“The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you!”
Putting God first in everything she does, Elisa Mondou lives her life to the fullest. Hailing from the Banks Islands, Elisa keeps herself busy studying Psychology and Social Work at USP and working in the community as an advocate for women’s rights and mental health. She enjoys gardening, photography, writing and hanging out with her friends in her down time. While Elisa loves her studies and work, she is also a firm believer in taking time for self-discovery and self-care in order to find her place in the world. Elisa says, “Accepting myself in all my phases is one thing I love about myself because it’s not easy to admit we have flaws. I allow God to continue to shape and mould me.”
#BanksGoddess #IntellectualAelanGel #NiVanQueen #AcceptYourselfInAllYourPhases #GelBlongGod
Where are you from?
I am originally from the Banks Island.
Tell us about your family?
I come from a family of three. Both of my older siblings are already working. My mom at this point prefers not to work and tends to her flower gardening because all her children are already working, so yeah…haha. And my dad is working overseas in the seasonal pathways program.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
I spend most of my spare time reading and or doing schoolwork. Some of my spare time is spent surfing through the internet especially on Pinterest and if I get a chance to hang out with a friend then it’ll be long hours of interesting conversations haha. In terms of hobbies, I love writing, journaling, photography and flower gardening with my mother, and I am open to discovering new hobbies.
What do you study? Do you work?
I am studying a double major in Psychology and Social work with electives in Geography at the University of the South Pacific, Emalus campus. I also work part time as a project officer at Sista, NGO.
What do you aspire to do in the future?
Interesting question! To be honest, I aspire to do a lot of things in the future because I know I am capable of achieving whatever goal I set my heart and my mind to. However, I cannot confirm what I am destined to do in this life yet, as I am currently in the season of finding my place in this world. Although with what I am currently studying, I hope to work more closely with communities in terms of providing mental health support, as I see a great need for mental health care in Vanuatu. I actually hope to explore my passion with photography a bit more too.
What is a quote that you live by?
The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you!
I have always lived by this quote, and I believe I am living, breathing proof that no matter what comes ahead, whatever task you set out to achieve, it can never compare to the power within you, meaning the strength, the knowledge and understanding, and the confidence that only God can give. His power out-weighs all circumstances.
How would you describe your style? Why do you like fashion?
I must admit, I never really considered myself a fashionista! Haha. I am more into whatever material feels right to wear this day, and or what color I feel vibes with my mood. I’d say my day-to-day style would be a simple skirt and t-shirt or a dress. I prefer modesty and elegance! Some days I can look popping with an outfit while other days I am just down for whatever feels comfortable to wear haha.
I like how fashion is an avenue for women to freely express themselves, and some of them do it with amazing art!
Who influences your style?
Apostolic modesty. From there I started finding my style, what works for me and what doesn’t.
What beauty products do you use?
I use Dove body lotion creams, as I find it moisturizing and friendly for my skin. I also use Monoi de Tahiti Aloe Vera oil for both my skin and hair. For hair products I use, again, Monoi de Tahiti Aloe Vera oil, Suave shampoo and Conditioner, Cantu conditioner and Aelan Curls leave in conditioner as it helps keep my hair moisturized. For perfumes, I usually use White Diamonds and or Body fantasies – frangipani flavour.
Any fashion tips?
Every woman has a different taste in clothes and style, what I like to wear and what my style is may be different from yours, so just embrace what you feel reflects more of you and not of someone else’s.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Enthusiastic, down-to-earth and unique.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
The past years of 2020 and 2021 has been my year of growth, all which I owe to God for these opportunities. My greatest accomplishment so far would be travelling to two different islands to work on projects that are close to my heart. I had the chance to work with communities on mental health and psychosocial support and I got to work alongside adolescent girls at the community level to explore the inequalities they face, and it was mind boggling. It has inspired me and allowed me to understand the issues from different angles/perspectives.
Another accomplishment for me is working alongside the Balance of Power team to launch the Public Service Commission booklet celebrating women in the public service, and helping to lead the launch of Vanuatu’s first ever women’s anthology book called Sista Stanap Strong! It’s a start of my journey and so far, it has been empowering!
What is something you love about yourself?
I’ll be honest – it is hard to talk about the things that we love about ourselves, especially because we are human and have flaws. However I also know that loving yourself and taking care of yourself is crucial.
Accepting myself in all my phases is one thing I love about myself because it’s not easy to admit we have flaws. I allow God to continue to shape and mould me.
Assistant: Umi Nompovas
Photographer: Nicky Kuautonga
Hair, makeup and beauty: Body & Hair Shop