May has been truly marvellous!
A lot of our team members spent the first half of this month travelling to Fiji to attend the long awaited 3rd Pacific Feminist Forum! Three members from the Sista team – Executive Director (ED), Project Coordinator and Comms & Advocacy Officer – along with another three amazing women Vanuatu – Georgilla Worwor, Leikita Kalorib and Anne Pakoa – attended the 3 day event.
Once the team arrived back in Vanuatu waters, we all welcomed We Rise Coalition‘s new Comms & Advocacy Coordinator – Josepheen Tarianga! This role sits in Sista but is a coalition-based role and so we are super excited to have another young Ni-Vanuatu woman join the movement and learn and grow with her!
We kept the ball rolling and momentum high on a lot of our other projects, such as Sista Gat Style, the Nation Builders II: Celebrating Women in the Private Sector with our partners from Balance Of Power, the Strong Mama Program and the Sikmun Storian Booklets with our partners from CARE.
On our platforms we shared and celebrated a variety of events that happened in May, like the preparation of the 7th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival (MacFest).
The team also attended and represented Sista at an exciting Balance Of Power’s partners event!
Chloé Rolland – Sista Gat Style, Vanuatu Daily Post
In the month of May we are celebrating the lovely Chloé Rolland!
Focusing on her family and friends, with a supportive partner by her side, Chloe strives to be the best person she can be by working hard in believing herself and remembering what is important – family, having a good job and being a good person.
Chloe encourages young women who are exploring their style to trust themselves, try the new things you want, and take the time to treat yourself.
#SistaGatStyle #WomanVanuatu #Kind #Strong #Beautiful
3rd Pacific Feminist Forum 2023
The Pacific Feminist Forum (PFF) is a remarkably important event for Pacific women being the first ever gathering of its kind in the region.
This year’s 3rd PFF brought together over 150 diverse women human rights defenders and feminists, to share knowledge and experiences, celebrate achievements and strategies for collective action to achieve women’s human rights in the Pacific region. The exciting event was held at Pearl Resort, Fiji from the 8th to the 10th of May.
Vanuatu was represented by the Sista team – ED, Project Coordinator and Comms & Advocacy Officer – and our siSTARS, Georgilla Worwor from Gate Minds, Leikita Kalorib from CARE and Anne Pakoa from Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition.
Sista’s Comms & Advocacy officer also joined the Fiji Womens Rights Movement (FWRM) comms team, to support with media coverage of the 3 day event. The first few days of the forum was a productive experience for her as she built her skills while working with their comms team. Time management was a vital part of the experience for her, seeing that multitasking was needed to not only support the FWRM comms team but also learn as much information from the actual forum itself.
Overall, it was a fun, learning experience for the team! They arrived in Fiji on Saturday 6th of May and travelled back to Vanuatu on Thursday 18th of May.
The 3rd Pacific Feminist Forum is supported by the Australian Government through both the We Rise Coalition and Pacific Women Lead at Pacific-Community-SPC (PWL at SPC) and the European Union in the Pacific-UN Spotlight Initiative. The 3rd PFF Working Group includes Sista, Brown Girl Woke, Pacific Disability Forum, Voice For Change – Jiwaka,PNG, Talitha Project, Tonga, Kiribati Association of Non-Governmental Organization – KANGO, femLINKpacific and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.
Balance Of Power – Nation Builders II: Celebrating Women in the Private Sector
The Balance Of Power (BOP) project team were able to start doing interviews with the first list of the selected candidates for the woman in private sectors who have contributed to the development of Vanuatu. This month we also welcomed a few new members to the BOP project team – our second transcriber, Lila Livo and our fourth writer, Ashlia Kapapa.
Strong Mama Program, Frida Fund – Women’s Circle with Tehya Sky Vanuatu
On 27th May 2023, the third cycle of the Strong Mama program was launched with an opening women’s circle held by Tehya Skye Vanuatu at Havannah Boat House – Vanuatu. The women’s circle is a ceremony to connect women with their breathe, body and connection to God.
Strong Mama is an opportunity for mothers, mostly single mamas, to become empowered through a series of self care workshops including nutrition classes creative writing meditation and yoga.
This program is supported by the FRIDA FUND and is implemented in collaboration with Penpena Mouri. We are looking forward to the upcoming workshops this month with the women and we can’t wait to see them build connections and empower each other!
Sikmun Storian Booklet, supported by Ambassade de France
On Friday 5th May, the Alumni from the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) had a meeting at the Sista office to discuss the Sikmun Storian Booklet. This meeting’s main purpose was to providing the Alumni with information about this project and the procedures and guidelines to start the story collection. The interviews started a few days after this meeting.
Women Deliver Conference Regional Meeting in Fiji
On Thursday 11th and 12th May, the ED attended the Women Deliver 2023 Pacific Regional Convening at the Pearl Resort, Fiji.
This event brought together gender equality advocates and activists from the region to engage in critical conversations to take forward to the upcoming Women Deliver events in Melbourne and Kigali.
As this year’s Regional Convening Partner for the Oceanic Pacific region, the Victorian Government, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia, funded this significant gathering, which was organised and coordinated by International Women’s Development Agency and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.
The ED is looking forward to the journey towards Kigali and being part of this movement.
Consulation with Deakin University to understand Technology Facilitated Domestic Violence and Building Support Services for Victim Survivors
The ED participated in a consultation with Dr. Diarmaid Harkin onesearch being conducted by Deakin University (Australia) and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) regarding the growing rate of technology-facilitated abuse in the context of domestic violence in Vanuatu. This consultation took place at the Australian High Commission and will hopefully contribute to supporting victim survivors of technology facilitated abuse in the long term.
Protection from Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse (PSHEA) and Child Safeguarding Policy Training with CARE Vanuatu
On Wednesday 3rd of May the Sista team attended a training with CARE in Vanuatu.
The aim of the training was for Care to do a refresher training for the whole Sista team, about the Zero tolerance policies such as sexual harassment and abuse and child abuse. The objectives of the training were:
- To be able to define the different types of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse
- To be able to explain the differences, and define the various aspects of child abuse
- To be able to understand our responsibility and requirements as a Care partner
- To familiarize ourselves with the reporting mechanisms and investigations procedures when we experience any form of sexual harassment or child abuse in the workplace or during project implementations.
Thank you CARE in Vanuatu for the continuous support!
Wan Smol Bag Film Launch
Sista was also invited to attend the launch of the film “HOTEL KALIFONIA” by Wan Smol Bag (WSB) Theatre and another short film called “Yu no bin talem”. Sista’s Finance & HR Manager have attended the event on behalf of Sista. Both films talk about interesting topics that affect our communities but remains taboo. Congratulations WSB Theatre for the amazing film launch!
Balance of Power Partners Event
Tuesday 23rd of May was a momentous occasion for Balance of Power (BOP) as it hosted its first-ever partners event at Ramada, Port Vila. The event brought together key partners and stakeholders in Vanuatu and was an opportunity to showcase the reach of BOP’s activities in Vanuatu and at the regional level.
Sista’s Comms & Advocacy Coordinator, We Rise Coalition Comms & Advocacy Coordinator, Comms & Advocacy officer and Finance and HR Manager were excited to attend this event and to show our solidarity on behalf of the team.
It was wonderful to see how BOP is working with other pacific island countries by carrying out surveys and sharing beneficial information in rural and untouched areas around Vanuatu and other remote areas in different pacific island countries that were part of this project.
Account Cycle Training with Marilou Cajot, supported by Ambassade de France and FRIDA
To end the month, the Sista team had a full day training with Marilou, our Finance Consultant, about the Accounting Cycle on the 31st of May 2023. Since last year, Sista has engaged the finance consultant to work closely with Finance Admin and HR department to strengthen Sista’s overall finance system and this training is another step to achieve this goal. The training was very constructive and it allows the girls to understand what is the “Accounting Cycle” and how their roles fit in it.