WCCC Staff celebrating their 6th birthday on October 2015

‘Ofa-ki-Levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki, Director: ‘Ofa has a passion for women’s and children’s rights and development issues and has been an advocate for the ratification of CEDAW for the past 11 years. Her key interests include women’s participation at all levels of decision making processes, young girls’ leadership and empowerment and promoting children living free from all forms of abuse, particularly sexual and mental abuse. She enjoys the challenges of lobbying and advocating for these issues locally, regionally and internationally.

‘Ofa has a B.A and M.A from the University of Auckland in Film, TV, Media Communications and a post graduate Diploma with the Thomson Foundation (Cardiff Wales) in International Broadcast Journalism and a LLB from the University of the South Pacific. She is currently pursuing an LLM in legal reform required to enhance women’s participation in Tonga’s parliament.

Her ultimate goal is to become a writer of stories that breathe the lived realities of women and children’s journeys towards building a more just world!

‘Ofa and her husband Nasili have four children and they currently live in Kolomotu’a.

Lesila Lokotui To’ia, As a Community Education Advocate and Staff Team Leader, Lesila spends most of her time talking to people about violence. She really wants to encourage women that they have their own rights to speak make decisions and shouldn’t allow men to take advantage of them through violence. She also finds her colleagues inspiring and takes every opportunity she can to improve her professional development. Previously, she was a Government Primary School Teacher for 11 years and 1 year at the Ocean of Light International School.

Kilisitina Palavi Pifeleti, As the Finance and Administration Co-ordinator at WCCC, Tina is part of an administration team that aims to be efficient and transparent. She enjoys her work at the Centre because she has learnt a lot about preventing violence against women, and she wants to do her part to help.

Tina has her Diploma in International Business from Auckland Institute of Studies, which was organized long distance via the National Centre of Vocational Studies here in Tonga. Previously she worked as an account clerk for 8 years at Apex Insurance and spent 3 months at ‘Uta’atu & Associates Ltd

Sela Sausini Tu’ipulotu, As a Counsellor Advocate, she feels that her job needs patience, energy as her roles and responsibility extends as the years goes by. She hopes to get more grace in enabling her to futher reach out to help. She feels that she is having a positive impact on clients in an important time of change in their lives.

Malia Forget-me-Not Kavapele Tu’itupou, As a Counsellor Advocate, she is really happy about the work that she does in empowering women and children that were abused. Foketi has been extensively involved with all parts of the community in Lapaha where she grew up. From a very early age, she knew she wanted to be involved in helping others in some capacity. She finds her work both challenging and rewarding.

Foketi encourages young women to become involved with the Centre to learn, like she has, about healthy relationships, good communication skills and raising children.

Tupou Mahe Lanumata, Communication and Research Advocate, Tupou finds it very motivating to serve and assist women and children who are survivors of abuse, produce the monthly newsletter, maintaining the website and the Centre’s statistics.

Tupou has her Diploma in Journalism from Tonga Institute of Higher Education.  Previously she worked at the Taumu’a Lelei Newspaper (Catholic Monthly Newspaper also at the Koe Kele’a Newspaper.

Soana Kelianita Pongi WCC Mentor Coordinator for the center’s newest program called the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tonga. Ms. Pongi also one of the Community Education Team going out to schools and communities for awareness program. Soana find the nature of the overall work of the Centre very inspiring and empowering. She is a very humbled person with the passion to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Lesieli Tatafu has a passion for Nursing and using her professional knowledge to help women to be empowered. She encourages women to look after their health and the well being of their children. In her role she is also available to help women to access the health services they need and to support them during this time. She also advocates within the health system for better services for women.

In 2005 Lesieli graduated from Queen Salote School of Nursing in Tonga with a Diploma of Nursing.  She worked as a Staff Nurse Diplomate in Vaiola Hospital for five years.  She is now working at WCCC as a Nurse Advocate and enjoys helping women and children to achieve better health.