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 Issue 9 -  August 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

Globally many of our sisters are reporting being back on lockdown with varying stringency. COVID-19 continues to deepen gender inequality which affects women, girls, and gender-nonconforming people disproportionately.  Funding the work of women's and feminist movements is extremely important during this time as they play a critical role not just as human rights defenders and advocates but also as essential service providers.

Here in Fiji, the nation continues its uphill battle with the Delta variant of COVID-19 and is relatively closed to travel. By the end of August, around 96% of the targeted population had received the first dose of the vaccination and 47% their second dose.  The Fijian Government has announced the slow rollback of restrictions based on continued vaccinations and expects to open Fiji’s borders by November.   At the Fund, we continue to work from home and are monitoring the situation on the ground.  We are receiving news from our grantee partners who have contributed towards food rations, donation of hygiene products and providing critical health services to support the very communities who continue to receive little to no help. Many of our rural women's groups are also leading the way in the vaccination drive for those in their communities. You can read about their stories in our blogs and impact stories below.  

We also want to make a plea with you to donate to our sisters at Urgent Action Fund Asia & Pacific (UAF A&P) who are funding and supporting safety measures and relief efforts for Afghan women, girls, and gender non-binary human rights defenders and activists. The situation on the ground is dire and every cent donated matters. 

In solidarity,
The Fund Team

Women’s dairy group shares their COVID-19 reality

“When the announcement came, I quickly advised the women of my group to prepare enough food to last their families two weeks under lockdown.  I didn’t know then that it would be nothing like last year’s COVID-19 experience and that we would be cut off from everything for months.”

Seruwaia Kabukabu, a smallholder dairy farmer and Secretary of the Naitasiri Women in Dairy Group (NWDG) shares some of the hardships that her members have faced since Fiji began its second battle with the coronavirus in April. 

Pandemic Blog Series

In a three-part blog series, we share some of the stories, experiences and learnings of our grantee partners during Fiji's 2nd wave of COVID-19.

Blog 1 - What we are hearing from our grantee partners during Fiji’s 2nd Wave of COVID-19
An analysis on the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on women, girls and gender non-conforming people in Fiji.

Blog 2 Responding to a growing humanitarian crisis
Between May and June, the Fund committed FJ $267,000 in grants to nine groups and organisations funding 10 initiatives focused on COVID-19 response and recovery.  Our grantee partners are groups and organisations on the ground and at the forefront of humanitarian work.  They know best the realities of their communities and how to effectively address the increasing socio, economic and psycho-social needs and challenges of their beneficiaries. 

Blog 3 - Looking inward – partnership, trust and safe spaces
Our grantees themselves have made a shift from focusing on their own projects to a partnership model. They have shown us to look inward to our Pacific culture – a culture that believes in shared values and equity, supporting sustainable long-term solutions for communities during these challenging times.
Cancer Society developing Community Palliative Care Programme

The Fiji Cancer Society is currently developing resources with specialists from the oncology unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital to empower communities and families to assist their family members who have little or no prospect of further treatment, and for whom the primary goal is to optimise the quality of life.

The resources intend to teach techniques, advice, and support to help patients feel comfortable and to assist with pain management.  READ MORE

Rural women dairy farmers lead the way in community vaccination drive

The lack of information, connectivity, religious beliefs, and misinformation has been one of the key reasons why many in Naitasiri have been reluctant to get vaccinated. 

Recognising this reluctance, the women of the Naitasiri Women in Dairy Group (NWDG) have taken it upon themselves to help bring more understanding to the issues and to encourage their community to get vaccinated.  

The Fund celebrated its fourth Anniversary in May with the release of a video looking back at the many milestones we have achieved to date. Click on the image to play the video
Copyright © 2019 Fiji Women's Fund, All rights reserved.

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

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