfred Maoh and UN Women’s Markets for Change project for sponsoring the AGM,” she said. The one-day Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held...

Read More

15 years prison term for father who raped daughters

A man has been ordered to serve 15 years behind bars after he admitted to raping his 5, 14 and 17 years old daughters. Supreme Court Justice David Chetwynd said that guilty pleas were entered after a trial had started and two of the victims had given evidence in court. Justice Chetwynd said that the offences all occurred at night in the home where the defendant was living with his children and his wife. He said that the rape that was submitted was digital rape and the offences should be treated differently. The Judge said that the elements of the offence involve, as section 90 makes clear, sexual intercourse where there is no consent. Consent must bear its natural meaning. Sexual intercourse is defined in the Penal Code at section 89A:- “For the purposes of this part sexual intercourse means any of the following activities ….: (a) the penetration, to any extent, of the vagina or anus of a person by any part of the body of another person…” He said that the section does not differentiate between penile or digital penetration. “I accept that penile rape may have more aggravating features than digital rape because of the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted deceases with the former but I can see no reason why digital rape should be treated less seriously,” he said. “As has been said in...

Read More

Merilyn Tahi, Vanuatu Women’s Center, attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

Merilyn Tahi, director of Vanuatu Women’s Center, recently attended the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017 and shares her thoughts on women’s economic empowerment. The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. Merilyn Tahi, Vanuatu Women’s Center Before Vanuatu gained independence, there were not many women who were in the workforce. If they did work, it was mostly in the garden. Gradually since then...

Read More

VANUATU AT COP23

Prime Minister (PM), Charlot Salwai, and the Minister of Climate Change (MOCC), Ham Lini, are leading a 30-member delegation from Vanuatu to the annual Conference of the Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany. The United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference will open on November 6 (today), with an anticipated attendance of around 20,000 to 25,000. A total of 197 member states of the UNFCCC will be coming together in Bonn to talk and carry out climate change negotiations. This is not the first time for Germany to host the conference. But this year’s event is very special for the Pacific Island countries who are greatly affected by global warming and climate change. Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will be serving as the president of COP23 on behalf of all small Pacific island countries. PM Salwai will be presenting a statement during the high level segment in the main plenary hall of the conference venue on November 15. This session is usually attended by dignitaries and senior officials like heads of governments. It is when parties deliver their statements to the world. This year’s COP is organised by the Bonn-based UN Climate Secretariat (UNFCCC), with support rendered by the German Federal Government, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the City of Bonn. The 30-member delegation from Vanuatu includes: Parliamentary Secretariat to...

Read More

Copyright owners urged to share views at final Copyright Consultation today

Copyright owners such as musicians, artists, photographers, chiefs, writers, and composers that are facing issues of copyright infringement of their original work have been given their final opportunity to voice their concerns, share their views on how to safeguard their works at the final consultation on the draft bill of the Vanuatu Copyrights Management Society on today at the Chiefs Nakamal. The Bill of the Vanuatu Copyrights Management Society is an Act to provide for the establishment, operation and regulation of the Vanuatu Copyright Management Society and for other related matters. On November 27, the Vanuatu Intellectual Property Office (VIPO) facilitated the second round of consultations where musicians and artists attended, unfortunately the turnout was not as expected. Consultations on establishing a Copyright Management Society aimed to collect as much as possible views and opinions of copyright holders prior to tabling the bill in the parliament this month. Senior IP Officer, Sam Railau explains what copyright is. “Copyright is a component of the Intellectual Property. “It applies to artistic works, audio-visual works, and dramatic works. “It gives the exclusive right to the owner to print, publish, record and so forth. “Once an artist, a writer or a musician creates his/her work, it is automatically considered a right-able work which means this owner or creator of the work will have to follow the process to register with VIPO.” Mr. Railau...

Read More

The Media Can Kick-start a National Conversation

Recently, the media industry and the wider community of Papua New Guinea were shocked by revelations made at a funeral. The deceased was Ms Rosalyn Albaniel Evara, who had died suddenly, earlier in October. She was the Business Editor at the Post Courier, a national newspaper. During her funeral, a family member displayed photographs of the deceased’s body, which revealed what appeared to be bruising. The family member alleged that Ms Albaniel had suffered violence at the hands of her partner on numerous occasions. The outcry was enough to cause the Governor of the National Capital District to order...

Read More

Behind the scenes of Sista Gat Style with Andrea Toka

In this month’s Sista Gat Style, we celebrated the natural stunner, Ms. Andrea Toka. The 19 year old is from Ambae and as with most of the models featured in Sista Gat Style, Andrea has never modelled professionally before. With the support of her friends and assistant stylists, including cousin, Patricia Rakau,  and Gilbert Mermer, Andrea took to the camera with youthful grace. In the history of making Sista Gat Style, it was the quickest hair, nail and beauty session that the Sista team has ever experienced. With her beautiful natural features,  it was decided that she only needed...

Read More

Media workshop ends on positive note

With the development of digital technologies and social media networks, it is now possible for activists and unions to communicate to a much wider audience and at greater speed than ever before. This means that they now have access to a much bigger platform on which to conduct campaigns not only locally, but regionally and internationally. This was one of the important outcomes of the week-long workshop organized by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which brought together journalists and media representatives from six Pacific Region countries and has ended yesterday. By the end of the workshop, the participants...

Read More

Vanuatu expecting 1 to 3 tropical cyclones

One to three tropical cyclones are expected to affect Vanuatu in the 2017 to 2018 cyclone season with a slight chance that one could be severe (category 4), according to the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD). The 2017 to 2018 cyclone season begins next month (November) and will end April next year. All communities are advised to remain alert and prepared throughout this period of six months. The peak time for the occurrence of tropical cyclones in Vanuatu is during the months of December to February but highest in January. Vanuatu experienced two tropical cyclones, TC Donna (May)...

Read More

Health and Climate ministries sign MOU for data sharing

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has recognized climate change as a threat to the health sector thus, welcomed an organization data sharing agreement with the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) to address citizens’ well being. The ministries of health and climate change usually do not engage. With climate change becoming the global threat to all sectors, it prompted the need for health to understand better how changes in weather and climate poses danger to people’s health. Unusual weather events such as frequent cyclones, extreme rainfall and longer periods of drought affects the environment and people in many ways. For...

Read More

Andrea Toka – Sista Gat Style

One look at Andrea Toka’s smile and you can tell she is the real deal – a genuine, happy-go-lucky island girl who loves her family and is focused on her studies. We celebrated this Vanuatu sweetheart at Le Lagoon Resort and although it took a while for her to come out of her shell, when she finally did, her potential to shine was limitless. Name Andrea Toka Age 19 Where are you from? I am from Ambae. Well, my father is from Ambae and my mother is from Ambae but she is also part Tongoa. I have five siblings....

Read More

Facebook forums from bad to worst

While social media platforms are excellent tools for people to socialize and get connected with other people, the rate at which people are abusing Facebook is increasing at an alarming rate. Cyber bullying is at its best. Facebook groups and forums which were created with the aim of educating, informing and entertaining are now being abused and used as a platform to destroy other people. Our society is turning into a place where other people’s consent is no longer respected. People freely post whatever they wish to post any time without taking the time to consider how this is...

Read More

PVIS Senior Secondary Scholarship Open Day

Port Vila International School (PVIS) is opening its doors today to local high school students from all over Efate for its Senior Secondary Scholarship Open Day. The local high school students are vying for two hotly contested Senior Secondary scholarships, valued at over 700,000VT annually that include all tuition fees and resources to study Senior Secondary at PVIS. “We are very excited to find two exceptional students who are academically gifted, active in their communities, and have the potential to be future Vanuatu leaders to award the two Senior Secondary Scholarships to,” said PVIS Principal, Steve Moore. The two...

Read More

Rural Women Celebrated as Key Contributors to Communities and the National Economy

Friday 27 October 2017 (Vanuatu) – The importance of rural women in Vanuatu and their critical role in national development has been highlighted in this year’s celebration of the International Day of Rural Women (IDRW). More than 500 rural women gathered in Mele village in Efate, Shefa Province, on 12 – 13 October and Canal Fanafo in Santo, Sanma Province, on 16 October to celebrate their role and contributions towards agricultural and rural development, increasing food security and reducing poverty in their communities. The IDRW is held each year on 15 October with weeklong activities celebrating the important role...

Read More

Mere Tari-Sovick – Agent For Social Change

The first woman from Vanuatu to earn her doctorate in the United States of America and one of a handful of female scholars with a doctoral degree from Vanuatu, Mere Tari-Sovick’s (nee Sine) journey to Dr. Tari Sovick has been circuitous. From Vanuatu, in the small village of Lavatu on the northern island of Pentecost where she grew up, to the capital city of Vanuatu, Port Vila, to a boarding school in New Zealand, and on a Maori Marae, her work as a journalist, Peace Corp Vanuatu language trainer and U.S. student, has culminated in her dissertation being published...

Read More

FAO increases partnership in Pacific

“On behalf of Mr. Graziano da Sila, FAO Director General, I am honoured to address this inaugural joint meeting, merging Agriculture and Forestry under one banner and one voice. “This week has brought together the voices of all partners across the agriculture and forestry sectors from the region and beyond, contributing to the vision of a more integrated Pacific Region. “We are happy that this process comes to life as a joint exercise between FAO and our longstanding partners SPC in the Pacific.” Food and Agriculture Organisation Deputy Director General, Maria Helena Semedo delivered her address to the first...

Read More

Regional MOU on Agritourism

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to strengthen the cooperation and partnerships between some important regional farming organisations at the Pacific Week of Agriculture in Port Vila last week. The Papua New Guinea Women in Agriculture have joined forces with the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council, the Vanuatu Farm Support Association, the PNG Women in Business, PNG women in Coffee and a Ni-Van cooperative, Neleya Eco-Farm Enterprises and the Vanuatu Agri-Tourism Steering Committee to recognize the important contribution that they can make in supporting agritourism across the Pacific. The MoU was signed in the presence of the Minister...

Read More

Forum that aims at linking climate and health underway

Broadening understanding of the connection between climate and health is the aim of a two-day forum underway in Port Vila. Changes in climate and weather poses challenges to both the environment and human health. People and their communities become more vulnerable to disease outbreaks due to extreme weather events. The National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF) will highlight how human health is influenced by climate and weather and how it can be addressed. The forum is expected to improve the understanding of how seasonal climate outlooks are produced, how they can be made relevant to the health sector and how they can be tailored to the needs of users. The forum also aims to improve stakeholder knowledge in climate information and building cooperation between the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) and the health community. Also, improving coordination and collaboration towards managing climate risks for the health sector. NFOC is supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) with financial support from the government of Rusia through UNDP Regional Project Disaster Resilience for Pacific SIDS (RESPAC). Experts in climate services locally and from abroad will be speaking on topics during the forum, which will be held at Ramada Resort. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY...

Read More

Rapist to serve 16 years in jail

A father that was accused of raping a girl, with the company of his wife, was handed 16 years behind bars by the Supreme Court. Supreme Court is yet to hand down its judgment on the wife’s case but Timothy Kavila has been given 16 years to be served in prison. Justice James Paul Geoghegan sentenced Kavila to 16 years on one count of sexual intercourse without consent, two years for one count of act of indecency and three years to a count of threats to kill. The Tanna man was also handed nine months imprisonment for intentional assault. Justice Geoghegan then ordered all sentences to be served concurrently. This sentencing was given on the first case that Kavila and his wife were involved in and the second case is underway featuring the same couple on an alleged similar act with another victim. The second case was committed to the Supreme Court last week. The Judge told Kavila that his period in custody will be taken into account in the calculation of his parole and release dates by the Corrections. He adopted a starting point of 20 years imprisonment. “Taking into account that the other offences and the fact that they were committed during the course of this horrific four days of offending, I consider that the starting point of 20 years also adequately accounts further uplift in that...

Read More

US TOO

You might have noticed that a lot of women were posting the words ‘Me Too’ to their social media timelines this week. If you didn’t, then shame on you. I confess I was deeply torn by this phenomenon. I wanted to join the chorus, to add my own story to the tales of abuse and victimisation streaming across my screen. I could do it. I’ve earned the right to. But I can’t. On the one hand, I can’t bring myself to believe that I actually deserve sympathy. Decades later, I still feel that it’s wrong to bring these things...

Read More

Fast-track future success – register now for PVIS Senior Secondary Scholarship Day

Port Vila International School (PVIS) is encouraging prospective local senior secondary students to register now to attend the School’s first Senior Secondary Scholarship Day on Friday 27 October to be considered for two full-tuition Senior Secondary PVIS scholarship Awards. The international school is offering the two Senior Secondary scholarships, valued at over 700,000VT annually, over a two-year period through the very generous support of ANZ Bank and Open Access College. Current high-performing Ni-Vanuatu Year 11 students from local high schools are invited to the PVIS Senior Secondary Scholarship Day to meet the School’s teachers and students, tour facilities, and undergo academic...

Read More

Vanuatu Christian Council launches Gender Resources

On Friday 20th October, the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) officially launched its Gender Resources including a Gender Policy, Training Manual on Human Rights, Faith and Gender and Sexual Harrasment Policy. In partnership with UN Women, the launch was opened by Ruth Dovo,Vanuatu Christian Council, who has played a major role in engaging gender and human rights work with the church, with speeches by Betty Toa, UN Women Country Director, Seman Delesa, Department of Women’s Affairs and Pastor Shem Tema, VCC General Secretary. VCC started its engagement in Gender Advocacy in 2014 and says that although there will still be many...

Read More

Sharyn Wobur, World Vision, attends 13th Triennial Pacific Women

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial.  Sharyn Wobur, Gender Officer,...

Read More

Sabrina Brown, Vanuatu Young Women For Change, attends 13th Pacific Triennial

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial.  Sabrina Brown, Vanuatu Young...

Read More

White Bun Salad – The Nutrition Center

White Bun Salad Wanem nau yu nidim 2 stampa blo white bun 4 raep tomato 2 stampa blo spring onion 2 pis garlic 1 drae kokonas Jus blo 1 lemon 5 pinch Smol black pepper Fasin blo wokem Fes samting, wasem gud evri vegetable we bae yu usum. Kutem tomato, spring onion mo garlic long ol smol pis mo putum i go long wan dish. Afta usum wan sharp knife blo shredem white bun (luk photo numba 2). Skwisim strong milk kokonas i ko antap long salad wetem jus blo lemon. Ademap sol mo pepper Tantanem gud blo evrisamting...

Read More

Pacific farmers and PIANGO collaborate on Pacific Agriculture Week

The Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental organisations (PIANGO) and the Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation (PIFON) have collaborated to organise workshops during the Pacific Agriculture Week in Vanuatu this week. The workshops will be held at Owen Hall in Port Vila from 16-18 October, 2017. PIFON Coordinator, Kyle Stice, said that the three-day event will focus on key issues being faced by Pacific farmers, including further exploring a more practical approach to research and major challenges affecting productivity. With the increasing pressure from critical issues such as climate change, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and population increase, food production and food systems in the Pacific will likely be affected. The meeting will enable farmers and stakeholders across the region to further discuss their respective roles including seeking solutions to production constraints which they are currently facing. The event will focus on various themes including “Pacific Women in Agriculture” which aims to inspire more female farmers and to explore more innovative ways of empowering women in the agricultural sector. This focus area aims to enhance women’s roles in the sector in terms of improving their access to research, funds and technology needed to help female farmers. Day two of the workshop will discuss the “The Role of Farmer Organisations in Climate Change Adaptation “and will link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030. Discussions will include strategies and initiatives to assist...

Read More

Joyce Napuat, Development Facilitator, World Vision attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

Joyce Napuat attended the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women in Suva in early October 2017. Recently nominated as one of SPC’s 70 Inspiring Women, Joyce is an advocate for people with a disability and believes that every disabled child offers a special talent to the world.   Joyce Napuat, Development Facilitator, World Vision One of the biggest barriers that I have seen in the lives of girls with a disability is that communities don’t recognize them as human beings. From my own personal experience, I have found that they don’t...

Read More

Kathleen Charley, Vanuatu Mama’s English Class, attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial.  Kathleen Charley, Vanuatu Mama’s...

Read More

Women in Sports Day a success

On the 5th September Wan Smolbag hosted the first celebration dedicated to Women in Sport in Vanuatu. Approximately 200 female pikinini, youth and mummas came to celebrate the contribution women have made and will continue to make in sport in Vanuatu. The laughter coming from the participants of all ages and all abilities was infectious and there was a general positive vibe carried by everyone throughout the day. The setting at Wan Smolbag was perfect; with a Youth Centre, Sports Field and Nutrition Centre to cater for the day’s events. With the sun shining, the day was opened by...

Read More

English Class Graduation For Tanna Women

History was made this week on the Island of Tanna when the Vanuatu Mamas’ English Class (VMEC) graduated its first class in the small village of Iakolpau. VMEC is a young program, in its 3rd year of operations and it has big plans from the southern island. “In February we hosted our 1st teacher’s training on Tanna, 12 women representing 4 villages attended the two-week event. “There were a lot of complication and lessons learned, but we definitely count it as a success. “The participants were engaged and the trainers were excited,” Dawna Horton, VMEC co-founder recalls. “At the...

Read More

Julia Marango, Care, attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial.  Julia Marango, Gender and...

Read More

Leisavi Daisy Kenneth, Silae Vanua Markets, attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

Leisavi Daisy Kenneth is one of six women leaders of market vendor associations (MVA) from Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands to attend the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women in Suva. As the Vice President of Silae Vanua Markets, Vanuatu, Leisava shared her personal story of hardship and success at a parallel session at the Triennial – ‘Voice and Agency – Expereinces of Women Leaders of Market Vendor Associations: Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu’. In this article, she gives insight into her personal thoughts on the barriers of women’s economic empowerment...

Read More

Bitcoin Now Buys You Citizenship in Pacific Nation of Vanuatu

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has become the world’s first county to accept the virtual currency bitcoin for its citizenship program. The Vanuatu Information Centre (VIC) announced that its Development Support Program (DSP) will allow foreigners to qualify for Vanuatuan citizenship through a one-time payment of $200,000 – or its cryptocurrency equivalent. At current market prices, this puts the price of citizenship for the so-called Paradise Islands at slightly more than 43 bitcoins. “While attempts have been made in the past to effect payments for citizenship by investment programs via bitcoin, these efforts never had the political stamp of approval,...

Read More

Cedric Paniel, Oxfam, attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial.  Cedric Paniel, Gender Justice...

Read More

I Am Bold – Benina Nicolina Rangvanu

This poem is by Benina Nicolina Rangvanu I AM BOLD To wear makeup or not to wear makeup? To wake up and put those strong chemicals in my hair to have that sun silk asian hair. “Awo sista yu tuff wetem hair extension” Natural or not natural girl you’re still beautiful I swear. As for society’s eurocentric standards to have that nice smooth hair is that really what defines ‘true beauty’ out there? “Omgshh what outfit to wear?” Wait, should I care if people will stare? The expensive prices on those tags to pretend for the trend like it’s nothing...

Read More

‘Sik Plastik Long Solwota 2017’ exhibition opens Wed 11th Oct

Fondation Suzanne Bastien Gallery situated on Pango Road will be opening Exhibition “Sik Plastik Long Solwota 2017” on Wednesday 11th of October at 5pm. Now in its second year, the exhibition is a creative and informative artist/community response to addressing the critical impact of waste (particularly plastics) contributing to the pollution of our oceans and waterways. The Fondation began the search via a call out inviting artists, the community and organizations to produce artworks and educational content based on Sik Plastik Long Solwota’s aims to: change how the community as consumers look at waste inspire creativity through reuse and...

Read More

Organic wind blowing

“While we have grown (to 22 countries), we are mindful of one fact; all our efforts will be wasted if there is no next generation to carry on the work of the Organic Movement.” Chairman of Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) and Board Director, Moses Nambo, literally hit the nail on the head with his statement to welcome an energetic group of young farmers of young men and women from Niue, Cook Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu that are taking part in ‘Youth Learning Exchange in Resilient Farming Practices’ in Port Vila this week. The majority of young...

Read More

World Mental Health Day today

Vanuatu is observing World Mental Health Day 2017 today with the theme: ‘Mental health in the workplace’. A statement from the Ministry of Health which is spearheading the commemoration of the day says: “During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. “Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. “A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.” The statement adds that: “In addition, there is an increase of other social issues such as relationship problems, financial problems, unemployment and natural disaster that could also contribute to mental health illness. “Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on our ability to work, and to work productively. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. “More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. “Many of these people live with both. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost...

Read More

Madlen Netvunei, Vanuatu Society for People with Disability, attends 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region. It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial.  Madlen Netvunei, Vanuatu Society...

Read More