The United States Ambassador in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Catherine Ebert-Gray, has asked the Vanuatu-US Alumni Association, to assist the Embassy promote the Women of Courage award in Vanuatu and get nominations for the award this year.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray who also looks after Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is currently on one of her regular visits to Vanuatu meeting government, business and civic leaders, diplomatic corps members and women leaders.

She made this request to the alumni association because she said last year there was no application for the Women of Courage Award from Vanuatu, which she said was a shame.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray was meeting with members of the alumni at the Chantilly’s on the Bay in Port Vila and Interim President, Anne Pakoa, one of the Vanuatu recipients of the award, when she asked for the alumini to assist the Embassy get nominations from Vanuatu to the Embassy.

The International Women of Courage Award, also referred to as the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award, is an American award presented annually by the United States State Department to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women’s rights, Wikipedia.

The award was established in 2007 by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on International Women’s Day, an annual celebration observed each March 8 in many countries worldwide. Each U.S. Embassy has the right to recommend one woman as a candidate.

Ms. Anne Pakoa is one of a handful of Vanuatu women leaders, including Mrs. Merilyn Tahi of the Vanuatu Women’s Centre, who have been given the Women of Courage Award.

She was recognized for setting up a health facility with just six cotton balls, which today is a mini hospital in a suburb of Port Vila.

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