Young Vanuatu women leaders are building a brighter future

Every great journey begins with a single step.

Over the past 12 months, CARE Vanuatu’s 20 young women leaders have been taking it one step at a time on a journey to discovering something that will make a lifelong difference – realising their potential.

 “It has been quite a journey with these inspirational young women leaders,” says CARE’s Gender Equality Program Manager Tegan Molony.

 “They’ve learned so much in just a year and have so much to offer their communities and country.”

Coming into the programme from a range of backgrounds, this amazing group of women were determined to enhance their skills, build their own future and become a shining light for others in their communities.

The Young Women’s Leadership Programme, supported by the Australian Government and officially launched by Australian Deputy High Commissioner Susan Ryle in November 2017, is a 12-month pilot programme to promote and develop leadership and action among young women for the promotion of gender quality and the elimination of violence against women and girls (EVAWG) in Vanuatu.

The programme includes seven participants from Tafea province, as part of CARE’s commitment to working with some of Vanuatu’s most remote communities.

The remaining participants of the programme are based in Port Vila, but all face similar challenges in balancing their leadership aspirations with cultural expectations and family responsibilities.

The programme included a series of seminars on practical topics like goal setting, public speaking, facilitation skills, negotiating, community governance, social media, report writing and budgeting; as well as sessions and panels on gender equality, ending violence against women and girls, sexual and reproductive health and kastom, Christianity and gender.

“Recognising the efforts of experienced women leaders in Vanuatu, each young woman leader was partnered with an experienced women leader throughout the course of the program,” says CARE’s Young Woman Leadership Program Coordinator, Kathy Solomon.

 “They share their experiences and support these young women as they learn and grow.”

Participants in the programme were seen taking on new challenges, internship placements in several organisations, exciting new employment opportunities and for some, it is the first time to travel abroad and gain new experiences.

The forum and graduation is an opportunity for these young women leaders to celebrate their journey and achievements with their mentors, family members and others.


Photo supplied. Caption; Young women with Care Vanuatu 


Tensly Sumbe