“Although our culture and religious beliefs are the main obstacles in our work, we are determined to make a difference in a person’s life”. That is what the trio that attended the Regional Training Programme (RTP) in Suva Fiji said. WCCC staff Foketi Kavapele (Safe House worker), Latai Peuafi (Counsellor) and Lesila Toi’a (Community Education Trainer) attended  the RTP training from the 4th – 29th October.

The training consisted of 38 participants from the region, namely PNG, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Tonga and Fiji. It aimed to educate people about strategies to eliminate Violence Against Women and children. It was organised by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre(FWCC)  with FWCCC Director, Shamima Ali as the lead facilitator.

All three staff members came back with a new perpective on the work they do for WCCC. “It is reality, and this is what happens in everyday life for many of Tonga’s women and children. We at the Crisis Centre work together with the community and relevant stakeholders in trying to address the causes of violence and ways to lessen and eliminate them” said Kavapele.

One of the interesting topics that the trio thought contributed to this problem is gender inequality. “People have been brought up internalising and institutionalising the beliefs of what a man should be, and what a woman should be. With these beliefs, women and girls achievements and capabilities are underestimated. There should be more awareness programmes to the community on this area” said Toi’a.