Care Vanuatu hosted a regional learning event with its partner organisations from across the Pacific in Port Vila this week, to strengthen women’s economic resilience and contribute to a vibrant civil society.

As part of the Pacific Partnerships for Gender Equality program, partner organisations from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Australia, Tonga, Timor Leste and Samoa came together to share and learn from each other.

First Secretary for the Australian High Commission, Stephanie Kimber, opened the event on Monday morning. The Australian government supports the Pacific Partnerships for Gender Equality through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Partners discussed approaches to gender programming such as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in Tanna, family financial management trainings, and empowering young women.

Throughout the week, the group celebrate the diversity of the region by showcasing traditional cultures and different approaches to their work, as well as discussing how they can work together across countries to continue learning from each other.

Palatasa Havea from the Talitha Project in Tonga said: “We want to learn about how they are doing things and the different approaches that they use in communities, the pros and cons of methods that they are using. We Pacific countries are quite different in some ways, but our partners might be using some good methods that we haven’t thought of yet so it’s an opportunity to learn from each other to better conduct our work back in the islands.”

Next week, two representatives from Live and Learn Solomon Islands will travel on to Tanna to visit CARE’s project sites, exchanging knowledge with the team about gender and disaster preparedness programs.

Clement Gevu, a project officer from Live and Learn Solomon Islands, said: “For us, our ANCP project is a pilot – it’s new for us so we are still learning. We have been adapting the VSLA model to our local context, it’s now called ‘You Save for Women’s Empowerment’. Going to Tanna, we will exchange learning with CARE Vanuatu so we know what they are doing and we will see what they are doing in terms of disaster preparedness as well.”