The Adventist Disaster Relief Agency (ADRA) is spearheading the Blossom project, a dedicated effort to improve the well-being of women and girls in Vanuatu.

This initiative focuses on critical issues such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, and teenage pregnancy. ADRA collaborates with church leaders, students, community members, and the government, employing the Family Life Education (FLE) approach.

The FLE approach involves open discussions on gender norms, family roles, and encouraging men to take on non-traditional roles while nurturing women’s participation in leadership. ADRA is taking a pioneering step by establishing Wellness Centres on Efate, Santo, and Tanna islands. These centres serve as safe spaces for community members, providing counselling services.

In a recent collaboration, ADRA joined forces with the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP) to conduct FLE training for VSP members on Malekula Island. The training, hosted at VSP premises in Norsup, Malekula, brought together church elders from Anglican and Presbyterian churches. The week-long training left participants enthusiastic, with requests for more FLE workshops in their respective communities.

Reflecting on the impact of the training, a chief in attendance highlighted the connection between broken homes and families and the absence of God at the centre of marriages. Emphasising the important role of placing God at the core, he urged all families in Vanuatu to adopt this practice for the longevity and sustainability of familial relationships.

The Blossom Project Officer at ADRA Vanuatu, Mr. Ludovic Kelly, commented on the importance of FLE workshops. He said there is a need for families, especially newlyweds and the general public, to participate in such training sessions. Kelly believes these workshops contribute to a God-ordained way of living and play a pivotal role in creating a Vanuatu free from social problems.

The success of the recent training on Malekula Island is a step forward in addressing social challenges and advancing healthier family dynamics in Vanuatu. The collaboration between ADRA and VSP is a collective effort to empower communities and promote positive change.