January - March Newsletter Issue 1
Updated: Apr 1
Halo, Yiu Oraet?
Some of you may know of us, and some of you may have just recently heard of us. To our closest collaborators, Thank You for the work you do.
For those of you who do not know of us, we are a Non-Profit, community-based Organization in Vanuatu, dedicated to educating, advocating, and mobilizing around diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), and the elimination of discrimination against those of Diverse SOGIESC. Since 2017, this has been our mission and driving purpose.
We are taking steps to better our Transparency in our work in different ways towards our members and partners. One step is this Newsletter. On a recurring 3-month basis we'll share all the work we have done, along with what we have attended during that period, what is in progress, and future plans for our activities. Below you will find all the work that we have done from January - March of this year 2023.
We're on Facebook so don't hesitate to contact us and get to know more about us.
VPride Office opened its doors for regular business on the 23rd of January.
Meeting with Mr. Miles Young of SPC.
VPride's Programs Manager Yannick Tarivuhavuha and Communications Officer Malone Wilson attended a meeting with SPC Human Rights & Social Development Division Director Miles Young.
The meeting was for Mr. Miles to listen to a few representatives of PPAC grantees on the work that they are currently doing. It also gave a chance for discussing opportunities to support development priorities in human rights, gender equality & social inclusion.
We thank Mr. Miles Young, for the opportunity to communicate the work, and SPC through PPAC, for the continuous partnership.
Welcoming 2 to the Team.
Vpride welcomed two new members to the VPride office team, both recent high school graduates, who are eager to work for the inclusion of Everyone. Please welcome, Programs Support Officers, Jess Tony, and Eriko William.
PPAC Training of Trainers
VPride Team members Yannick, Malone, and Eriko attended a Training of Trainers (ToT). The purpose of the Tot was to provide grantees with some SPC_HRSD human rights grab & go tools which would be very useful for workshops and training facilitators.
The ToT was very Interesting and gave VPride some good activity ideas for future workshops, with a few modifications to our context of work of course.
We would like to thank the PPAC Team of Rayshel, Martin, and Aureline for the lovely Training and continuous Partnership.
VPride SOGIE Workshop
The Team ran a SOGIE workshop thanks to UNDP., with VPride members of old, and some new.
What was special about this particular workshop was that it was an opportunity for the two new Programs Support Officers Jess and Eriko to help facilitate a workshop with the aid of the main facilitator and Coms Officer Malone Wilson.
An additional part of this workshop that made it special was that it was an opportunity for VPride to utilize some tools recently learned, with slight modifications to fit the SOGIE context.
VPride Programs Manager Advocates for Inclusion
In May 2021, Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Vanuatu Qualification Authority (VQA) to support the implementation of the National Human Resource Development Plan (NHRDP). The activity includes consultations with government departments on the skills gaps as noted in the NHRDP. Another key activity within the MoA is to support the rollout of Skills Development Campaign, to support skills development and training as a viable pathway. The purpose of the campaign was to guide awareness and stakeholder engagement activities in support of NHRDP implementation and to increase public appreciation for TVET skills and career paths.
Yannick Tarivuhavuha, Programs Manager to VPride Organization, sits as secretary to the Vanuatu Alumni Chapter Board Committee and is a 2019 APTC Graduate.
A Great Loss to the Community
This month VPride and its members mourned the loss of a long standing member that acted as a focal point from Malekula. Yves Romone was a beautiful SOGIE Diverse individual that valued there identity and community. A number of members shared there remorse with Yves family here in Port Vila, while the burial took place in Malekula.
Yves was a quiet person in nature, he kept to himself most of the time, however those that knew him knew he was a person with a big heart. Yves was known as a green thumb, passing his house people would often think that a woman lived there because his compound was filled with a hundred colors, flowers of all kinds surrounding the house. Just like his compound Yves, was beautiful in many ways.
He was one of the main focal points for VPrides work in Malekula, he always accepted and worked to full capacity when it came to working for the community, whenever VPride had work to do in Malekula, Yves made the trip smooth with minimal worry, his house was always open and he cared for anyone that needed it, his loss is a great one for VPride and its members, and we will forever value his contributions.
Rest in eternal peace Yves, you will be forever remembered.
VPride team and members paying respects to the late Yves Romone family in Efate.
VPride Attends Sydney World Pride 2023
VPride had the privilege to attend the Sydney World Pride 2023 event. The traditional Pride month in the northern hemisphere is June, Sydney WorldPride 2023 was staged from Friday 17 February – Sunday 5 March 2023 which is the traditional timing of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Two of the office team, Executive Director, Gillio Baxter and, Programs manager Yannick Tarivuhavuha, attended the event, accompanied by VPride member Gilbert Mermer.
The event was a great experience and gave insight into all the work that has been done to progress the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community, most significantly in the pacific. Gilbert Mermer stated, "It is so great to see all the work that has been going forward in the pacific, however, there is still so much work that needs to be done".
Vpride would like to thank the Pacific Sexual & Gender Diversity Network( PSGDN), and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for allowing the opportunity for VPride to be present at such an amazing event.
FALE Vanuatu, a New Approach to Inclusive, and Effective Disaster Response
FALE (Facility Aiding Locally-Led Engagement) Vanuatu was recently launched by the Vanuatu Association of NGOs (VANGO), 22 other organizations, and the Government of Vanuatu, and VPride is proud to be a part of it. FALE Vanuatu is a new approach to disaster response, the main aim of it is to facilitate local organizations in disaster response, to simplify, as stated by the FALE Pacific coordinator Akmal Ali, "When everyone is doing their assessments, we are on the ground as first responders".
VPride was one of many organizations part of the launching and has one of its team, Communications officer, Malone Wilson, as the representative of 1 of 7 sectors in the FALE Vanuatu Structure. The position is, Stirring committee rep for the Gender Protection sector, additionally, Malone Wilson also sits as the treasurer.
This opportunity paves the way for more inclusive disaster response and VPride would like to thank VANGO, and FALE Pacific through PIANGO and Start Network, for bringing FALE to Vanuatu.
For more information on FALE Hub click here
This month 2 HIV awareness were run thanks to UNDP consistent partnership, this was an opportunity for the office team to conduct a awareness on the importance of safe intimate relations, and additionally the importance of getting tested. Attendees were provided safe sex kits, after the awareness.