Women Promote Resilience in their Communities

Women’s Resilience to Disasters (WRD) is an initiative to strengthen women’s resilience to disasters and threats, which is inclusive of climate change and COVID-19. There are two main objectives for the WRD programme:

  1. To adopt a gender-responsive decision making and governance
  2. To enable targeted action in building the resilience of women
    and girls.

Supported by the Australian government, the WRD programme is currently implemented in the Pacific – in Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands; advancing women leadership and gender responsiveness in global risk reduction and climate change, enabling environments and frameworks.

In Fiji, UN Women is partnering with femLINKpacific in this regard, whereby femLINKpacific receives Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested women groups, together with the necessary requirements. UN Women, through femLINKpacific, then funds the approved projects, at the same time monitoring the progresses until completion.

Prior to the issuance of funds and commencement of the projects, femLINKpacific had conducted a one-and-a-half day orientation and training where the sub-partners were taken through a comprehensive coverage of all the requirements by the organisation and also by the Donor – UN Women.

femLINKpacific is pleased to announce its first set of Sub-Grantee partners:

Brief Background and Update of Each Project

  1. Tavua Women Living with Disabilities: In villages and communities, it has always been the vulnerable who are left behind in almost all life situations. For the Tavua Women Living with Disabilities, inclusivity is paramount, and they desire to move ahead together with no one being left behind. Hence, the request to femLINKpacific for the WRD funds to assist in training and equipping these rural, disabled women to learn practical skills that not only empower them, but also increase their earning capacity. Additionally, the women have planted about 100 Voivoi (pandanus) seedlings that are intended to be a source of income too.
  2. Raj Moti Lal Women’s Club: Located in one of the busiest and notorious residential landmarks in Suva, the women of Raj Moti Lal women’s club determined in themselves to also contribute to building resilience in their community. The desire led to their request for assistance from femLINKpacific to help with general cleaning and clearing of their drainage systems that have always led to constant and continuous flash flooding in the area. Execution and implementation of their plans and actions have come in handy, especially in these recent heavy falls. Members of the community have voiced how grateful they are for the assistance, which has enabled them to experience a flood-free neighborhood after a very long time.
  3. Soqosoqo Vakamarama Tobulevu: Climate change has not only affected landscapes, but has even distorted income-earning sources for the members of Wainigadru village in Cakaudrove. For this reason, the women’s group sought assistance from femLINKpacific to fund a Voivoi (pandanus) planting project. They have planted more than 2000 seedlings which will be their source of income
    in the years to come. The choice (Voivoi) is based on the concept that you plant once, but harvest every year for the next 30 plus years. Interestingly, all the members of the village (men, women, children, youths) unite in the execution of this project. The Voivoi plants are growing well and the women are anticipating a harvest of at least 10 leaves per plant from October this year, and the harvest is expected to roll every month for the next 30 years.
  4. Navakuru Women’s Club: Seeing that inclusivity is crucial in every community, the Navakuru Women’s Club requested funds from femLINKpacific to help improve their evacuation centre which is expected to accommodate the whole village at the height of a natural disaster, at the same time improving accessibility for people living with disability. This includes the construction of 2 extra rooms to sleep women and girls during a disaster, as well as the installation of proper bathrooms and lavatories which is not currently factored in the existing evacuation centre. What makes the project even more worthwhile is the fact that Navakuru village is located across a river. An interesting and inclusive initiative making sure that all community members look out for each other and work towards preparedness and resilience to disasters.
  5. Yadua Women’s Club – Bright Morning Star project: For so long, the people of Yadua have been appealing to authorities for the renovation or re-make of the village seawall, which had run down more than 30 years ago. Despite the fact that the run-down seawall has caused loss of lives over the years, their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears until femLINKpacific accepted their application. The seawall will stop beach erosion, preserve the Yadua coastline and ensure the safety of the Yadua community. The construction was a little delayed due to the adverse weather condition in the month of March, but it is now completed and the whole community is appreciative of the initiative.
Tavua Women Living with Disabilities
Raj Moti Lal Women’s Club
Soqosoqo Vakamarama Tobulevu
Navakuru Women’s Club
Yadua Women’s Club – Bright Morning Star project (1)
Yadua Women’s Club – Bright Morning Star project (2)

All these communities have expressed their heartfelt gratitude to femLINKpacific and the UN Women for this kind gesture. Not only will the projects aid in their preparation and resilience in times of disasters, they will also be saving lives.

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