As the world prepares to commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, the Vanuatu Daily Post continues its mission of spotlighting the compelling narratives of Ni-Vanuatu women from all walks of life.

In this edition, we direct our focus on Rebecca John, a 50-year-old market vendor hailing from Ekipe Village in North Efate. With a family of four – two boys and two girls – Mrs. John’s story echoes resilience amidst adversity.

“We’re all gardeners,” she reveals, underscoring their dependence on their garden for sustenance.

Together with her daughter, she ventures to the Port Vila Municipal market to sell their produce after each harvest.

However, the journey is not without its challenges, notably the VT6,000 expense for transportation.

The unpredictability of sales adds further strain. When not all products are sold, it presents a financial obstacle, making it difficult for the hardworking mother to cover transportation costs.

Consequently, her children, unable to afford school fees, have halted their education at Class 6 to assist with gardening and ensure the family’s livelihood.

Despite these trials, Mrs. John remains steadfast in her encouragement to fellow women and young girls: “No matter the circumstances, we must never underestimate ourselves.”

In an interview with the Vanuatu Daily Post, Mrs. John relayed that she often imparts upon her children the value of hard work, drawing inspiration from Biblical teachings, she said “It’s even written in the Bible that one must labour to earn a living,” emphasising the necessity of labour for sustenance.

Mrs. John’s journey portrays resilience and determination, embodying the spirit of empowerment that defines the essence of IWD.