The Tongan National Centre for Women and Children (TNCWC) has signed a 20-month funding agreement through Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women), an Australian Government initiative, to implement a Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) program. The direct outcome of the project is for women and girls, including survivors of violence against women and girls (VAWG), to have access to and control over expanded economic opportunities, and to be able to make strategic life choices.
The Coordinator for the Centre, Ms. Fuiva Kavaliku said that the organization is very grateful for the Government of Australia for its kind assistance through Pacific Women
“Signing the agreement was both an exhilarating and emotional experience for me, as the head of TNCWC. It was gratifying because what had been a dream in the past years, is now becoming a reality; the TNCWC will now be able to expand its services to its current and future clients and develop a tool to build their capacity towards economic independence and sustainability; that those women who feel they have had no choice in a violent relationship due to lack of skills, can now be empowered,” said Ms. Kavaliku.
TNCWC was established as the Catholic Women’s League Project in 1995. Due to financial reasons, they (Catholic Women’s League) approached the Government of Tonga (GoT) in October 2000 to help support them. GoT agreed, but on grounds that their name must be changed. The center’s name was then changed to TNCWC to support access by those of all denominations, and currently provides counselling, advocacy and community awareness-raising to support women and children affected by violence.
“….TNCWC will now be able to expand its services to its current and future clients and develop a tool to build their capacity towards economic independence and sustainability; that those women who feel they have done no choice in a violent relationship due to lack of skills, can now be empowered,” said the Centre Coordinator Ms. Fuiva Kavaliku.
This WEE project will benefit women economically and build their capacities towards income generating at the micro-level. It is anticipated that their self-esteem and morale will be boosted with the newly obtained or strengthened knowledge and skills.
Upon receiving their first grant, the Centre is planning to conduct recruitment and also increase awareness of their expanded services within the country through the media and using community outreach.
The WEE project through TNCWC will begin from November of 2017 and end in June of 2018.