Like any other couple, Delilah and Samson (their Pseudonym names) have been through thick and thin in their marriage life. They have three children, two boys and a girl. Their daughter has now married and has her own family.
Some years back, their marriage life broke up for five years. Samson went away from home and for that five years Delilah had to bear the burden of taking care of their children by herself.
“Life is very challenging, I had tried my best to raise our children myself. My husband went away and I lacked his support,”
“Finance was our very big problem and in the midst of that difficult time our daughter went to a high school and our boys were still in Primary School. Indeed, it was tough. And, because of that, our daughter could not continue in her education as she was also psychologically affected and the only thing she was up to was to get married. She only reached form two,” Mrs Delilah reflected.
Now, they are together again after Samson came home.
Interestingly, they are now a very active Members of Community Hope and Action Team (CHAT) in their community in Marau Sound, Guadalcanal Province.
CHAT is a committee consisting of key community and faith leaders set up by the Channels of Hope program. Their role is to support the community to identify triggers of violence and develop local solutions and approaches to reduce gender-based violence.
For them, being a member of CHAT comes with responsibility and a role they value.
“The trainings which CCOH conducted to us are indeed very important and I am happy to attend such trainings and as someone been through a difficult time, the training helps me to teach my children and to openly share my experiences with others so that they know bad things about violence,” Mrs Delilah said.
The recent training the couple being part of was a by-law training held from 13th to 17th July 2021 at Conflict Bay Lodge, Marau Sound.
The couple were among more than 70 CHAT members from ten communities in Birao and Tetekanji Wards, Weather Coast of Guadalcanal who were trained about how to write the by-laws for their communities. The training was following a request by these communities as they see by-law as the best option to reduce anti-social activities in their communities.
It was conducted by the Community Policing Unit, National Criminal Office of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
“I am very happy to be part of this training since I see it will help reduce that bad activities in our community, especially we experiencing many bad activities like Marijuana, producing and consumption of Kwaso that resulting on domestic violence,” she said.
Mrs Delilah said she hopes to contribute ideas to other CHAT members and her community members to write a good by-law for their community.
Meanwhile, Mr Samson said through the trainings, he realized his past mistakes especially when he left his family. “The trainings help me to realize that violence is a bad thing. I was thinking that what I did was good especially through the harsh words, sometimes I cannot meet the needs of my children. But, now I know that these are violence especially because they psychologically affects them. As part of the CCOH, indeed I learnt a lot and I know how I should behaving as a father especially for my family to be good,” Mr Samson said.
He further said, when he first attended the CCOH trainings and learnt many good things he then told his wife to join. “At first my wife [was] not part of the CCOH. But, as I learnt many good things, I then realize that my wife must also join these programs so that we [were] both on the same page especially to work together to address the gaps and failures we experiences so that we can make our family a happy one ,”
“I see this very helpful for us because as family we will experience disagreements. But, when both of us know the knowledge, we can support each other when we disagree and I thanked God, the donor of CCOH and World Vision for bringing this program to our communities,” Mr Samson emphasized.
Mr Samson said he is looking forward to when they will be able to launch their by-laws that will help reduce anti-social activities and also protecting their resources from illegal harvesting.
Interestingly, the content of their by-laws pulls together many laws of Solomon Islands into one document. This include criminal activities, protecting resources especially environmental and forestry acts, development, religion and culture.