World Vision’s faith-based approach for tackling violence against women in the Solomon Islands was showcased at the 57 UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York last week.
Representatives from World Vision Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands Government, a Solomon Islands faith leader, together with Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia, Penny Williams, Australian Global Ambassador for Women and Girls and Kiran Bhatia, UNFPA Regional Gender Advisor, presented the Channels of Hope approach that engages faith leaders, churches and communities and uses the bible to change people’s perceptions and treatment of women.
World Vision Solomon Islands Gender Coordinator Koisau Sade introduced the WV Gender Based Violence Project in the Solomon Islands and provided an overview of the Channels of Hope model during a discussion panel held on Thursday.
“In the Solomon Islands, where two in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner, the Channels of Hope approach is improving gender equality and reducing violence against women and girls,” said Koisau.
Vaela Devesi, from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs also spoke on the situation of violence against women and girls in the Solomon Islands and the strong support the Solomon Islands government is giving to address these issues through policy, legislation and multi-stakeholder responses like World Vision’s Channels of Hope.
Fred Sikini a Seventh Day Adventist faith leader from the Sun Valley community in the Solomon Islands, also spoke about the impact that the project has had on his own life and the changes that he has seen in his community as a result.
The meeting was also attended by Colin Beck, the Solomon Islands Ambassador to the UN. Ambassador Beck publically praised the panel for the great job they did explaining the problem of GBV in Solomon Islands. “Gender based violence is a real problem in our country. I am so pleased to see three Solomon Islanders from government, World Vision and the church explaining to the world how together they are successfully dealing with these issues in my country”, Ambassador Beck said.
World Vision is currently implementing the Channels of Hope approach through a project called Community Vision for Change that works in five communities in the Solomon Islands’ capital city of Honiara including Burns Creek, Sun Valley, Lord Howe, White River and Fulisango. World Vision is also commencing the Channels of Hope program with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in Honiara currently and working on expanding the approach to the provinces.
Dr Andrew Catford, County Director of World Vision Solomon Islands, was pleased with the reactions to the approach at the CSW meetings. “We have been very pleased with the high level of interest in the Channels of Hope approach and our work in Solomon Islands by United Nations staff, government representatives, donors and NGO’s. There was much interest in the lessons we have from the approach and its applicability in other country and faith contexts”, Dr Catford said.
World Vision’s presentation at 57th UN CSW in New York was cosponsored by the UN Population Fund, the Australian Government, the Solomon Islands Government and World Vision.
Source: Press Release, World Vision, Honiara