October has flown by and we are getting that much closer to the end of the year! 

The team at Sista started off this month on a relaxing note. We spent an afternoon reflecting on our Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) journey this year with one of our partners, CARE. The self-reflection allowed everyone to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s effort and time put into this project and we are all looking forward to next year’s YWLP cohort. The team also took the opportunity to talk about the importance of self care and ended the afternoon with a fun origami extravaganza! 

The team also acknowledged the amazing fashion show VPride held on the 1st of October. Despite a few negative comments from people around Port Vila, the VPride fashion show was a success! – selling out over 500 tickets within only a few weeks. Congratulations VPride!

Sista, along with many organizations around Vanuatu, wore PINK in solidarity for Pinktober. This year, we remembered the survivors and those we lost, but also focused on the importance of seeking immediate medical support if the signs appear. Vanuatu Family Health Association and Vila Central Hospital, made it clear to the public that their services are available and they have qualified nurses and doctors to assist with anyone who may have early signs of Breast Cancer. #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

By mid to end of October, the team at Sista was juggling tasks from the preparation and planning of the National Feminist Forum, the Women in Media Survey and general roles and responsibilities in the office. It was hectic but with perseverance and understanding the team has managed to pull through!



Diana Bonga – Sista Gat Style, Vanuatu Daily Post


This month we introduced Diana Bonga, a hardworking mother of two children, who is originally from the island of Pentecost. Diana is the youngest of four children, with her mother teaching on Pentecost, and her father living with her other siblings. She consistently provides for her own family to ensure their financial security through her handmade crafts.

Diana started her business, “Diana’s handmade earrings and flowers’, in 2019. It has allowed her to express her creativity while also providing a stable income for her family. She is also figuring out a good life balance as she has just started studying for a Bachelor of Primary Education at the School of Education (previously known as Teachers College).

Diana is open to accepting orders! Check out her handmade crafts and her awesome packages on her Facebook page, Diana’s Handmade earrings and flowers, or contact her directly on 7656183.

Vanuatu’s National Feminist Forum, as part of the 3rd Pacific Feminist Forum

Sista conducted the first-ever National Feminist Forum (NFF) Working Group Meeting at the Melanesian on 11 October 2022. The Working Group consists of partners from Gate Minds, ActionAid, VPride, Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition, Vanuatu Young Women for Change, CARE, and of course, Sista. Sista’s Executive Director and Program Finance Manager, lead the meeting to; introduce what the draft NFF concept looked like, background history on the Pacific Feminist Forum, the clear Roles and Responsibilities of the NFF Working Group, identifying the four topics for the Panel Discussions, and identifying the moderators, guest speakers and participants. The forum was initially planned to commence at the end of October however, after several discussions and critical thinking, we have moved the forum to mid-November. How exciting! 

Oceanic Pacific Women in Media Research Baseline Research 2022, PACMAS

This month the Project team carried out research through Quantitative and Qualitative interviews between 28 September to 28 October 2022. There were 21 people who participated in this research. The last interview was carried out on 24th October which was followed by a thorough analysis. The analysis and report will be presented at a Women in Media forum which will be held on 9 November 2022 before publishing an outcome statement. We would like to thank everyone who participated for their time and contributions. We cannot wait to present our findings!

Coming Soon

Yu laekem blong storian?

Sista is still on the search for another member to join the team as the host for The Roundtable podcast. An exciting opportunity for young women to lead the conversation and speak on issues affecting young people in Vanuatu.




Other News

Sista Communications Team

The Sista Communications team have been busy keeping our social media platforms bright, colourful and informative. They highlighted the importance of staying safe online during the Cyber Smart Campaign by sharing our Go! Cyber videos and posted quotes and videos relating to feminism and what it means, particularly in the context of Vanuatu, for our lead up to the National Feminsit Forum – make sure to check them out if you haven’t already.

The Sista Projects team has handed over our Sista Gat Style (SGS) initiative to the Comms team – again! We have been trying to figure out where this project sits and we decided it’s best under Communications and the Comms team are excited to take the lead in this as well as looking at how we can add more flavor and improve the concept of celebrating women in Vanuatu. Make sure to grab your FREE copy of the Life & Style Magazine to see who we will be celebrating in November!


Sista Finance Team

This month, Sista’s Finance team received our first tranche from We Rise Coalition. We also submitted the Q1 Finance report for We Rise which was due on the 21st of October. 

We developed a Leave Management Tracker to properly track all of our staff sick days, days in lieu and work from home days as part of our strengthening processes. We have also been updating the Finance Reporting Schedule for the remainder of 2022 and 2023.

The Finance team has also supported the Project and Comms team with the procurement of the NFF merchandise.


Discussion on Gender Inclusion in Vanuatu

Earlier this month, World Vision Vanuatu invited Sista’s Executive Director and Program Finance Manager to attend an informal meeting based on the Discussion on Gender Inclusion in Vanuatu. Vanuatu has been working with DFAT’s Water for Women Fund over the past 5 years to implement disability-inclusive sanitation and hygiene innovations in Torba and Sanma Province. This meeting was a perfect opportunity to reflect on the work that has been done so far in Vanuatu.


Sista & Vanuatu Daily Post MOU

Since 2016, Sista and Vanuatu Daily Post (VDP) have been collaborating together to produce ‘Sista Gat Style’. ‘Sista Gat Style’ provides a playful but powerful platform for Ni-Vanuatu women from all walks of life to be visible, heard, and celebrated. Through fashion, Sista has been able to generate discussions on self-care, gender norms, body positivity, and women’s leadership while promoting the ongoing visibility of strong, diverse women in our society. It has also been a conduit to celebrate Ni-Vanuatu culture through handicrafts and jewelry. 

Over the years, Sista has expanded its strategy to empower women by promoting gender-related news sourced from the Vanuatu Daily Post. The dissemination of news specifically related to gender has kept Sista’s audience informed while contributing to wider discussions with policymakers on the high rates of gender-based violence, sexual reproductive health rights and lack of women in leadership. 

Towards the end of October, Sista and VDP finally signed an MOU to establish a strategic relationship and clear expectations between Sista and VDP. To more growth and relationship building !


CARE – Accounting Project Management Cycle Session

Sista’s finance team attended a three hour training session conducted by CARE Finance Department with its Key Partners such as Sista Committee and Vanuatu Skill’s Partnership. The goals of this session were for CARE’s key sub grantees to understand all stages of the Accounting Cycle and the importance of the function in Project Management.


Development of organizational strengthening and project planner for 2022 – 2023

Sista’s team is super small and each team member – from projects to communications to finance – is aware of the organizational needs and outputs of projects to ensure we can provide support as needed, and know how to delegate tasks and communicate with each other as needed. The Executive Director has developed a planner from 2022 – 2023 to outline the activities required for organizational strengthening and the anticipated projects and activities up ahead. Simultaneously the finance team has created a tracker to assist with managing donor funds and anticipating reports and deadlines. At the same time, we are still working with the Human Resource (HR) consultant to strengthen our HR system and review our organizational structure, which will all be finalised next month! Who knew HR could be so satisfying and fulfilling!


Input into GET report (reporting period Jan – Sept 2022), CARE

Sista worked closely with the CARE team to feed into the final report of the GET project. The report includes a summary of the 2021 – 22 GET project  and overall project progress. In addition to programs, Sista has implemented two initiatives that align with the advocacy component of the GET program, in support of Gender Equality. Under this partnership CARE provided support to Sista Gat Style and the Vanuatu Feminist Library, by funding Sista staff time to engage in these pieces of work.


Donation by Olsem Wanem

One of Sista’s highlights this month was the generous gesture from Christelle Thieffry and Georges Cumbo who raised 100,000vt for Sista by selling FEMINIST t-shirts through Olsem Wanem. Since Sista’s establishment in 2016, this duo has provided space, fundraising and solidarity to Sista. Their kindness and support over the years means a lot to the team. It is not easy to set up an organisation, let alone sustain it and the gestures of support over the years have helped Sista through the toughest times. – Tank Yu Tumas Christelle mo Georges!



Visit from partner IWDA

After many months of working together virtually, it was a pleasure to welcome Brownyn Spencer in person from the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA). She came for a day visit to our Sista office to discuss our partnership through We Rise Coalition and we managed to squeeze in lots of action including reviewing finance matters, discussions around the possibility of procuring a volunteer, ways of improving our reporting system regarding data collection and narrative reports, and much more. It was an honor to meet Bron in person and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with IWDA and grateful for the We Rise Coalition to have this opportunity to learn and grow with supportive and inspiring partners.


We Rise Steering Committee Meeting

The Executive Director joined the monthly Steering Committee meeting with We Rise Coalition partners and as always, it was a joy to connect and share our work. We discussed our planning and preparation for our upcoming National Feminist Forum in each country, as well as potentially participating in the Women Deliver Conference to be held in Rwanda next year. We also discussed finally meeting in person post-COVID  for a strategic retreat in February and this planning is still under the works.