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 Issue 8 -  April 2021

The Fiji Women’s Fund (the Fund) is an initiative of the Australian Government’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) Program. The Fund has committed AU$10.5 million from 2017 to 2022 for funding and capacity development support to women’s groups, networks, and organisations in Fiji to expand and enhance their work on women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Dear Partners and Allies,

This edition comes to you during a time when several parts of Fiji has gone under lockdown due to new cases of COVID-19 in the country. Whilst we are working virtually, we remain committed to supporting you during these times.

We turned four years old on 1 May. There have been many lessons learned along our journey and there have been many spaces to appreciate and celebrate the achievements of our grantee partners and the many milestones that the Fund has been able to achieve in the four years.   

We are so excited to bring to you our 2020 Annual Report, within its pages are stories of resilience, growth, care, opportunity, kindness and power.  This year’s theme, Forging ahead in unique times speak to the many challenges of last year but also the very fact that despite that, we have stayed the course and are on the final leg of our journey to becoming an independent fund.  In mid April 2021, the Fund awarded over FJD 850,000 in grants to 10 women-led and feminist organisations, a week before the lockdown.  These grants will no doubt be helpful for the organisations who continue to provide humanitarian support to communities in Fiji.

As Fiji goes through period of restricted movement, we ask you to be kinder to your neighbours, your families and friends. Our collective care and well being is tied with each one of us. Together, we will get through these difficult times.

In solidarity,
The Fund Team

Forging Ahead in Unique Times

It goes without saying that 2020 presented the world with many storms. For the Pacific, these storms have been both figurative and literal. COVID-19 and the severe Tropical Cyclones (TC) Harold and Yasa delivered triple blows to Fiji and our Pacific neighbours.

Despite these challenges, the Fiji Women’s Fund continued to grow in strength, reach and impact.  We supported 32 initiatives with 22 diverse grantee partners across Fiji. These grantee partners reached 18,600 people through regular programming. 

Within the pages of our 2020 Annual Report, you will read of our grantee partners who have stepped outside of their core business and adapted to respond to the more immediate and pressing needs of their communities. 
DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

10 grants to help women-led and feminist organisations transform communities

In mid April, the Fund awarded over FJD 850,000 to 10 women-led and feminist organisations to strengthen women’s leadership and decision making, eradication of violence against women and girls, support human rights and the empowerment of emerging groups of rural women.  The newly awarded grantees work across a wide range of activities such as livelihoods and entrepreneurship, women’s rights, sexual and reproductive health, advocacy to stop violence and discrimination against women, and women’s health and well-being.  READ MORE

Meaningful funding for women, girls and gender non-conforming people in Fiji
 
Feminist activism in the Pacific is affected by not just ‘lack of resource’, but also lack of equity. Few grassroots organisations enjoy access to, knowledge of, or skills to develop proposals. Even the opportunity to participate in discussions on what resources and where they should be deployed is the privilege of few. 

Find out how we aim to shift more power and resources into the hands of diverse women and gender non-conforming people from rural, remote and marginalised communities.
READ THIS BLOG
Psychiatric Survivors Association plans to extend its Caring Community Watch Zones

One year ago, the Psychiatric Survivors Association (PSA) embarked on a national campaign working with villages and rural communities to identify mental health champions.

Community Watch Zones were established in Sigatoka, Levuka and Vanuabalavu in Lau.  In these zones, mental health community champions act as first responders who look after the well-being and safety of its registered members living in rural villages/communities. Through this campaign, Caring Community Champions are taught to identify signs and symptoms of psycho-social disabilities especially for community members who may be undiagnosed.  The champions have played a critical role in supporting PSA with its COVID-19 response efforts. READ MORE

Gruelling Storms and Rising Tides: Pacific feminists demand climate justice

Despite the myriad of climate adaption and green funding available for the Pacific, feminist climate activism remains largely undervalued and underfunded. Due to this, women’s groups have felt the brunt of shrinking spaces and resources to participate and mitigate the challenges of this crisis in the Pacific. Many of the feminist climate activities on the ground over the last couple of months has been funded through gender equality and humanitarian grants.   
READ THIS BLOG
15 Young Women Graduate From FWRM Leadership Programme

15 young women have graduated from the seventh cohort of the Emerging Leaders Forum Programme (ELF),  Fiji Women’s Rights Movement's (FWRM) flagship young women's programme.  The women had undergone a series of workshops facilitated by FWRM that piloted the newly developed Young Women in Leadership toolkit, which is significant to the Movement as it was produced by a graduate of the programme. ELF 7 is supported by the Australian Government through the Fiji Women’s Fund.

“Young women in Fiji face various layers of discrimination and violence, often lacking support and platforms to raise their voices and unique perspectives due to their age and gender. The ELF programme since its inception in 2003, provides the space and tools for these young women to share and address their issues and equips them with leadership and advocacy skills,” FWRM Executive Director, Nalini Singh said. READ MORE

Partners assist Spinal Injury Association with $1.2m shipment of mobility devices

A combined effort of the Spinal Injury Association (SIA), PhysioNET UK, Government Ministries, development partners and donors has led to the arrival and clearance of FJD 1.2m worth of mobility devices for the disability sector in Fiji.  The consignment sent from the United Kingdom by humanitarian organisation PhysioNET UK contained motorized scooters, a variety of wheelchairs, electronic and manual hospital beds, commodes and other assistive devices and parts.
READ MORE

Toolkit to help women in Fiji start their entrepreneurial journey

Our grantee partner, the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) launched a new Start up toolkit to assist women in Fiji who want to start their entrepreneurial journey.

The online toolkit was designed to be a one-stop-shop and step-by-step guide for women to access information, advice, and procedures to help them formally register their business.  The toolkit has been funded through a grant from the Fiji Women’s Fund.  READ MORE 

MTE: House of Sarah’s approach to preventing violence against women is having a positive impact on beneficiaries

A Mid-Term Evaluation conducted on the Anglican Church’s House of Sarah –Prevention Violence against Women and Children in Fiji’s Faith Settings (PVAWFFS) has found that the program is highly relevant in meeting the needs of the target beneficiaries.  PVAWFFS  supports a whole of community approach (leaders, congregation, church, and its allies) to reduce and prevent VAW, and is grounded in faith-based values and teachings that promote justice, peace and dignity. READ MORE

Women’s empowerment and leadership crucial for the future of informal settlement

32 women of Naviavia community in Cakaudrove have begun a series of workshops with the Pacific Centre for Building to help them develop agency, leadership and entrepreneurial skills.  The project aims to raise awareness on the plight of this ethnic minority community that in the years to come will need skills and support to navigate and negotiate their existence and right to reside on the land.  PCP hopes that by strengthening the existing women’s groups and connecting them with key women leaders in spaces of decision making, that the woman will be able to stand up and voice their concerns and needs.  READ MORE
Rural women’s leadership recognised at International Women’s Day event

Recognising and celebrating the leadership of women and girls as vital first responders, rebuilders and peacebuilders in their communities is the focus of this year’s International Women’s Day held at the Civic Centre in Labasa.

In its 10th year, the annual event has been organised by the Labasa Women’s Forum in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation to connect, discuss and lobby government’s support for women.  The event is the largest women’s gathering that takes place in the Northern Division and attracts close to 1,000 attendees. READ MORE


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Fiji Women's Fund
Level 3, Kaunikuila House, Sun Insurance Building,
Laucala Bay Road, Flagstaff Suva, Fiji 
Email: information@womensfund.org.fj   Phone: +679 331 4410

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