#Pinktober was filled with major events, regional workshops, meetings, and an out of season Tropical Cyclone (TC)! The team at Sista powered through to achieve the months goals.

 

At the beginning of the month, Sista’s Executive Director (ED), Communications & Advocacy Coordinator and We Rise Communication Coordinator, flew to Nadi, Fiji to attend a one week training with the We Rise Coaltion. It was lovely meeting with our Pacific Feminist siSTARS again and we look forward to working together in the coalitions next phase!

 

The Project team spent a lot of time early in the month, planning and preparing for the official launch of Nation Builders: Celebrating Women in Private Sector, with Balance of Power. A very big thank you to everyone who contributed to this! We wouldn’t have been able to finish it without you.

 

A lot of this month was also spent on finalising the official revamp of the #StanapStrong website, as well as organising the official launch with partners and organisations whose work focuses on Gender Based Violence in Vanuatu. Keep your eyes out on the Stanap Strong Facebook page and the banner in town!

 

Sista’s ED attended a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Meeting with VANGO to input into Vanuatu’s UPR Stakeholder report. The UPR is a pivotal process that takes place every four and half years, examining the human rights records of 193 United Nations (UN) Member States. This review enables each nation to reflect on the actions taken to enhance the human rights situation within their countries.

 

Sista’s Comms & Advocacy Officer left for Noumea in the middle of the month as part of her music journey which meant the team had divide and conquer a lot of tasks while she was away. – for those of you who don’t know, our Comms Officer is the very talented @Shazza! We are so proud of how far she has come in the music industry here in Vanuatu and can’t wait to see her continue to shine. Check out her very first single, Butterflies.

 

Towards the end of the month, the country experienced an out of season Tropical Cyclone – TC Lola! Fortunately, SHEFA province, which is where the team is located, did not face severe impacts and so the team were back in office the very next day. The Northern part of the country however, faced immense damage and so the country is currently in response mode providing relief and support to those affected.

 

This month we celebrated Breast Cancer awareness, World Mental Health Day on 10th October,  and International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October. In the lead up to International Day of the Girl Child, the Sista comms team cross shared posters that they created with the CARE team to shine light on the Vois Blong Mi project and five young women who participated in it in 2022.

 

We were delighted to also see the country celebrate Rural Women as they play a vital role in food security and FALE Vanuatu empowering five Community Based Organisations through a post-cyclone funding grant.

Keep scrolling to find out what Sista got up to in October!

Projects

Jane Iatika – Sista Gat Style, Vanuatu Daily Post

In October, we are celebrating the lovely and passionate, Jane Iatika!

President of the Port Vila City Council of Women, and well-known in the country’s Women’s Movement, Jane is committed to supporting the women around her especially in the communities. She hopes to see more women become independent, resilient, and most importantly, feel a sense of unity amongst them.

With a great sense of style in clothes and jewelry, Jane reminds us to wear and style our outfits to feel good!

She has endured many different challenges in her life but has come out even stronger as she lives by this quote, “Be stronger than the challenges you face.”

#SistaGatStyle #WomanPentecost #Black #Beautiful #Strong #PresidentofPortVilaCityCouncilofWomen

We Rise Coalition Strategic Planning Retreat 

On 9 – 13 October 2023, Sista’s Executive Director, Communications & Advocacy Coordinator and We Rise Communications Officer attended the We Rise Coalition 3 Strategic Planning Retreat in Nadi where they met with the siSTARS from Brown Girl Woke, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Voice For Change – Jiwaka,PNG, femLINKpacific and International Women’s Development Agency – IWDA!

It was another great learning experience for the team as it was a chance for everyone to reflect on their journey throughout the We Rise Coalition, what they envision for the next phase – We Rise 4 – to share their experiences in the We Rise Coalition and how it has shaped their organisation’s way of working, and of course, how we can continue to strengthen the feminist movement at the national and regional level.

Last week was also an opportunity to formally introduce the We Rise Coalition Communications Officer, Ms Josepheen Tarianga! She spent the week meeting everyone, absorbing as much information as she could and build relationships with everyone in the Coalition. We’re excited to see her shine light on the amazing work everyone in We Rise is doing, and the movement we’re trying to create in the Pacific.

Thank you We Rise Coalition and International Women’s Development Agency – IWDA for making this retreat possible! The team at Sista are excited to continue the We Rise journey with you all!

Visit our website to READ all about it!

 

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

The Balance of Power (BOP) project ‘Celebrating Women in Private sector’ was officially launched on Thursday 12th October 2023 at Tana Russet Plaza in Port Vila.

In the lead up to the launch, the Editor, the Graphic designer and the Project Coordinator had to work on weekends and public holidays to ensure all stories and photographs were ready and placed correctly in the booklet before finally handing everything over to the BOP team for final approval to print.

This project has taken us on a long learning journey! We experienced quite a number of challenges that weren’t considered during the planning phase, but the team overcame all these challenges and have noted them down as lessons learnt.

A total of 80 people attended the evening event, and it was great to see the women who were featured in this book, attend with their partners and families. Some women couldn’t make it, so they their relatives attended and received a book on their behalf.

After the official launch, the canvases remained at Tana Russet as an exhibition for 2 weeks. A big thank you to the Russet family (should we be acknowledging Madame Brunet herself?)  for providing space at Tana Russet for the launch and the exhibition.

After the official launch the Comms team at Sista created 40 Posters with quotes from the women who were featured in the booklet. The design was aligned with the theme colors from Balance of Power and put together by Sista’s Communications officer. The Comms officer has also created a short reel that will be published soon to showcase the turnout of the official launch.

Don’t forget to check out the PHOTOS from the launch!

 

Sikmun Storian Booklet – Ambassade de France

 The Sikmun Storian booklet is in its final stages of editing! We can’t wait to publish this booklet and showcase the wonderful and empowering lived experiences from Ni-Vanuatu women.

 

Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) Reporting – CARE

 As all the YWLP activities have been completed, the project team focused on writing up and finalizing the activity reports.

The reports are based on the activities that Sista led during this year’s YWLP, such as the Feminism and Social media Workshops, Internship placements, and the Mentorship session. The due dates for these reports were the 3rd of October 2023.

The Executive Director (ED) and the Project Coordinator met with Victoria Magda, who has volunteered her time to support the team, on the 31st of October 2023, to provide information on each YWLP activity so she had an understanding when editing the reports. Thank you so much for your support, Victoria!

 

Strong Mama Nutrition Booklet – FRIDA Fund

This booklet is in its final stages of editing. We can’t wait to publish it and share it with our Strong Mamas!

 

Stanap Strong Wesbite Revamp – Spotlight Initiative

 In October the Stanap Strong revamp project was coming to its close and a date was set for the projected event for the introduction of the revamped website.

The team continued consultations from September in October, reaching out to stakeholders who were not able to schedule a time for consultations or share resources yet and follow up with other organizations who were unresponsive.

While consultation efforts continued, changes to the website were finalized. The website was recategorized into more specific subcategories to ensure easier navigation of the website, a search bar was included, an FAQ section was added, the Get Help page was modified to better help victims who may be urgently seeking help, all resources collected from stakeholders though consultations were uploaded and resources already on the website were tagged and organized into the new categories. A summary was written and included for all resources on the website. Additionally, all resources were cross checked and put into an inventory for the websites content for any future tracking purposes.

A banner was also created to help promote the website and arrangements were made with the municipal to have the banner put up on a street in town. This banner would stand throughout the 16 days of Activism in November.

The revamped website introduction event was intended for the 27th of October 2023. Invitations were drafted and sent out to all the stakeholders that were consulted with and all stakeholders working in the Gender based violence space and the venue was booked. The program for this event was created, a presentation would be made on the work to establish this website and the history of the fight against violence in Vanuatu itself and then a tutorial of the websites use that showcased all its new features. This event was rescheduled due to the unforeseeable out of season, Tropical cyclone Lola on the 25th of October 2023.

The event was rescheduled to the 8th of November 2023, and work towards the event continued. The team also had stickers created for the launch itself.

Other News

 Day of the Girl Child – Our Letters to the Movement

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child – a day to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world. Sista’s Executive Director joined IWDA to share a letter to celebrate girlhood and the power of girls across our communities to drive change. Read it HERE.

 

Vois Blong Mi Posters – CARE

 Vois Blong Mi (VBM) is a component implemented by CARE in Vanuatu a key component of the VBM project is the Participatory Action Research (PAR).

With the lead up to the International Day of the Girl Child, Sista worked with CARE to create five posters that featured five girls who have participated in the Adolescent Girl’s Advisory

Group (AGAG) in 2022. The posters featured the girls in an event where they were given the opportunity to dress up as their aspired career in the future, along with their shared experience on what they have learned from participating in the components coordinated by CARE in Vanuatu.

Check out CARE’s Facebook page to see all of the posters we created!

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) SHEFA Meeting

The Vanuatu Government is poised to submit its national UPR state report to the Human Rights Council (HRC) in January 2024.

The Vanuatu UPR stakeholder report submission deadline was confirmed for October 11, 2023.

The UPR is a pivotal process that takes place every four and half years, examining the human rights records of 193 United Nations (UN) Member States. This review enables each nation to reflect on the actions taken to enhance the human rights situation within their countries.

Sista joined VANGO on 18th October 2023 to input into the submission.

 

Sista Board Meeting

Sista is grateful for the support from We Rise Coalition to strengthen our organisation, including board strengthening. A meeting was attempted on the 20th October 2023 to approve our operations manual and provide an update on upcoming projects, but unfortunately a quorum could not be reached. The meeting will be held in the coming weeks.

 

Care and Sista Partnership Reflection workshop

Sista’s ED, Finance and HR manager and Finance and Admin officer attended a workshop with CARE on 23rd October 2023 to reflect on our partnership the past year, including our successes, lessons learned and reviewed our progress with the organisational assessment and action plan. We updated the action plan and discussed the budget for year 2 and upcoming activities. We look forward to more growth with the amazing CARE team, whose partnership is one we value very much and gets stronger with every passing year.

 

World Vision key stakeholder meeting

World Vision and Sista held another meeting on 23rd October 2023 to prepare for our upcoming partnership. We are looking forward to working with this leading humanitarian organisation in the area of WASH. Stay tuned!

 

New Project Officer at Sista

We started off this month by recruiting a Project Officer, Ms Talula Fay Taribakeo! She joined the Sista team on the 3rd of October 2023. She will help support our Project team to implement the different project activities that we have and will work closely with our Project Coordinator. Another very warm welcome to the team Talula! – we cannot wait to see her shine in her new role.

French Volunteer Day

On October 6th 2023, our Finance and HR Manager attended the French Volunteer Day at Alliance Francaise. The event was an opportunity to reflect on the role and importance of volunteering in Vanuatu. We discussed the volunteers’ missions, their challenges, how volunteering is evolving in Vanuatu and highlight the Vanuatu Culture present in their daily lives.

New Financial Year with CARE

This month also marks the beginning of the new Financial Year with our partner CARE International. Hence, on the 23rd of October, CARE and Sista had their annual Partnership Reflection and Capacity Assessment. The aim of the reflection was to reflect on the partnership progress relating all the projects we have implemented during the past financial year, review Sista’s existing organizational processes, policies, systems and capacity strengthening support provided by Care and finally reflect on the strengths and areas of improvement in the partnership. Based on the outcomes of the reflection, CARE and Sista will finalize the budget for the upcoming partnership year. Thank you CARE International for this wonderful partnership and we look forward to what this new Financial Year will bring.

 

Training with Finance Consultant

On 31 October 2023, Sista’s Finance and Admin Officer had a half day training with our finance consultant, Marilou Cajot. They had a refresher on Cash Advance entries on Xero, Fixed Assets and Depreciation on assets. Thank you Marilou, we appreciate your continuous support with our Finance team!