Rap video ia i tokbaot we yumi no mas mekem any samting aksen long patna blong yu we yu fren long hem spos hem i no agri. Fasin ia i akensem tok blong God, i akensem loa mo i agensem raet blong patna blong yu.
Relationships can be complicated – but some things are simple. It is never ok for someone to have sex or do anything sexual without the other person’s consent. Respect, especially when your partner says no, is at the heart of every good relationship – because no always means no. Thanks to the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Wan Smolbag for partnering with World Vision to produce this music video.
As part of the commemoration of the 2023 Prematurity Day in Port Vila yesterday, Miss Debbie Melsul, the mother of a premature baby shared her experience about her tough journey as a parent of a baby born during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2022. The baby came early at just 32 weeks, weighing only 0.89 grams. She shared how they had to be separated because of COVID-19, making it a challenging time. The baby had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the mother had to wait at home until she tested negative for COVID-19 before she could see her child again after a week. For eight weeks in the NICU, “it was hard and challenging. I was flooded with thoughts of what I could have done as a preemie mum to prevent this. I was terrified. I cried for my son. I’m sure other mothers present today had felt the same thing,” she shared. Ms Melsul continued, “I cried seeing my son had tubes all over him. I was anxious. It was a roller coaster experience. Some days you think everything is going well, and the others, there may be complications.” The journey had its share of problems like an infection in the baby’s umbilical cord, which lasted for a week, and trouble with feeding. But the mom stayed strong. She stayed at the NICU, where days became weeks, which turned into months. Melsul said she and other preemie mothers had to wake up every three hours to feed their babies. She found comfort in a special kind of care called kangaroo care, commonly known as skin-to-skin care, where she held her baby close against her skin. “I found myself singing to my son during kangaroo care. Talking, laughing, and above all, feeling his heartbeat against my chest. That was all that mattered during my journey,” she said. Even when things got tough, a team of doctors and nurses, were supportive. She acknowledged that teamwork was displayed by a dynamic team of nurses and doctors working together and looking after their babies. The mom is thankful for their hard work and also appreciates the help from her family. Her son is currently one year and eight months old, wearing extra-large diapers, and weighs over 17 kilograms. Ms Melsul expressed her utmost gratitude to the nurses and doctors. The mother’s message to others in similar situations is full of hope. “To mothers out there going through the same situation, you will get through this. Those little humans are fearless fighters. The courage and strength that a tiny little human holds is phenomenal and amazing. Just as the banners read, ‘Small actions, big impact’. For each day that passes, be optimistic. Be faithful in the small things. “Believe in small actions of care provided to our little humans, because that makes progress.” A young father who is also a first-time father, also shared his experience of having premature twin-baby girls. The twins were discharged from the hospital on Thursday this week. Junior Pakoa mentioned that he learned a lot from the experienced nurses in the NICU. According to Pakoa, his babies spent three weeks at the NICU before they left for home. He said it was a challenging time because one of the twins was really sick. The young father stood by his partner, the mother of the babies, and together they took care of their little ones. He pointed out how important it is for both parents to be there for their newborns. He also thanked the nurses and doctors who supported them during their stay at the NICU. ________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Over 1,816 citizens representing different sectors and voices, going under the Movement Red, have signed a petition urging parliamentarians to urgently discuss and pass Bills addressing political integrity. Yesterday 164 people took to the streets with signs expressing concerns about instability, with messages like “Stopem Instabiliti tede”, “Stop the Nonsense”, “Tede yu kosem instabiliti, tumoro mi vot”, “Yumi Taet” and “We deserve better”. The petition reflects the worries of Vanuatu’s people about ongoing political instability, especially important post-cyclone recovery. The petition reads; “Political instability is disrupting Vanuatu’s development and service delivery to our communities across all islands. It fuels policy inconsistencies, interrupts development projects, hinders economic development and planning, discourages foreign investment, affects employment opportunities, and wastes the Vanuatu Government’s limited funds. “Political instability reduces confidence in national leadership, divides communities, and diverts resources away from essential services: healthcare, education, infrastructure, social welfare and emergency relief efforts. Political instability harms Vanuatu’s international reputation and credibility. “Achieving the goals of the National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2030 is essential for our nation’s development and prosperity. Vanuatu needs to ensure that no one is left behind, but political instability hinders this path for us all. “The package of Bills in support of enhanced political integrity in Vanuatu is an important foundation for fostering a stable, transparent, and accountable political system that facilitates our country’s sustainable development objectives. “We, undersigned, concerned voters of the Republic of Vanuatu call upon Parliament to re-table and prioritize the implementation of the political integrity Bills and legal reforms as listed for the Second Ordinary Session of Parliament for 2023: Bill for the Political Parties Registration Act of 2023, Bill for the Electoral Act of 2023, Bill for the Decentralization (Amendment) Act of 2023, Bill for the Municipalities (Amendment) Act of 2023, Bill for the Referendum Act of 2023, Bill for the Right to Information (Amendment) Act of 2023, Bill for the Charitable Associations (Incorporations) (Amendment) Act of 2023.” In response, Prime Minister (PM) Charlot Salwai commended the citizens for delivering the petition personally, emphasising the importance of the Parliament as the place where laws are passed. He thanked the protesters for their efforts and stressed that elections are everyone’s responsibility, urging citizens, chiefs, churches, and women leaders to contribute to peace and stability. PM Salwai acknowledged the challenge of increased candidates and population, leading to competition and division. Political instability affects development, diverting attention from the government’s role. He noted that despite listing important bills in the recent Ordinary Session, they were withdrawn due to a lack of support. The inability of the 52 MPs to work together led to the recommendation by the Council of Ministers (COM) to the Head of State to dissolve Parliament. Salwai admitted that that the approach taken by the Head of State reflected the culture and traditional values, Christian values on which the country is founded which led to the withdrawal of the Motion of No Confidence in him as the PM. The head of the government stressed the MPs’ responsibility to debate and pass these important Bills. Non-compliance with the Political Registration Bill will have consequences. He further noted that the government’s commitment to stability and legislative amendments if necessary. He urged voters to choose candidates based on vision rather than “pots and rice”, emphasising the duty of everyone to vote for the right people. The Minister of Climate Change who also serves as the President of Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) Ralph Regenvanu and Andrew Napuat, Tanna’s GJP MP were also present to receive the petition. _____________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Mrs. Rose Jimmy (left) and Mrs. Leisavi Joel during their Talanoa session yesterday. Photo: VFD Representatives from community groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across the region, gathered in Nouméa to take part in the 3rd regional Community-Based Fisheries Dialogue on November 14-15, 2023. This occurred as part the 6th Regional Technical Meeting on Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture (RTMCFA), hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC). The dialogue provides a space for communities from across the region to share their views on issues relating to their coastal fisheries. During the second day of this meeting, Mrs. Leisavi Joel and Mrs. Rose Jimmy from the Havana Tasivanua Environment and Climate Action Network held a ‘Talanoa’ (shared their experience) session in front of an audience of over 100 participants from the Pacific. Mrs. Joel and Mrs. Jimmy were part of a special session organised by SPC and the University of Wollongong that discussed the importance of including voices from women alongside men in Community-Based Fisheries Management (CBFM). The growing collaboration between the Vanuatu Fisheries Department (VFD) and Vanua-Tai Resource Monitors Network was critical to making their participation possible. Following a panel of four speakers from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, Mrs. Joel shared, with passion and emotion, her personal experience and journey as a woman representative from her community working on sustainable fisheries management. “It is hard work for a woman to be actively involved in a male dominated area in the community, when it comes down to decision-making in our community, at the end of the day we have to look at the chief for his support,” she said. In regard to getting recognition from the community leaders, she added, “Sometimes the chief just sees us as a sister, aunty, mother or grandmother and nothing more, even though I am involved actively with our coastal and environmental activities inside the community.” Mrs. Joel and Mrs. Jimmy are the first women to hold a ‘Talanoa’ session during such a regional meeting and were widely appreciated. The session has demonstrated its value as a way to bring community voices to the regional leaders in coastal fisheries. The duo continued to actively participate during the 2-day discussion and want their experiences to set an example for other women in Vanuatu to become active members of CBFM committees in their community, with the support of men leaders. ________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Concerned citizens representing the civil society in Vanuatu, going under the name “Movement Red,” are planning to stage a protest this Thursday to voice their concerns about the ongoing political instability in the country. The Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) and chiefs have also expressed their support for this initiative. Residents who want to be part of this stand are encouraged to wear anything red this week to show their support towards this call. Citizens living overseas have been rallying behind this call, offering their support. They clarified that their aim is not to support or oppose the dissolution of the government, instead to put an end to political instability. They have initiated a petition urging the public to join them in discouraging instability and demanding a more stable political environment. The petition is not directed against any specific leader, political party, or supporter of Members of Parliament; it is a collective effort to advocate for stability, recognising the widespread impact of instability on everyone. As part of the civil society, the Movement Red representatives met with the Head of State over the weekend, who expressed support for their cause. A Facebook page, The “Voes Blong Yumi” has become a hub for discussions and frustrations, reflecting how political instability has personally affected citizens and their communities. A statement issued by the movement, stated, “It is imperative to prioritise the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Lola, ensuring that the affected communities receive the necessary support. “Through these concentrated efforts, Vanuatu can pave the way for a brighter future with influential young leaders, demanding, and promoting stability, prosperity, and a better quality of life for its people and children.” _________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Vanuatu’s Department of Labour (DoL) has revealed that they receive weekly complaints from the families of seasonal workers, particularly partners who request that their spouses be placed on the DoL’s blacklist for engaging in extramarital affairs. This year alone, the total number of Vanuatu workers blacklisted overseas has risen to 174, including seasonal workers from both Australia and New Zealand. Senior Labour Mobility Officer of Policy, Welfare and Compliance, Minnie Bani, reminds all seasonal workers that their overseas journey is intended for family purposes and not for personal endeavors. “Even if you are single, it’s your father and mother who sent you, not for you to go and disengage from the program,” Mrs. Bani stressed. “The family journey is the primary reason, and the family also includes children. Most of them have seemingly forgotten their children, and they do not know the pressure on the children when there is a conflict in the relationship.” She confirmed the DoL has encountered numerous spouses coming forward with their children in tears, seeking assistance with issues they have with their husbands. However, they expressed their limitations, stating they are not licensed counsellors. She further stated that the Department has introduced an initiative known as the “Community of Care Model,” created by the Australian Government for Vanuatu seasonal workers. This model involves team leaders, employers, and country liaison officers to assist the workers. They also aim to establish a referral pathway, similar to what the Department of Women is doing, to finalise the protocol of a safety net. “In cases of gender-based violence or traumatised children needing counseling, the Department of Labour acts as a vital point of contact. They guide individuals on where to seek counselling,” Mrs. Bani stated. The Senior Labour Mobility Officer mentioned that another goal of the DoL is to provide an actual counselling service. They have identified ADRA Vanuatu’s “Blossom Project,” which focuses on family life education covering topics such as reproductive health, incest, and domestic violence, as a potential resource. According to the Department of Pacific Affairs, reasons for blacklisting can vary, including alcohol abuse, property damage, personality differences, and power struggles between workers and their employers or supervisors. Some cases involve supervisors using power dynamics to threaten workers, leading to blacklisting. However, Mrs. Bani said the most common reason for blacklisting Vanuatu workers is alcohol consumption, which result in fighting, car accidents, and other alcohol-related behaviors. The Department of Pacific Affairs clarifies that blacklisting serves as a punitive measure against workers who violate program rules or exhibit inappropriate behavior. While some cases are justified, there are instances where workers are blacklisted without clear evidence of wrongdoing. The Department of Pacific Affairs further reported the issue of blacklisting affects employers and labour sending units as well. When workers are blacklisted from one program, they may attempt to enter another. “There is a trend of long-term workers being blacklisted, raising questions about whether complacency, multiple visits, or other factors contribute to this issue. It is important to understand and address the underlying reasons behind blacklisting,” the Department of Pacific Affairs reported. The DoL adds that since the scheme’s primary goal is to help individuals economically, a worker placed on Australia’s blacklist may have the opportunity to migrate to New Zealand. However, they may be subject to a two-to five-year stand-down period first. ______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST