Author: Sista Magazine

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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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)...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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‘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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Free Workshop for Making Plastic Bag Mats in early Nov 2017

FREE WORKSHOP FOR AMBAE WOMEN Two Llamas Environmental and Social Projects will be in Santo on the first week of November 2017. If Ambae ladies would like to sit with Chantal Clarke, she will be happy to show you how to make sleeping mats from plastic bags. All you need to do is collect as many plastic shopping bags as possible and wash/dry them. Chantal will bring the crochet hooks and show you how to make them. These mats are soft to sleep on and also good as house mats. They will also be able to sell them to...

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Gigi Baxter hosts side event at 13th Pacific Women’s Triennial, Suva, Fiji.

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 bring together decision-makers within Pacific governments, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations to share experiences, reflect on the progress and challenges to date, identify strategic and practical measures and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in our region. One of the side events featured Vpride Foundation’s Gigi Baxter. The side event was called Telling our Stories – Socio-economic...

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Alleged murderer denies killing girlfriend

The man accused of killing his girlfriend opposite Tanna Russet Complex has denied two counts of intentional homicide charges brought against him. The charges were brought against him under section 107 (1) (b) of the Penal Code Act CAP 135. The second count was an alternative charge to the first count. Philip Jimmy who was identified as a former member of the ‘French Foreign Legion’ denied both counts and his case was adjourned pending a pre-trial conference before a trial date will be listed. The brief of facts that was relied on in the court this week revealed that Jimmy and late Alice Karis were in a domestic relationship and at the time of the attack, they both went out to go clubbing at Planet 107 in Tagabe. The prosecution alleged that sometimes between 3am to 4.30am on June 16, 2017 Jimmy took the deceased to the main road opposite Tanna Russet and assaulted her causing her severe injuries on her neck, face and head. They claimed that people nearby heard the victim was begging for Jimmy to stop assaulting her but she later died because of the wounds she sustained during the alleged attack. The Court heard that soon a bus pulled over and asked if they needed some help, Jimmy told the driver if he could drive them home in which the bus did. While heading home,...

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End of discriminatory laws and change in cultural norms key to economic empowerment of Pacific women

Over 200 participants from 21 Pacific countries have been meeting over three days this week to discuss the economic standing of 4.5 million women and girls across the greater Pacific region. Despite making up half of the region’s population, women continue to be economically underrepresented due to discriminatory laws, and the social and cultural norms which place unrealistic expectations on women’s responsibilities for home and family care. High level delegates at the event included; Dr Hilda Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; Kourabi Nenem, Vice President of Kiribati; Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Fijian Minister for Women, Children and...

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International headwear collection showcases Pacific talent

A unique range of hand-made men’s headwear woven in Vanuatu has made its debut in Sydney, as part of an international headwear collection called Pacific Brim. Pacific Brim headwear designer, Rosie Boylan says, “This is a truly Pacific collaboration that showcases the talent and manufacturing potential in our own region, with a striking and unique range of men’s’ headwear.” This sustainable product draws on the traditional artisan weaving skills of Vanuatu, with product development by Hills Hats, New Zealand, trade support from Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia along with representation by iconic headwear store Strand Hatters in Sydney who...

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Pictures of Colour Festival by Reflection Photography

Vanuatu’s first ever ‘Colour Festival’ held on Saturday 30th September was a success! The Colour Festival was held at Le Life Resort in the heart of North East Efate. It started at noon and went well into the night. Featuring local artists such as Stan and the Earth Force, Tujah, Vanessa Quai and of course the best local DJs including Tuff Tumas and DJ Alexis, the festival also featured international acts Jah Boy from Solomon Islands and Rebecca Cardamone from Melbourne, Australia. The festival celebrated Vanuatu spirit, diversity and happiness with children, teenagers and adults alike. Here are some photos the...

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New uniforms for Power House Women’s Cricket Club

Sunday 1st October was the official launch of the brand new Power House Women’s Cricket Club awesome new kit with their major sponsor on site at Tamanu on the Beach. The girls from the Tamanu – Power House Women’s Cricket Club had an amazing day playing beach cricket at the perfect Tamanu on the Beach Resort on a sensational afternoon. Club founder, Brett Wright said “It is so refreshing to be around such an enthusiastic, happy & appreciative bunch of girls. They all loved their new uniforms & it was hard to get them off the beach at the end of the...

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Dely Roy Nalo as SPC ’70 Inspiring Pacific Women’

“My idea is that if each culture can understand or at the very least acknowledge each other, a platform can be set for mutual respect.” Dely Roy Nalo Arts and Culture Advocate, Vanuatu Thirty-four-year-old Dely Roy Nalo is a Ni-Vanuatu visual artist and cultural field worker who is passionate about promoting and safeguarding the cultural heritage of Northern Vanuatu. Dely lives in Luganville on Espiritu Santo Island with her family and speaks fluent French, English and Bislama, in addition to her father’s vernacular language, Mwerlap. Her major achievement and ongoing contribution to the arts and cultural field in Vanuatu is through TEKS Unit, a grassroots indigenuous movements which Rely founded and established...

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Student takes on after inspired by Beach Volleyball Rising Star

Rose Moise, a year twelve student tells of a warming story in how she was inspired by one of the upcoming and rising Sports star Loti Joe in Beach Volleyball. Here Rose describes how wonderful an experience from an early start she received, and in turn has curved a way forward. Rose was encouraged and inspired by student colleague and Beach Volleyball’s rising steps of Loti Joe because of Loti’s enthusiasm as a player, as a friend and a sportive character who drove Rose’s motivation and spirits high to challenge her involvement in Sport. At the moment Rose is...

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Pandanus Hats by WEAV

Women’s Export Association Vanuatu (WEAV) is a membership based organisation supporting the export and services of women owned enterprises in Vanuatu. Check out these gorgeous handmade handicraft products made by grassroots women. For more information, follow WEAV on...

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Colour Festival – Sat 30 Sept 2017

‘Colour Festival’ is the first event of its kind in Vanuatu hosted by Le Life Resort. It is inspired by Holi – the Festival of Colours – which is celebrated every spring throughout India and brought to Vanuatu to celebrate human spirit and togetherness. Essentially it is a music festival but with an abundance of colour and show casing Vanuatu’s very own artists all brought together to celebrate the Vanuatu spirit, diversity and happiness. Set to take place on Vanuatu soil at Le Life Resort in the heart of North East Efate set amongst nature with the rainforest in...

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EmPawa Hour – International Day of Peace

On Thursday 21st September, Capitol FM107’s EmPawa Hour show focused on International Day of Peace, observed each year around the world on the 21 September. The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” and featured Anne Pakoa from the Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition with host Faithy leading the discussions. Relvie Poilapa, Van2017, briefly tuned in at the end and we were also fortunate to have Former NZ All Blacks Rugby legend Byron Kelleher, who is currently in Vanuatu, to provide his insights on how women play a powerful force in promoting Peace through sport. Anne...

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EmPawa Hour – Youth Economic Development

On Thursday 14th September, Em Pawa Hour on Capitol FM107 featured Regina Iakula, responsible for data registration at the National Youth Council, and Yasmine Björnum, founder of Sista magazine, to discuss youth economic empowerment. Hosty Faithy led the discussions where Regina reflected on the successful International Youth Day Celebrations that was held at Lakatoro, Malekula the week before. More than 350 Youth delegates from around Malampa including Port Vila, Shefa, Luganville and Sanma attended the event. The theme for this year was “Youth Building Peace through Economic Empowerment” with a focus on agriculture. Next year Port Vila will be hosting the International...

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‘Talemaot’ showing in Hollywood

Talemaot, WSB’s film dealing with rape, will play in Los Angeles on the 13th of October at the Awareness Film Festival. The Festival brings together films from around the world that promote advocacy and awareness. According to the organizers, they had received more entries than ever before and ‘the competition was extremely high.’ Talemaot looks at what a young woman goes through after being raped; the terrible fear of being pregnant and the endless play back of the rape in the girl’s mind. The film was made to be used with detainees who have committed sexual crimes; to try...

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Lopevi volcano alert level raised to 2

The Lopevi volcano on Paama is showing renewed signs of activity. The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) has raised the warning level from 1 to 2. Lopevi is located south of Ambrym’s Marum and Benbow, which are both categorized at level 3- major unrest stage. Visitors, and villages of Paama and Epi are urged to consider this seriously and stay away from the volcano to avoid volcanic hazards, the VMGD has advised. Lopevi volcano, like Mt Yasur on Tanna is a stratovolcano. It is steep, compared to shield volcanoes like Lombenben on Ambae which is built entirely of fluid lava flows. The VMGD will continue to closely monitor the activity of this volcano and more information will be provided accordingly when necessary. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY...

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VT200 MILLION FOR AMBAE (VOLCANO)

The Government has endorsed a Vt200 million emergency fund, to help the victims of the volcano eruption on Ambae. The Vt200 million emergency fund will be allocated to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to accelerate efforts to rescue villagers, provide immediate shelter, food and water for the people. The expenditure will be controlled by the Department of Finance. This is to make sure the money is utilised for its right purpose and will not be a repeat of past experiences of “wasteful spending”, said the Public Relation Officer (PRO) to the Prime Minister’s Office, Hilaire Bule. The Council...

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Melanesian leaders condemn UN for turning ‘a deaf ear’ to West Papua atrocities

Melanesian leaders have accused the United Nations of having “turned a deaf ear” to human rights atrocities in the Indonesian province of Papua and urged the world to support the region’s campaign for independence, The Guardian newspaper reports. At the UN General Assembly in New York, the prime ministers of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands called on the UN’s Human Rights Council to formally investigate long-standing allegations of human rights abuses in the provinces. Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, said the people of West Papua must be allowed the right to self-determination, to free themselves of the “yoke of...

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Mamas produce and diversify

President of Ni Vanuatu Arts and Craft Association, Josephine Peter says her members have started to network with the islands to bring in their products for sale in Port Vila. They recently displayed a table filled with freshly made products from the islands of Tanna, Ambrym, Pentecost Ambae as well as mama residents in Port Vila, to prove what they have on offer. The president says they are confident of attracting different types of products from all islands in the country to sell to visitors. “Once we are comfortable, our next objective is to set up in all six...

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Ni-Vanuatu Australian singer to perform at SHaRM’s Charity evening

SHaRM Foundation, a locally registered charity is honoured to host in conjunction with Reefers Restaurant & Bar — “Danielle Matthews’ ” first professional performance in Vanuatu. Matthews, whose family are also local ni-Vanuatu from Devils’ Point, Efate will sing for members of her family as well as dinner guests at a Charity Evening to be held on Thursday, 21st of September 2017 at the Reefers Restaurant & Bar. She is a very polished and accomplished performer, a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and the inaugural winner of the prestigious Rob Guest Endowment Award. In 2013, Matthews recorded her debut album “Dream Song” with Move Records and more recently “La Belle Epoque”, for the in-game soundtrack to one of the world’s most popular video game series, Assassins Creed Unity. She will be joined during the evening by local keyboard specialist, David Andrews, a talented musician and songwriter in his own right. It has the makings of a fantastic evening with two high caliber entertainers. This Charity Evening will assist in SHaRM Foundation’s upcoming projects for 2017-2018. Since Cyclone PAM, initially four ladies from Devils Point Road commenced SHaRM Pikinini Ecole Foundation (“SHaRM Foundation”) – Steph Neilson, Helen Collier-Kogtevs, Robin Culph, Stu and Deb Friend, Rod Neilson and Ed Kogtevs, all have varied skills and backgrounds making it a formidable team. They have implemented and completed some 17...

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ERATAP FIRE TRAGEDY

Three boys, all under the age of 13 have died in a tragic fire, which razed their home at Eratap on Friday night. They were reportedly fast asleep, when flames engulfed the building. Daily Post was told the three victims are cousins. Their mothers, from Tanna are biological sisters and left the boys under the care of their younger sister that night. Relatives close to one of the victim’s father said the mother of two of the victims went to visit a relative, who had been medvaced from Tanna to Port Vila, at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) and the other mother was at work. They say the younger sister, who was entrusted to look after the children stayed with them, and when they fell asleep; she went to sleep in another house. They mentioned the cause of the fire is yet to be determined but confirmed the victims used a candle that night. The father of one of the victims was reportedly drinking kava at Second Lagoon, at the time of the fire. Sources said that after having his kava, the father was dropped by a transport at the Eratap main road and when he reached home, the flames were still high and the children were trapped inside. Relatives at the scene said he attempted to batter down the front door with his fists, in attempts to save...

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Entrepreneur needs network

“One of the most important things that I am going to talk today (on Monday) is about creating a network and how you get people behind you and help you to move forward. You have to have a strong plan. The next thing is what are the ways and steps to put the plan in place; just like building a house or having a family, it does not happen overnight. There are different steps that you need to be able to do, the same thing as starting a business. It may sound like a big task but if you...

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2,500 people in Erromango access safe water

Communities benefit from improved water supplies Port Vila, 15 September 2017: Today, about 2500 people in Erromango will access safer and more secure water supplies, thanks to the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources and its partners, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and CARE, officially handing over repaired and improved water and sanitation infrastructure to communities across Erromango. “The Government’s collaboration with its partners in the recovery phase post Cyclone Pam is underpinned by the principle of ‘Building Back Better,’ especially in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector,” stated Minister...

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Vanessa Quai by Lava Photography

Vanessa Quai, Vanuatu’s most famous singer who has been singing internationally since she was a young child, shines in this stunning photo shoot by Stephanie Ephraim Lekal of Lava Photography. Vanessa sings mostly gospel but is also able to sing R’N’B and pop music and will be releasing a new album in 2017. She can also sing in a range of languages.With makeup by Joshua Aru and styled by Tropicool fashion Boutique, the fashion shoot took place at Honey Moon Beach, Pango. Follow Vanessa Quai on Facebook and be part of her musical journey. MORE PICTURES Follow Lava Photography on...

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Behind the scenes of Sista Gat Style with Diana Lauto

This month we celebrated the Ni-Vanuatu/Fijian mixed race Diana Lauto at Iririki Island Resort. The aspiring economist and lover of fashion and jewellery was a pleasure to work with.  With no past experience in professional modelling, Diana took to the camera with ease. She turned up to the shoot in a timely matter and acted like a true professional, walking up the Iririki’s hillside with no complaints and unafraid to experiment with poses. The creative duo Victoria Lister and Gilbert Mermer assisted with artistic direction and identified potential locations on the island. They also assisted Diana with how to...

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Diana Lauto – Sista Gat Style

Diana Lauto is a true island girl – the ‘tropical fruit salad’ celebrates her Vanuatu and Fijian heritage at Iririki Island Resort with clothing from Pacific Island Art. Embodying class with the right amount of cheeky islander sass, the ever so sweet Diana knows how to roll with the crowd and when to turn it up. And today she turned it up and took things to a whole new level with this fashion shoot! Check out the never seen before photos of the stunning Diana Lauto  Name Diana Lauto Age 22 Occupation I work at DHL as the Imports...

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NOT GUILTY PLEAS IN MARAKI MURDER

The War Horse Saloon Bar manager, Ronald Vudui and Bar Attendant Jackson Willie both entered not guilty pleas to charges laid against them in the alleged murder of the late Maraki Robson on the night of June 24, 2017. The duo appeared before the Supreme Court this week. Vudui, 40, denied one charge of intentional homicide contrary to section 106 (1) (a) of the Penal Code Act [CAP 135], with an additional charge of intentional assault against section 107 (d) also of the Act. Willie, 30, is facing one count of complicity to intentional homicide charge under section 106...

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Maria Pietri Exhibition Opening Friday 15th September 2017

An exhibition featuring the works by Maria Pietri and the creative outcomes of a current workshop with “Gotz” will be opening on Friday 15th of September, 5pm at Fondation Suzanne Bastien Gallery on Pango Rd. Maria Pietri has been exhibitiong thoughout the USA, France and Vanuatu for 27 years. Maria’s current exhibition “Fishes and Birds” sees her exploring the technique of monotypes on paper with a gelli plate. The gelli plate is a soft printing surface made out of gelatin which does not make the use of a press necessary. “I love the recyclability and fragility of paper. It...

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Communities on Epi, Lamen and Emau islands benefit from Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and trainings

A ceremony was held on 31 August 2017 to celebrate the handover of completed Water Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure on the islands of Epi, Lamen and Emau, as part of the Tropical Cyclone Pam Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector Recovery Project. As a result of the support from The Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources and its partners, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Oxfam Vanuatu, at least 1,700 people in 31 communities and 10 schools on the islands will directly benefit from improved water systems as well as improved knowledge on sanitation and hygiene. “The principle of ‘Building Back Better’ underpinned much of the Government’s collaboration with partners in the recovery phase after Cyclone Pam, including in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector,” Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Ralph Regenvanu stated. “This is to ensure our vision of sustainable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation set out in Vanuatu’s national water strategy is achieved,” he added.                       UNICEF Chief of Vanuatu Field Office, Andrew Parker, said, “While it is critical to deliver safe water and sanitation to vulnerable children and their families, emergencies provide UNICEF and our partners an opportunity to focus on building more resilient communities to ensure protection of children, especially those under five...

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Empawa Hour – Climate Change, Resilience and Gender

The fourth episode of Empawa Hour focused on Climate Change, Resilience and Gender. At FM107’s new office next to TVL, the show featured Sam Suenderman, Island Reach, Risu Kalotiti, Solwota Sista, Priscilla Samson, VCAN network and Yasmine Bjornum, ActionAid with host Faithy. It was the first time Faithy had hosted the show and it was a great opportunity for each guest to share the work of their agency. Who is Island Reach? Island Reach partners with local communities and regional groups to build social and environmental resilience from ridge to reef. The project is a practical and applied response to crises...

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Mary Kalsrap named as SPC ’70 Inspiring Pacific Women’

“I wish that one day that all mothers will use our products and it will reduce sickness and they will spend less on disposable pads. I want our daughters to be able to go to school and not have to come back home because she doesn’t have any sanitary products to use.” Mary Kalsrap Reproductive Rights Champion, Vanuatu Mary is the coordinator and a founding member of Mamma’s Laef, a social enterprise run by six ni-Vanuatu women in Port Vila. Mamma’s Laef sew washable sanitary pads that they distribute to communities across Vanuatu, where women often do not have...

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Woman Rapes Boys

A 40-year-old woman was sent to prison for raping two boys on two separate occasions. Sandrine Nemtem from North East Malekula was sentenced to 7 years and 2 months imprisonment with immediate effect in both cases. The victims in these incidents were a 15-year-old boy and another still attending primary school in grade 5. The woman who claimed that her husband is too old to consent for sex, admitted to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse contrary to section 97 (2) of the Penal Code and two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, contrary to section 90 and 91 in two separate incidents. She also admitted one additional count of act of indecency with a young person, contrary to section 98A of the Penal Code. But she was discharged from another count of act of indecency with a young person in one of the two cases. After his final judgment on the cases Chief Justice (CJ) Vincent Lunabek claimed that a total appropriate sentence of 11 years imprisonment as a starting point on both cases in respect of the offences of sexual intercourse without consent. “You are also sentenced to three years imprisonment as a starting point for the offence of act of indecency without consent in count two of the information in Criminal Case No.17/1145,” he said. “Your total sentence of 11 years should be run concurrently with...

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Vanuatu comes third in Jurakai Surf Invitational

Congratulations team Vanuatu on coming 3rd behind Australia and New Zealand at the Juraki Pacific Teams challenge held at Fingal Head Main beach, Australia on August 2017. The Juraki Surf Invitational will see Indigenous Australia’s best surfers come together to share surf and culture. Surf, Culture, Food, Market Stalls, Learn to Surf, Music and more. Special acknowledgments to the Vanuatu Surfing Association platinum sponsors Law Partners, Pacific Advisory and gold sponsors Dynamic Supply Company Vanuatu and Azure Pure Water. GO VANUATU GO! Follow Solwota Sista on...

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14 YEARS FOR RAPE

A man has been given 14-years and six months to be served behind bars after he pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual intercourse without consent. This sentence reflects changes that took place earlier this year when Justice Minister Ronald Warsal lifted the penalties of the crimes that mainly deals with morality — that involved sexual related offences as outlined in the Penal Code Act [CAP 135]. Wycliff Boesel from Maewo was giving money to his victim to cover up his offending and the matter only came to light when the woman got pregnant as a result of the unprotected sexual encounters. Justice James Paul Geoghegan said that Boesel pleaded guilty on the third day of the trial when the victim went through the ordeal and recounted the moments she was facing until she got pregnant. Mr Justice Geoghegan said that Boesel changed his plea from not guilty to guilty plea in the middle of the trial. The victim went to live with Boesel and his wife after her father died in 2014. She was offered a position of housemaid. The Court stated that at the time the victim was vulnerable and needed to support her children and looked to Boesel and his wife as her parents. Justice Geoghegan said that the offence happened in February, March and April 2015 when Boesel knew that the victim was alone at...

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Free education roll out begins

The government is set to roll out free tuition fee for Early Childhood Care and Education(ECCE) and year 7 of junior secondary cycle beginning with the third term of this year (2017). The governments of Australia and New Zealand are providing Vt37 million to finance the government’s free tuition policy this year, the Minister of Education and Training (MOET), Jean Pierre Nirua, announced yesterday. An amount of Vt14,375,000 has been allocated towards free early childhood education. It will benefit 5,750 children of ages 4 to 5 in 252 kindergartens that are attached to government and government assisted primary schools. Each child will receive Vt2,500 covering 10 weeks of term III. The total fund allocated for year 7 is almostVt23 million. It will benefit 4,399 children in 85 secondary schools and 47 centre schools. Each student will receive Vt5,143 as part of tuition fee. Minister Nirua said extending free tuition to early childhood education and junior secondary level will ease the financial burden of parents. This free tuition fee policy excluded private schools. The government, under its free primary education model introduced in 2010, gives a subsidy of each learner a year. Parents will have to meet fees for uniforms, boarding fees, administrative and sundry fees. Parents, teachers and education stakeholders welcomed the announcement last year and again this year on Children’s Day by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai that the...

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COUPLE FACES RAPE CONSPIRACY CHARGE

A Tanna couple have been rearrested and sent back to jail after allegations that they raped another victim. Timothy Kavila has already been convicted on a similar offence that he admitted to the court for raping a 20-year-old girl earlier this year with allegations that his wife was another party to the offence. But the wife denied the allegations distancing herself from the first case where she will stand trial on serious sexual related offences on a date to be set. Police said that the duo was under bail on the first case but they are now placed behind bars on the second case that is now under investigation. Allegations surrounding the case revealed that Kavila allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl at Teouma Bridge area around July and August. At all material times she was under his care and protection. Police confirmed the girl sought refuge at Kavila’s home away from her own home allegedly for a similar issue with her biological father. The girl has reportedly told police to also arrest her biological father for being the reason she is now a rape victim. Police said that the victim was allegedly, raped by Kavila on multiple occasions and threatened not to tell anyone what happened to her. They said that the man’s wife is facing two charges of aiding and abetting with an additional count of act of indecency...

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Rosemary Leona named as SPC ’70 Inspiring Pacific Women’

Ni-Vanuatu businesswoman Rosemary Leona is living proof that Pacific women can stake a claim in the region’s male-dominated business scene. The fifty-four-year-old native of Pentecost Island has made a name for herself in two of Vanuatu’s key industries: tourism and kava. She is the proud owner of the recently launched Vila Rose Hotel in the heart of Port Vila. Rosemary has also run a successful kava export business called ‘Vanuatu Wise’ for the last two years. Prior to setting out on her own, Ms Leona was a senior lending officer with ANZ Bank in Vanuatu for many years, where...

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Inter-island handicraft trading

Inter-island trading in the tourism sector is becoming a reality through the handicraft sector. The islands of Vanuatu establishing trade relations with each other is one of the things the Government, through the Department of Industry and Business Development, wants to see happen. Just recently, some women doing handicraft business from Malekula in Malampa Province went to Aneityum in Tafea Province, to sell their products to cruise ship vendors of Mystery Island. They sold a variety of baskets, shell necklaces and carved jewellery. These women are members of the Malampa Handicraft Centre on Malekula. Their product were well received...

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Opinion: a call for a tolerant, understanding and caring Vanuatu

MP Andrew Napuat’s recent statement on the supremacy of Christian principles in Vanuatu society raises important issues that leaders throughout Vanuatu should deliberate and consider carefully. It is true that the founding fathers and mothers of this country were primarily Christian. This is a testament to the important role Christian churches played in educating and training the leaders that would take the then colony of New Hebrides to independence in 1980. It is understandable then that our national motto and the preamble to our Constitution make specific reference to God as the inspiration behind the struggle for political independence...

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Manage forests now or suffer: Minister Seremaiah

Vanuatu will suffer if it fails to manage its forests sustainably to meet society needs, said the Minister responsible for Forest, Matai Seremaiah. “If we are not careful, we will destroy all our trees and become like (some cities in) China which is struggling for oxygen and investing a lot to restore forestry. “Unlike China, we would not be able to meet the cost of replanting if we exploited our forest. “We must take action now, although our forest are not disappearing at an alarming rate,” he said. Minister Seremaiah was speaking during the opening of the National Forestry...

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Bills to introduce ID cards, Breathalyzer and control mobile use

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh, says three Bills that will go before Parliament in November, once passed, will be implemented immediately. Expanding on the purposes of the Bills, Minister Maoh, explained that the first Bill on ID Cards will require every citizens of this country to be issued with National Identification (ID) Cards. This, he explained, will not mean restricting citizens on movements within the country because the constitution does not allow that. He said the ID cards will be used, for example, for banking purposes, passport checks, or as may be required by government authorities or shown on demand by authorized personnel under specified circumstances. The second Bill is on introducing Breathalyzer test to estimate the blood alcohol content from a breath sample. The minister explained, this will be used to control drivers from consuming alcohol and driving. He said with the current rate of road accidents caused by speeding and drunkenness in Vanuatu, especially Port Vila, this will assist the police to quickly apprehend drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol. The third Bill will address the issue of use of mobile phones by drivers when driving. This will apply to all drivers on all vehicles, Maoh told the Daily Post. “We need disciplined citizens so that our nation can always remain a peaceful nation and a better place to live by citizens, residents...

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Empawa Hour – Breastfeeding

The second episode of Em Pawa Hour featured Alison Harris, founder and president of WINGS Vanuatu, Emmett Ilaisa, breastfeeding advocate and midwife, and Nerida Hinge, Acting Nutrition Coordinator of Ministry of Health. The theme of the show was ‘Breastfeeding’ and explored the benefits of breastfeeding, Vanuatu’s first ‘Mama’s Melek Lefet’ on Monday August 7th 2017 and how National Breastfeeding week will be a reminder every year from now on, to encourage mothers to breastfeed their baby. Topics included: The Law – Did you know A female staff member who is breastfeeding is entitled to a break of half an hour...

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The infantilization of women who work at night

Whether spoken or unspoken, it is common in Vanuatu for women to be perceived as dependants rather than independents. From the personal home to the parliament house, women are seen as in need of being taken care of and are often left out of the decision-making process. When people find out that I am a single mother and not looking for a partner, most of them are horrified. But can you blame me when most of my female friends are being controlled by their partners and are expected to be nothing more than obedient and domesticated wives, daughters or...

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Public concerns over alleged aggressive behavior by police during operation

Increasing public concerns are being raised about alleged aggressive behavior by members of the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) during operations also involving members of the Municipal wardens and the Department of Customs and Rates and Taxes on the roads of Port Vila to check vehicles. The most recent of those operations was held Friday night last week to check vehicles mainly for possession of valid documents – insurance, driver’s licence, road tax and vehicle registration. Vehicles found without the valid documents were confiscated by the operations teams that included the Vanuatu Mobile Force, the police traffic unit, and the Port Vila Municipal. The operation also included officers of the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue. The confiscated vehicles, many times in their hundreds, were taken to the Port Vila cemetery and locked away there until the driver or owner produces the valid documents and pays the fines. A torrent of public concerns are being voiced, many in the social media, about what many of those affected in these confiscation of vehicles describing the behaviors of the VMF members particularly as “very aggressive” and “very scary”. Some alleged the VMF, the police and members of the operation team were very uncompromising and would not listen to reasons but act aggressively toward the drivers. There were reports that a number of elderly people were allegedly dragged out of their vehicles and...

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Bail Breached

The Magistrates Court has issued an arrest warrant for Henriette Yatibu, the accused in a traffic collision which resulted in the death of a young man from Tanna at Tagabe in July this year. Miss Yatibu was charged with: (i) Causing death by reckless driving, contrary to section 13 of the Road Traffic (Control) Act [CAP 29]; and (ii) Unintentional harm causing death, contrary to section 108 (c) of the Penal Code Act [CAP 135]. The warrant was issued on August 17, 2017 to all Police Officers in Vanuatu, after the Court was informed that Miss Yatibu allegedly breached...

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Student’s Thesis focuses on violence in Vanuatu

Vanuatu has a high rate of violence due to technology advancement. A third year student at Marmara University, Nişantaşı Kampus in Turkey, Mr Brian Tete is pursuing a Masters Degree in Media Economics for the past three and a half years and is currently in country to do his thesis on the rising violence in Vanuatu and is an advocate for the most vulnerable part of the society. “I have done comparisons between Vanuatu and Turkey and have found that though Turkey is bigger a country with diverse race of people and cultures, they look after themselves and the...

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Waste Management should be practiced at a young age

The initiative to ban the use of plastic is a way forward for Vanuatu’s Solid Waste Management (SWM). Pollution Control Officer at the Department of Environment, Mr Rontexstar Mogeror said that waste management should be a practice taught to young children. “I have attended a training for three weeks in Japan in Enhancement of Solid Waste Management Capacity, and i have observed how the Japanese control their waste even the young children know separation of waste,”he said. “The children at kindergarten level have waste management as part of their school curriculum, and so they learn and do practical activities...

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