When Leah Lowonbu finished high school, her goal was to study for a career in the medical field. Instead she found herself dealing with an unexpected pregnancy and raising her daughter alone in a rented one-room apartment.
Little did she know that years later she would be part of a national team serving the nation – not as a doctor, but as a journalist.
“Life was hard,” she says of her time as a young mother.
“I wanted to study but I had other responsibilities.”
With her parents’ support, Leah enrolled in the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT) and completed a diploma in journalism.
After freelancing for the now defunct Vanuatu Independent newspaper, Leah got an internship at the Vanuatu Broadcasting Television Corporation (VBTC) and is now one of the rising star journalists at the national broadcaster.
“I am happy for how everything turned out,” says Leah, who is based in the capital of Port Vila.
Vanuatu is bracing for the impact of a Category 2 cyclone, which is expected to intensify to a Category 3 over the course of this week. This was confirmed by Anthony Wong, the Weather Forecaster at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD). Tropical Cyclone (TC) Judy is moving in a south-southwesterly direction. The cyclone is expected to move through the islands of Vanuatu starting from TORBA to TAFEA. Wong stated that TORBA province should expect a Category 1 cyclone at around 11pm on the previous day, but the intensity of the cyclone is expected to rise to Category 2 from the morning up until lunch. The cyclone’s intensity is predicted to increase to Category 3 when it moves through SHEFA and TAFEA, before decreasing back to Category 2 as it moves out of Vanuatu. However, this prediction has yet to be confirmed. The VMGD has issued alerts to prepare people for the cyclone season. Blue alerts predict a cyclone that is expected after 48 hours, while a Yellow alert predicts a cyclone in the next 36 hours, and a Red alert predicts a cyclone that is expected within the next 24 hours. People must be aware of what to expect during a cyclone, including heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, and rough seas. Wong also mentioned that another cyclone is expected to form, but it is likely to be a tropical low. However, a cyclone has formed in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia, and Vanuatu is also expected to be affected by it. ______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
First Nations Writers, a charitable organisation based in Australia, is making waves in the literary world by promoting the work of indigenous authors and writers from the Greater Pacific. The organisation’s founder and chairperson, Mrs. Anna Borzi AM, recently explained the role of First Nations Writers, and how it aims to reward the cultural and intellectual creativity of writers and creatives from the Greater Pacific. Mrs. Borzi is currently in Vanuatu, where she met with local writers who have been writing for a long time. She explained that First Nations Writers wants to attract more writers to tell stories from the Pacific and take these stories internationally. Mrs. Borzi is convinced that no one can write about Vanuatu better than someone from Vanuatu who understands the culture and language. This is why the organization is encouraging people from the Pacific to share their stories. During her trip, Mrs. Borzi also visited the University and bookshops in Vanuatu to see the culture of writing there. She highlighted the importance of the stories of ordinary people in the villages, which are historically significant over a long period of time. First Nations Writers visited Fiji, where they met with wonderful people and writers who were eager for international platforms to share their stories. The organisation is now planning to host its second festival in May, which will feature contemporary artists and authors from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. The festival will also award ten winners with AUSD5, 000 each, and the organization will help to publish their books. Mrs. Borzi is hoping to host the festival in Vanuatu in 2023, where she believes it will have a significant impact on the literary world. First Nations Writers is committed to promoting and rewarding the work of indigenous authors and creatives from the Greater Pacific. First Nations Writers is a unique organisation that also gives awards to deserving writers with the help of independent judges. The goal is to collect as many stories as possible from the Greater Pacific and to publish and share these stories with the world. The organisation is regulated in Australia. _____________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: Vanuatu Daily Post
The 12th edition of World Radio Day (WRD) was celebrated on February 13, 2023, with the theme “Radio and Peace.” The newly elected Media Association blong Vanuatu (MAV) congratulated all radio broadcasters in Vanuatu and recognizes the importance of radio in communicating information to a wide audience. “The theme ‘Radio and Peace’ reminds us of the fundamental role the radio plays to communicate information to our people, especially during conflicts and natural disasters, and in promoting peace and stability in the country,” MAV President Lillyrose Welwel said. The day also celebrates radio’s ability to improve international cooperation between broadcasters, promote access to information, freedom of expression, and gender equality over the airwaves. Every year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) plans activities with broadcasters, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), national authorities, and the public to celebrate WRD. MAV President Welwel highlighted radio’s ability to reach the widest audience in Vanuatu, besides newspapers, and its role in exchanging information, providing social interchange, and educating people. Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity’s diversity and democratic discourse, and radio stations should serve diverse communities, offering a variety of programs, viewpoints, and content, and reflecting the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations. ___________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
The Santo Sunset Environment Women’s Network (SSEWN) has taken the initiative to provide aid to the affected villagers in North West Santo following the recent natural disasters that hit the area. Malpoi village was severely impacted by the recent cyclone and subsequent landslide, which caused damage to the land and made it difficult for the villagers to move around due to the mud. After conducting an assessment, SSEWN found that the villagers were in dire need of humanitarian relief supplies and assistance, as all of their gardens had been destroyed and their water sources contaminated. In response, the SSEWN team traveled back to their base in Tasmate to gather the necessary supplies for distribution to the affected families. Some families had to relocate to a safer area due to the landslide, and SSEWN is stepping forward as the first Non-Government Organisation to offer assistance to the community in North West Santo. Chairman of SSEWN, Allan Taman, emphasized the importance of providing aid to the community, who are in need of support during this challenging time. SSEWN is demonstrating its commitment to helping those in need, and their quick response to the natural disaster highlights the importance of aid organizations in providing assistance during times of crisis. _____________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Ms Lillyrose Welwel has been elected as the new President of the Media Association blong Vanuatu (MAV). She replaces outgoing MAV President, Mr. Stevenson Liu from the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC). The new Vice President of MAV is Charles Sumbe from VBTC; the new Secretary is Loic Teilemb (Communications, French Embassy); Vice Secretary Kiranga Taufa (FM107); Treasurer Besse Ishmael (Vanuatu Daily Post), and Vice Treasurer Fern Napwatt (Communications, Department of Energy). The members are Richard Naunea (Office of the Ombudsman) and Witnol Tor (Social Media representative). The new MAV President has reminded members they own MAV and assured them the new executive will be working to respond to their concerns, starting next week. Ms Welwel has been in the media industry for over a decade and worked at VBTC before leaving to handle communications for the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Limited, and now, Youth Challenge Vanuatu. ____________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST