BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
A four-day workshop for Oxfam Solomon Islands Safe Families Project aimed at providing a safe space for Oxfam and its partners and key stakeholders is underway.
According to Oxfam office, the workshop will discuss the Safe Families Project key progress and milestones, dialogue on partnership models and collectively agree on key lessons learnt and actions.
“The reflection workshop will also create space for information sharing, strengthening coordination and collaboration with Safe family’s project partners and other key stakeholders and Government sector,” Oxfam office said.
Oxfam Solomon Islands Country Co-ordinator Lavinia Dakei when delivering her welcome remarks, saluted all participants and Oxfam partners who witnessed the opening of the four day workshop.
Solomon Islands National Council of Women (SINCW) Ella Kahue acknowledged this huge initiative and support by the Australia Government under Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women), to prevent and respond to Island family and sexual violence.
“By being the donor of this project, we are part of it today through Oxfam,” Kauhue said.
“This is an important initiative because it is targeting many families by reaching out to them as they are the foundation of this country,” she added.
“NCW, as one of the partners, calls for further collaborations by calling for action to work together.
“That this program is to take on by the government through the provincial government.
“As the umbrella body of women’s organisations in Solomon Islands, it has a critical role in speaking out on national issues that affect the lives of women and girls and one of those national issues is Gender Based Violence.”
Deputy Premier for Malaita Provincial Government Glen Waneta said the protection of families is crucial in ensuring that the vulnerable in the society are protected and are given the due consideration they deserve.
“Our children, girls and women as reported have unnecessary been put at the forefront of violence,” Waneta said.
“This is something that is shameful taken into consideration that Solomon Islands professed to be a Christian country and a country that treasured its customs and traditions,” he added.
“I believe if we continue to highlight that, our common responsibility to fight this scourge within our society is required than ever.
“We should not be sleeping until our vulnerable ones are given the protection that they deserved.”
Oxfam partners include MWYCFA (Ministry of Women, Youth, Children & Families Affairs) through the Solomon Islands National Council of Women and three provincial councils; Western PCW (Provincial Council of Women), Choiseul PCW and Malaita PCW.
Moreover, the Oxfam ‘Let’s Make Our Families Safe’ (Safe Families) program is supported by the Australian Government under Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women), to prevent and respond to family and sexual violence in Solomon Islands.
It is part of a 10-year strategic initiative.