Fulisango Community fights Gender-Based Violence with Life Skills

March 02nd, 2018 Honiara - “The rate of alcohol-related violence among unemployed youth and adults in the community has always been high prior to the introduction of the Community Vision for Change (CV4C) project. Couples would often struggle to make ends meet and at times domestic violence would occur in the home due to frustrations. That, however, has changed since the CV4C program was introduced in our community. Significant changes brought about by this project has helped to reduce alcohol-related problems and through it, people are now learning and sharing new ideas,” senior community leader at Fulisango, Mrs Jenny Te’a said with a smile.

Fulisango community in East Honiara was one of five communities visited by World Vision’s CV4C program officers as part of implementing program activities for February 2018. CV4C is part of World Vision’s Community Channels of Hope project that aims at reducing gender-based violence in the country. It has action teams as activity implementers at the community level.

Community Vision for Change activities includes community engagement through life skills and training activities as well as advocacy on gender-based violence through the distribution of information education and communication (IEC) materials and conflict resolution. Fulisango community members have been the latest to engage in lava-lava (fabric) dyeing and screen printing activities on 22nd February 2018. 

More than 20 community members, mostly women, engaged in the fabric dyeing and screen printing activities, most of whom have little or no experience in such life skills activities. They also participated in screen printing, creating awareness messages about sexual violence onto coloured fabric materials.

“I am astounded by the creativity of these community members and it’s encouraging to see them engaged in the fabric dyeing and screen printing activities. People can now read the messages they have created on the fabrics,” smiled World Vision’s Community Development Facilitator Alvin Sibisoa, who facilitated the screen printing and fabric dyeing activities.

Gender Coordinator for World Vision Honiara Area Program, Nancy Maetoloa Waegao said economic abuse is often a major trigger of violence in the home and society today. Hence, training these community members on life skills enables them to be creative and acquire useful skills in order to support their families rather than being dependant on their partners or employed family members for income.

Channels of Hope and action team member who is also a church Pastor, Ivan Manate’e thanked World Vision for supporting Fulisango community members especially engaging them in life skills activities.

“We cannot move forward when we are divided, but together we can achieve our goals. On behalf of the church and community I would like to acknowledge World Vision for helping the lives of people in Fulisango community,” said the South Seas Evangelical Church Pastor. The Fulisango community members are now organising themselves and plan to sell their printed fabric materials to generate income.

Channels of Hope project activities include equipping church leaders to reframe gender for their congregations using a biblical lens that advocates non-violent relationships, supporting Community Development Facilitators to plan and implement local changes, and partnering with police to increase community awareness of the law and women’s participation.

The project also established links between existing support services and communities to help the survivours of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to find support. It has enjoyed vast success since its introduction in the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal and Santa Cruz and Reef Islands in Temotu in 2013, Honiara in 2011, and was extended in 2016 to include Makira and Malaita provinces.

Channels of Hope is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Corporation Program (ANCP).