Squad gets back in office.

On Tuesday 2nd February 2021, the Sista team started their first official day of work.

The team consists of:

  • Executive Director: Yasmine Bjornum (volunteer)
  • Program Manager: Irene Abbock
  • Training and Development Manager, Events Assistant: Katherine Bowden (volunteer)
  • Project Officer: Elisa Mondou (intern)
  • Communications, Advocacy and Events Officer: Umi Nompavos (intern)

We started the day at Kaiviti Motel’s conference room where the Executive Director shared the history of Sista, work done in 2020 and the projects we are undertaking in 2021. This was followed by an information session on feminism and Sista’s way of working.

We welcomed our volunteer, Katherine Bowden, who is provided training and development to the team. In the month of February, Kathrine has moved Sista to use the ClickUp online planner, use Google for storage and forms, provided capacity building support for developing comms materials through Canva and infused self-care practices into our work, as well as provided general support to all our programs.



GO! Cyber Vanuatu Workshop, ABC, Portable and CARE

Wed 24th Feb – Fri 26th Feb 2021, The Grand Hotel

The GO! Cyber (Girls Online Cyber) is a project that will pilot approaches to improve cyber safety and encourage safe online participation for young women and girls in Tonga and Vanuatu. It targets young women and girls to reduce psycho-social harms and opportunity loss from cyber victimization and empower young women to meaningfully engage online. ABCID is leading the consortium that includes CARE in Vanuatu, Talitha Project Tonga and Portable design studio, supported by Australian Aid.

The Executive Director, in her capacity as the PACMAS representative in Vanuatu, facilitated the workshop with the support of Sista team. This is the second workshop, following from the first set of workshops held last year in November that focused on working on ideas to solve the problems they identified, ending in a presentation of the ideas. Sista will be working closely with CARE to develop the ideas that the participants have come up with later in the year.


COVID 19/TC Harold MHPSS Support Program

Tues 23rd Feb – Thurs 25th Feb, Red Cross

IsraAid Vanuatu are working with the MindCare Unit to implement and integrate mental health and psychosocial considerations into all COVID 19/TC Harold response and activities. Volunteers were picked and selected from partner stakeholders, including Sista’s Project Officer who is studying psychosocial support and social work, to participate in a 3-day workshop for TOT.

IsraAid Vanuatu has contracted Sista to provide communication services, which includes interviewing 10-15 MHPSS volunteers, community members, and mental health staff, then transcribing and editing their stories. The Project Officer conducted the interviews during the TOT.


Preparation and Planning

‘Nation-Builders: Celebrating Women in Public Service’ booklet, Balance of Power

Following Vanuatu’s 40th Independence photographic exhibition celebrating women in public service last year, Balance of Power collaborated with Sista again to produce a booklet to mark this year’s International Women’s Day. With barely a month to prepare, the Sista team, led by the Project Officer, worked with Rebecca Olul-Hossen, editor, Telstar Jimmy, layout and design, and Andrew Kaltonga, digital artist for front cover, with support from Polinet for creative direction. The booklet will be launched on Wednesday 10th March at the Prime Minister’s office.

‘Expo VF’ International Women’s Day Exhibition, Alliance Francaise

Sista used it’s networks to link artist Carole Reocreux with activists to produce her art works, as well as supported CARE’s Young Women’s Leadership Alumni to prepare for its own installation, asking young women – ‘What is the change you want to see?’ and a panel discussion called ‘Wanem ia taem yu fren?’ (What is dating?).


‘Strong Mama’ Program, Frida Fund
Sista announced that applications are open for single mothers to participate in the ‘Strong Mama’ program, funded by the FRIDA fund. The objective of these workshops is for single mothers to be able to form genuine connections with each other, understand their rights, increase self-awareness, develop tools to promote positive behaviour, use arts to express themselves, to make a call for action and so much more. Forms are available here.

Sista Fashion Show, Ambassade de France

Sista announced that applications are for experienced and committed designers who are looking to grow their business are open. The fashion show will be funded by Ambassade de France. We will be selecting six designers to showcase five pieces each from a brief to be provided at the end of March. Forms are available here.

Review of the child maintenance act, PPAC SPC
The Program Manager attended a weeklong Human Rights Advocacy workshop at Chantilly’s from February 23rd to February 26th 2021by PPAC (Pacific People Advancing Change) through SPC. This workshop was an opportunity to finalise activities and next steps, as well as build solidarity with other partners in PPAC program. The Program Manager and Executive Director then met with policy planner under Ministry of Justice and team at Vanuatu Law Reform to begin the steps of review.


‘Sista Gat Style’ Life and Style magazine

This month we featured our first ever mother and daughter for Sista Gat Style. Nicky Kuautonga photographed Umi Nompovas and Lailani Langdale at Messy Haos café. You can see the photos here.


Sista Singsing fundraiser – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Rights’

Planning is taking place for Sista to hold it’s first ever fundraiser, which is expected to take place at Seaside Retreat and feature an-all female singing show.

Sista website and online library
Planning took place to revamp the Sista website including an update of categories, layout and identifying contributors. New content for the Sista library was generated and filed away to be uploaded after a planned capacity building workshop with Polinet, our web whiz, to be held in March.


Sista is currently undergoing partnership capacity assessments with CARE in Vanuatu, a key local partner, and We Rise Coalition, a regional feminist collective. Find out more about the We Rise partnership here.