#PrideMonth was filled with learning, celebrating little wins and levelling up at Sista!

We started the month with our online media campaign with Vpride! The communications team shared several excerpts, across the month of June, from one of Vpride’s resources. This campaign was to help spread awareness on the work they are doing in Vanuatu, while also supporting the #HumanRightsForAll notion.

On our platforms we also celebrated International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on 19th June, International Yoga Day on 21st June and International day of Women in Diplomacy on 24th June!

Later in the month, Sista’s Executive Director travelled to Melbourne for the Women Deliver Oceanic Pacific convening on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne, Australia.This event provided an opportunity to determine the regional priorities we want to take to Women Deliver 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda next month!

Sista’s Project Coordinator and Communications & Advocacy officer also flew to Fiji to attend an important Regional Training with Fiji Women’s Rights Movement. It was a one-week training where they both learnt a lot from the other participants.

The Projects team continued with our Strong Mama Program where the participants had two meaningful sessions around the importance of physical and nutritional well-being with Annanda Yoga.

The Balance of Power Projects team at Sista powered through the many interviews with the different women candidates for the second edition of the Nation Builders booklet.

And finally, we celebrated little wins like setting up Sista’s Board of Directors and the installation of a brand new air conditioner!


Georgina Ishmael – Sista Gat Style, Vanuatu Daily Post

We’re halfway through 2023! And in June, we’re celebrating the very talented Georgina Ishmael!

If energy were a person, it would be Georgina. Originally from the island of Malekula she has tied the knot and is now a proud #WomanNguna. Vibrant, humorous, and charismatic, this dynamo girl proves that you can have it all as a business owner, a freelance photographer, a wife and a mother who still makes time for the things and people she loves.

She lives by the quote, “I shine from within so no one can dim my light”, to remind her of the power she holds to her own happiness and strength to achieve goals and overcome challenges.

#SistaGatStyle #WomanNguna #Mother #Wife #Photographer #Videographer

Women in Leadership Film in partnership with HCDI and We Rise Coaltion

On Friday 2nd June 2023, Sista in partnership with Human Capacity Development International (HCDI) and the We Rise Coalition, made the official in-person launch of, “Women Hold up Half the Sky” at Alliance française de Port-Vila!

Women Hold up Half the Sky is a video that highlights the journey of 3 women Municipal Councilors; Marie Louise Carcasses, Melanie Shem and Anthea Arukole.

Their journey’s showcase the importance of equal representation of women in Vanuatu politics, honors the accomplishments of the women that came before them, and paves the road for many more to come after them.

We are grateful for the willingness of Anthea, Marie Louise and Melanie to share their journey. We are also grateful to MP Gloria King for her support of this project by providing both an opening and a closing speech in the video.

Watch the FULL film Here!

Balance of Power – Nation Builders II: Celebrating Women in the Private Sector

This month, the Project team continued carrying out interviews with the women who have been selected to be featured in the second edition of Nation Builders.

There were 12 women altogether who were interviewed and photographed in June. This was followed by sending the audio recordings to be transcribed and then onto the writers to creatively put these women’s stories together.

Later on 16th June 2023, Sista’s Project Coordinator and the Team leader for this particular project, met with Telstar Jimmy from Balance of Power (BOP) to brief each other on the status of the project and identify steps forward to overcome the challenges of the workplan.

It has been quite challenging for Sista and the Project team to schedule interviews with the women as everything is planned according to their availability and busy schedules.

Project Team Leader, Winona Kalpukai interviewing one of the women


Strong Mama Program supported by FRIDA Fund – Sessions with Annanda Yoga

On 17th and 24th June 2023, the participants from the Strong Mama Program carried out two sessions of Mediation, Yoga and Nutrition workshops with Annanda Yoga.

We collaborated with Penpena Mourie, a local NGO targeted at supporting single mothers, to lead and organise these sessions. Sista supported the initiative in terms of logistics, transport and securing participants.

Sikmun Storian supported by Ambassade de France

The Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) Alumni continued collecting stories from different women living in Port Vila, to capture their stories on when they got their first period, and how it’s changed from back then to today. A lot of their time this month was spent identifying the women to be profiled, scheduling and conducting the interviews.

On 30th June 2023, the Project Coordinator met with Umi Nompavos, who is designing the Sikmun Storian booklet, to speak more about what the design should look like and other details including the timeframe.

We’re so excited to see this booklet come together and can’t wait to share it with you all!


 Design of internship and mentorship component Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) – CARE
The ED has been re-designing the internship and mentorship component of the YWLP for the next phase of YWLP, after the many learnings from the previous cohorts. We are so excited to roll this out in August and can’t wait to see more women experiencing the workforce!


Social Media Campaign with VPride

This month Sista stands with VPride to celebrate Pride Month!

The communications team at Sista collaborated with VPride to share excerpts from the organisations resource, SOGIE: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, to help spread awareness on the work that they do.

Pride Month was an opportunity to educate the community and champion equitable treatment for all SOGIE diverse people in Vanuatu.


Other News

 Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Regional Training

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) Regional Workshop was supported by the Australian Government through the We Rise Coalition. The training started on Monday 5 June and ended on Friday 9 June 2023.

The regional training was designed in two parts. The first part focused on understanding  Gender Analysis and  Gender Analysis of National Budgets. The second part focused more on how to contribute to a Safer Workplace: Combatting Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

 Sista’s Project Coordinator and Communication and Advocacy officer attended the training on behalf of Sista, and Vanuatu. The training was very educational and informative. Listening and participating in group discussions and presentations enabled participants to learn from each other’s experiences, knowledge, and real stories.

Women Deliver Conference, Melbourne – We Rise Coalition

The Women Deliver Oceanic Pacific convening from 6 to 7 June 2023 on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne, Australia, gathered 360 people, inclusive of Women Deliver Oceanic Pacific Regional Committee Members, government representatives, gender equality sector and women’s organisations, civil society activists and other stakeholders from philanthropy, business and academia. This convening followed the first event in Fiji held on 11 and 12 May, and the ED of Sista had the pleasure of attending both.

These events provided an opportunity to determine the regional priorities we want to take to Women Deliver 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda from 17-20 July 2023. This includes: climate justice, decolonisation, women’s leadership and representation, resourcing for women’s rights, care work and economic justice, GBV, SRHR, backlash, intersectionality, cultural self determination, indigenous solidarity and gender data and evidence.

Visit to IWDA Office, Melbourne – We Rise Coalition

After the Melbourne convening for WDC, the ED visited the office of our partner, the International Women’s Development Agency, on the 8th and 9th of June. This was an opportunity to discuss our activities and budget for the next financial year with other partners within the We Rise Coalition. Thank you IWDA for warmly welcoming us and always being our ‘big sister.’


Referral Pathway Training – Child’s Desk, Ministry of Justice and Community Services

The ED briefly attended the referral pathway training on 28th June led by the Ministry of Justice and Community Services at the Vanuatu Christian Council centre.


Meeting with Department of Women’s Affairs

The ED met with Acting Director Seman and Communications Officer Heather at the Department of Women’s Affairs on 14th June to share our work and to discuss engagement with other projects in the year to come. We are looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with DWA.


Situational Analysis, Feminist Movement – Pacific Women Lead

The ED took part in an interview on June 15th with Michelle Reddy who has been working with Virisila Buadromo to develop a thematic situational analysis for Pacific Women Lead Enabling Services. This will inform broader work for women’s funds in the region and will support better understanding the current state of play for the Pacific feminist movement as it relates to Pacific Women Lead, with a focus on how connected the feminist movement is, the depth of the movement, and how often feminist expertise is drawn upon by Pacific partners.


Attendance to meet Australian Governor General – Australian High Commission, Vanuatu

The ED and her spouse attended an  Official Reception to meet the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley & Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley. This was held on 28th June at the private residence of the Australian High Commissioner and included a performance by the Nabanga Ensemble Orchestra Band and Yosh Shing & Band.


Gate Minds Documentary and Music Video Launch

On Tuesday 20th June, Sista attended the official launch of Gate Minds short documentary and music video that explores the role of gendered stereotypes and the impacts of prejudice against people from different backgrounds.

Both films were based on key messages from the Narrative Workshop which was held and organised by Gate Minds earlier this year.

Congratulations Gate Minds for launching these powerful videos, and to MATAKAMBU for the production! Visit Gate Minds Facebook to WATCH both videos.

Sista Board Meeting

On 22nd June Sista held a meeting with its board of directors at Mangoes Resort from 12pm – 2pm. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct board nominations and identify other key priorities for the future such as establishing board meeting frequency, reviewing and updating Sista’s constitution, overseeing the final vision and mission of Sista, and input into strategic direction. We would like to congratulate our new co-chairs – Polly Walker and Johnlyn Regenvanu, secretary Dawn Reuben, treasurer Junior Pikoune and members Stephanie Mahuk, Anna Naupa and Yasmine Bjornum. We look forward to this journey ahead together under your wisdom and leadership!


FRIDA Fund Grant

 Sista applied for an additional grant and a risk reserve grant through the Frida Fund in May and this request was granted in June, followed by a contribution agreement signed on the 16th of June 2023 by Sista and FRIDA. Sista received the funds on the 30th of June.

A big thank you to FRIDA for the trust and this continuous partnership!


End of Financial Year – We Rise Coaltion

This month is also the end of Sista’s financial year with We Rise. We have grown and learnt a lot during this financial year. The finance team would like to acknowledge and thank our amazing finance consultant, Marilou Cajot, for her support and assistance on helping us strengthen Sista’s finance system. And a big thank you to IWDA’s finance team for their amazing work on putting together our new budget and work plan for the next financial year. We really appreciate your support and hard work on this.


New Air Conditioner

The finance and admin team reached out to Electrocool Services to install an Air Conditioner in Sista’s Executive Director’s office. This was a long-time wish that has finally been made possible thanks to our partner and donor, We Rise Coalition.


Vanuatu Feminist Library

The Vanuatu Feminist Library (VFL) received exciting donations from Dominique Seagoe and Anna Naupa!

Dominique donated two French books: “Guide des Droits des Femmes et de la Famille”, and “Pierre noire” (Black Stone) poems by Grace Mera Molisa. And Anna donated, “Young Women Speak: A report on the young women, beauty and self-image” by Vanuatu Young People’s Project.

We are super excited to add these books to the current colourful collection in the VFL, which Sista is proud to host on behalf of its founder Stephanie Ephraim Lekal!