February was a very short month with A LOT going on. Our team continues to grow bigger and better and it’s only the second month of 2022!
Sista Gat Style
We are excited to announce that we will now be featuring a new designer of the month in our Sista Gat Style editions! This is to continue to empower women & girls through fashion, to encourage us to express ourselves how we truly want to, all whilst building the capacity of our very talented fashion industry by unveiling hidden talents in Port Vila and maybe even the outer islands as well!
This month we featured a young woman who is as driven as she is beautiful – Rosina’s story is quite a touching one. From being displaced as a child repeatedly to finally finding a loving family and a second home at her church.
Now a strong and resilient young woman, she wants to empower other women and girls who have had a similar journey. With her contagious laugh and a hunger for knowledge and learning, Rosina is quite creative, from sewing her own clothes to producing films, including featuring her own production in the Namatan Film Festival. She lives by her favourite quote: “Life is a one-time offer, use it wisely.”
‘Young Women’s Leadership Program’ Organizing & Advocacy Workshops
On the 7th and 8th of February, our Communication Events & Advocacy officer, Umi Nompavos with the support of the Care & Sista team, facilitated two workshops on ‘Organizing and Advocacy’ with the Young Women’s Leadership Program in partnership with CARE.
During the workshop the girls were asked what was one (1) issue or topic that they were passionate about and then presented to them examples on how they could advocate for it.
The girls proceeded to write down what mattered to them and then we went around and they told us their own personal experiences and what they would like to change. We then put them into small groups where they discussed and agreed on one (1) topic and began to plan their advocacy. After that they presented back to everyone and received feedback from their peers.
It is an honour to be a part of this program and to contribute to the development of our young women and girls in Vanuatu.
GO! Cyber Safety social media campaign
On February 8th Sista launched an online campaign on Facebook as well as Instagram exploring how women and girls can protect themselves online and educate men and boys on the dos and don’ts of life on social media.
We launched daily questions to start conversations with our followers in regards to cyber safety in the lead up to the three (3) short videos we released through out the campaign on:
We will be announcing our winners at the start of March. Stay tuned to find who the winners of this campaign are!
Planning and preparation
‘The Round Table’
On the 23rd of February we started recording the first few episodes of our upcoming podcast – The Round Table. We will be releasing the first episode in the near future and we cannot wait! The podcast will unpack and reshape people’s perspective on gender roles by exploring the challenge of progressing gender equality while upholding traditional values that underpin the fabric of Pacific societies. A big thank you to Delta Tjiobang from Bistaveous Productions for helping us pilot the first few trial episodes, and to ABCID for providing equipment for us and We Rise Coalition for core support.
Supporting communications for the Australian High Commission’s International Women’s Day Awards
In the last week of February, the Sista team has supported the Australian High Commission to take photos, follow up questions and edit the biographies and create posters of the Andy Lynch and Hanson Mataskelekele awards nominees for international women’s day. This work was led by our Project Officer Rosina with photographs taken by Young Women’s Leadership Program alumni, Ann-Ruth Soaram. The biographies were edited by our intern, Losana Natuman.
There were a total of 24 nominations that were submitted for the Andy lynch Award and Hanson Mataskelekel Award. Despite the short timeframe and the current situation in response to COVID rumours, the team has managed to collect pictures and do further interviews to collect more information. Some of these women are from the islands, therefore the team had to call them and ask them to send their pictures via email.
The Sista Team is so honored to celebrate these women!
Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Port Vila, this event has been postponed.
‘Women’s Wisdom’ – International Women’s Day Exhibition
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, Sista made a call-out on Facebook and Instagram to ask women – “What advice would you give to your younger self?”. The objective was to get women to give younger women and girls advice on anything from self-worth, career, relationships, family, health – whatever they wished they knew back then that could help younger women navigate life!
The answers we got are to be displayed at an exhibition for International Women’s Day hosted at Alliance Francaise, Port Vila. We are both happy and excited to show everyone what ALL these wonderful and wise women had to say!
This project was made possible with the support of the We Rise Coalition to support movement building and strengthening inter-generational dialogue in Vanuatu.
Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, this event has been postponed.
Women Writers Mentorship
Sista released a call out for five (5) aspiring writers to be mentored by Rebecca Tobo Olul-Hossen (featured author & co-editor of ‘Sista! Stanap Strong’ – Vanuatu’s first ever woman anthology) to write three stories each on issues or topics they are passionate about ranging from gender equality, parenting and domestic violence to fashion, education or nutrition and the list goes on.
We ended up receiving more than a dozen applications and have decided to expand the workshop to accommodate all these aspiring writers. We would like to thank the We Rise Coalition for supporting this initiative, which was supposed to be held on March 10th, but has been postponed due to lockdown.
Sista Gat Style Photoshoot
On February 23rd we shot the Sista Gat Style March edition in preparation for Vanuatu Daily Post Life & Style Magazine coming out next month. This will be the first time we feature renown local fashion designer in Sista Gat Style. We will be starting off with Anna Issachar, a designer from our very own ‘Yumi Gat Style’ fashion show we held last year.
Keep an eye out for next month’s issue of L&S magazine to see who will be our featured model and Anna’s designs, all right on time for the month of International Women’s Day!
Here’s a sneak peak in the meantime.
Go! Cyber Safety Booklet Launch
On the 7th of February Care and Sista finally launched the GO! Cyber Safety booklet.
The launch was held at the Melanesian Conference Room. The booklet is dedicated to help girls and young women in Vanuatu to be safer and smarter when they use social media and go online, and was made to compliment the three (3) short videos produced by Makatambu productions with the scripts written by the very own GO! Cyber participants hailing from Port Vila and Tanna.
Our Project Officer Rosina Kaimbang (far right) who was also a participant gave a speech during the event about her experience with GO! Cyber. We are so proud of you!
The event was attended by key stakeholders, the GO! Cyber participants, the Wan Smol Bag actors, CARE & Sista team.
We Rise Coalition Retreat
From the 14th to the 16th of February Sista’s ED, Project Team Leader and Communications, Events & Advocacy Officer attended a three (3) day retreat held by the We Rise Coalition on Zoom.
The We Rise Coalition is an annual retreat held with all members of the Coalition all the way from Fiji Femlink & FWRM, Australia IWDA, Tonga Brown Girl Woke (BGW), Papua New Guinea – Voice for Change, and Sista representing Vanuatu.
The Talitha Project from Tonga is also a part of the coalition but were unable to join due to the volcano eruption in late January, our thoughts and prayers go out to them for their journey to recovery in these difficult times.
The objectives of the workshop were to :
- review the experience of the We Rise Coalition as an expanded partnership, including newer partners’ perceptions of involvement and of the Coalition’s achievements.
- build further links and relationships between Coalition members.
- set future directions, approaches and ways of operating as a coalition
After the retreat we think it’s safe to say that, even though this retreat was done via zoom, we do feel a closer bond with our partners and feel we got to know them better.
We can’t say enough how thankful we are to be a part of this coalition…thanks to this partnership we wouldn’t be able to do the caliber of work we do today!
Fiji Women’s Rights Movement preparation workshop for ‘Preventing Sexual Harassment in Workplace’ project
Our Executive Director, Program & Finance Manager, Projects Team Leader & Project Officer attended a workshop with Sista’s new partner: Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, a multi-ethnic and multicultural non-governmental organisation committed to removing all forms of discrimination against women through institutional reform and attitudinal change.
The objective of the workshop was to open discussions on how we can effectively monitor national and regional commitments to preventing sexual harassment in the workplaces and advocating for the effective implementation of the same. As part of work we will be implementing with FWRM, we used this time to go through Finance, MEL and the commitments expected from each organisation.
Design task force workshop
On February 25th our ED attended a co-design workshop with our strategic partner CARE following an evaluation process of the GET (Gender Equality Together) program in which Sista is an implementing partner for the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP). Representatives from Sista, CARE, YWLP alumni, Balance of Power and Vanuatu Skills Partnership joined the workshop to share our own priorities for the coming years to contribute to gender equality, listen to the summary of key findings and recommendations from the evaluation, and started developing ideas for a future design. We are looking forward to being part of the movement to achieve gender equality together and to support more young women leaders!
New Team Members
This month we welcomed two (2) new members into the office! A new Intern Project Officer, Law student and mother of two – Losana Natuman. Losana will be with us until June and will be working tightly with our projects team as we need as many hands on deck.
We also got a Senior Finance and Admin Officer Regina Ova who joined us on the 14th of February, right on time to help out our Finance Manager who has been handling the finance department all on her own since October last year!
We are grateful to have our team grow bigger and stronger with these two intelligent and strong women.
February was the month where Sista finally received it’s new Senior Finance & Admin Officer Ms. Regina Ova. Regina’s first week in Sista was mainly basic Finance Xero entries and reporting training as per Sista Finance Manual and was successfully conducted by Arise Finance Consultant with the support of Sista’s Finance & Program Manager. In addition to that, Sista also received its 2022 Frida Fund, The Young Feminist Fund for Sista’s Core Organizational budget line and a sub grant for Team Capacity Strengthening, what an exciting opportunity indeed!