100% of funds will go towards the Vanuatu Breastfeeding Association.
For more information, visit Wings Vanuatu Facebook page.
For more information, visit Wings Vanuatu Facebook page.
July 21, 2019
December 13, 2016
December 20, 2018
November 16, 2016
A program for young people, Behavior Change Communication ((BBC), is being rolled out in Vanuatu by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (MoYSD) and the Vanuatu National Youth Council (VNYC). BBC is the strategic use of communication to promote positive health outcomes that involves individuals, communities and societies to promote positive communication behaviors mostly on pressing health problems particular on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), based on proven theories and models of behaviour change. It is an interactive process of an intervention with individuals, communities and societies to promote positive behaviours particular to their setting. This helps to create enabling environments that support and sustain desired behaviour change. VNCY’s Principal Administrator, Joe Kalo, said VNCY want young people to to demonstrate that knowledge of BCC strategy in Vanuatu and to become BCC influencers in their community, area council or province. “This program will help them develop their communication and advocacy skills to respond to related Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) determinants or any other social development issue within their respective areas,” he said. He said the BBC rollout in Vanuatu with young people will surely create an impact once it ends. “We have started building capacities of young people from our BCC program rollout for TAFEA and TORBA, which tells us that more young people will likely engaged in the coming months if we are rolling out the program to other provinces. We have high hope that positive impact is on the way,” he said. The BBC program will also engage young people from communities with the knowledge capacity of providing SRH information along with respective provincial data in order to identify the demanding youth SRH needs that should be addressed. VNYC team will commence a nationwide online and face to face outreach survey questionnaires for SRH next week. Meanwhile, the BCC program has already commenced in November last year for TORBA and TAFEA provinces and will expand to other provinces this year. VNYC acknowledges the continuous financial support provided by UNFPA through the MoYSD to support youth health in Vanuatu and for technical assistance been provided by ABC ID, Ministry of Health and other health partners. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
53-year-old John Nikahi has been sentenced to 7 years and 4 months’ imprisonment, after being found guilty for having sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter. This was the second time that the minor was abused by her step-father. Nikahi was previously convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with his then 9-year-old step-daughter and sentenced to 5 years and 4 months imprisonment. He was released on parole, which continued until December 2017. The recent offending occurred only some 15 months later. The repeated offence happened in 2019 when he forcefully had sexual intercourse with her several times. He told his stepdaughter not to tell her mother. At that time, Nikahi was 51 years old and his stepdaughter was 19. The matters came to light following a dispute between Mr. Nikahi and his wife, which involved assault, leading to the police becoming ` involved. Sexual intercourse without consent has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Nikahi was given a sentence starting point of 8 years’ imprisonment. Aggravating factors considered were as follows: Gross breach of trust, completely undermining the relation of stepfather and stepdaughter, instruction the victim not to report the matter to her mother, pre-meditation involved, repeated nature of offending, offending occurred at Joana’s home where she should be able to feel safe, lack of protection used exposing the victim to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy and effects of the offending on the victim as this was the second time. His sentence was reduced by 2 months due personal circumstances. He was given a sentence uplift of 6 months imprisonment due to the repeat nature of offending. Nikahi is unemployed with three children. He previously worked as a security guard and has some skills in gardening. He is said to have good relations with his wider family and community. His sentence commenced from when he was incarcerated on September 2020. His sentence could not be suspended due to the seriousness of the offending and type of criminal conduct involved. He was given 14 days to appeal. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Women, youth and people living with a disability at Pepsi area in Luganville have petitioned a Member of Parliament for Luganville, Marc Ati, to build a community hall for the women, improve the drainage system and provide a grant to support people with special needs. Elianeth John, presented the women’s petition to MP Athy who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday this week. “We would like to present to you this morning our petition for you to build a community hall for the women at the green space at Pepsi. I’m speaking on behalf of all the women at Pepsi and Sarakata because many of these women have not been able to attend skills trainings anywhere,” she told the MP. “We see that this is a major need for many women and young people here who have dropped out of school. This community hall will help provide a venue for our women and young people to attend skills trainings in different fields so they could do something that will help improve their lives. “It will help keep our young men from criminal activities. The hall will allow us to help train these young people so they could support their families so we all can maintain a good community to change the profile of Pepsi as the leading community in Luganville Town with high crime rates.” A Youth Representative for the area, Andrew Faru, also requested MP Athy to ensure the two roads at the end of Pepsi area be tar sealed. “One road begins from where the Tanna people resides at Pepsi that leads to Tangara and the other one begins at the river at Pepsi and leads to Dark Corner,” he said. “Our second request is that we need a proper drainage system for the tar seal road so flood water during heavy rain will not damage the new tar seal road.” Faru acknowledged MP Ati for addressing the Pepsi road upgrade to tar seal. Manager of the Public Works Department (PWD) in Santo, Henry Wells, said the launching of the Pepsi road upgrade to tar seal on Wednesday, will first cover 800 meters of the road. The Department will then focus on upgrading the drainage system. Chairman of the People Living with a Disability Association at Pepsi, Sarakata and Solway Area, Allan, also requested MP Ati to negotiate for the tar seal of the road at Pepsi Four to the Solway Area. He said more than 80 people living with disability are residing at Pepsi, Solway and Sarakata areas in Luganville. Allan said many of these people with special needs are residing at the end of the roads at Pepsi up in the bush and needed accessible roads. “Our disable people have the same right as everyone else to use a better road,” he said. He also petitioned Ati for a grant to support the activities for people with disability at Pepsi Area. PWD Director, Malcolm Tarileo, said the Department has an inclusive policy, which includes every person, to ensure no one is left behind. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
A 26-year-old man who tricked a young girl and threatened her for sex with a knife on the night of Independence Day last year, has been given 9 years and 10 months’ imprisonment. The young man used the girl’s boyfriend phone and rang her while she was celebrating with some friends. He told her his boyfriend has passed out from drinking too much alcohol and instructed her to meet at two different locations. She promptly left where she was and went to meet them. She went to the first location but could not find them. She then went to the next location as instructed. While she was searching at the area, the man approached and took her into a yard, which he claimed was his and forcefully performed sexual acts on her. He used a knife to make her submit to his sexual demands, threatened her to be quiet and to do as he asked. He admitted slapping her face causing temporary injuries. He also instructed her not to report the assault to the police. According to the verdict, a subsequent medical examination confirmed abrasions and bruises on the girl’s knees, her back, her neck was swollen and bruised, and there were additional internal abrasions. The young man pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent and intentional assault in court. The maximum sentence for sexual intercourse without consent is life imprisonment and for intentional assault is 5 years’ imprisonment. There were no mitigating aspects of the offending. Some of the many aggravating factors include deception, threatening, repeated instruction not to make any sound and report the matter to police, use of knife to reinforce threats, repeated violence, physical injuries inflicted, taking away the victim’s virginity and lack of protection used, exposing the victim to sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy. Having considered the aggravating factors, Supreme court Judge Gustaaf Andrée Wiltens gave the young man a sentence starting point of 14 years’ imprisonment. His sentence was later reduced due to his prompt guilty pleas and personal factors, such as being in a de facto relationship with two young children. He has no previous convictions. Judge Wiltens stated in the verdict that the offending was callous, cruel and barbaric thus, a condign sentence is required to hold the defendant accountable. He said the sentence cannot be suspended due to the seriousness of the offending and type of criminal conduct involved. The defendant’s sentence commenced on August 1, 2021, when he was incarcerated. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Sexual crimes have continued to top the statistics of offences in Vanuatu for almost a decade, with over 50% offenders in the Correctional Centers throughout the country. Data from the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) spanning the past nine years confirmed this alarming trend. Each year since 2012, the DOCS has been undertaking a census survey on offenders in the Correctional Centers, as well as on community-based sentences, to help the Department assess how to address their offending behaviours, and rehabilitation needs. Under the survey, these sexual offences are called offences against Morality. They range from: Unlawful Sexual Intercourse without Consent, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with girl under care, Incest, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with underage and Indecent Act or Act of Indecency. There are different contributing factors for each case but mostly some major factors for sexual offenders is entitlement/sex entitlement, unable to control their sexual thoughts in an appropriate manner, alcohol, drugs and pornography. It is vital to note that when offenders do not have insight to their offending and keep denying and shifting blame to the victims, they always offend and re-offend. The 2021 census shows that morality is the highest offence committed by detainees in Vanuatu (49%), and also the highest offence committed by community-based offenders (31%). In previous years, surveys were 49% to 50% and above. A disturbing finding revealed from the 2021 survey is that more clergymen are committing sexual offences than before. A sad truth that the survey disclosed was that the victims of these sexual offences are not strangers, but are known to the offender and within family and area. Other alarming findings include; married offenders are also committing sexual offences, albeit they have spouses more than before, and also most common level of education for both detainees and community-based offenders was Year 6. While Tanna and Malekula are the most common home island of offenders, most of them were residing on either Efate or Santo at the time of offending According to the survey, 84% of detainees were actively engaged in formal employment and a further 88% of detainees are first time offenders, while 86% of offenders in the community are first timers. In addition, 21 – 30 years old continues to be the main age group for offenders serving in the community and detainees Interestingly, it was noted that offenders without children are getting fewer, compared to the last seven censuses while the number of offenders with more than two children is increasing. The detainee population on 14 September 2021 was 287 persons, including six females. The community-based offenders’ population on 14 September 2021 was 245 persons, including ten females. Vanuatu’s rate of Imprisonment is the fourth lowest in the Pacific The DOCS continues to work with the community and the criminal justice partners or stakeholders towards maintaining a safe, humane and just society. But sexual offences are increasing, therefore there is a real need for more work to be done by everyone, at all levels. The DOCS’ census survey only captured all cases passed through the Correctional system in the way of a pre-sentence report of an offender, as requested by the Supreme or Magistrate Court, or when an imprisonment sentence is imposed and registered in the Corrections database. The DOCS echoes this as a national concern and calls on parents, Churches, chiefs and other community social agencies to continue to work together to address the rising sexual offending. SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST