ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN WITH THE VIRTUES PROJECT IN FIJI.
Funded by Ford Motor Company through GlobalGiving the first activity was to train women and youth with the five strategies of The Virtues Project™ in a three day workshop. The workshop included staff from Punjas company who generously provided the training facility at their office. The total number of participants were 25, including 17 youth, two women, 6 from businesses houses.
The participants were so excited to learn about TVP that the entire three days were filled with enthusiasm and courage as they shared their stories and learned how the virtues heal the pain of their life experiences. Courage was an important virtue for these participants as many had been unable to deal with some of their issues so that the workshop opened the opportunity for them to tell their stories in a safe environment and learn how they can help others.
The last session of the workshop was given to consult on how they would use their new skills as a consequence of their new knowledge. They formed two groups of youth, one for the women and one for the business participants.
The two women came from the Koroipita small township providing housing for the poor which includes many troubled families. The households are put into groups of 10 families who can support each other. The two participants came from two different groups which enabled them to implement their plans for 20 households. They will visit each family and talk to them about the Virtues Project and listen to the particular challenges faced by each one. Using the five strategies they will enable the families to solve their problems and address the process of raising their children in a virtues environment. In this way they will identify specific issues around addressing the violence in the families.
The youth live close to each other in their communities and discovered they knew nothing about the struggles their neighbours were having. The outcome of this workshop is that they set a plan to support each other and assist other youth to address the issues confronting them at this time.
The workshop was closed with the presentation of certificates from Mr. Umit Narayan, of Shreedah Motors which is the agent for Ford motors in Fiji.
TAKE OFF – THE VIRTUES PROJECT TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN IS MOVING FAST.
Immediately following this program 8 youth were invited to a workshop in Suva from UNDP Youth Empowerment to share what they had learned. Over Easter they were to carry out a workshop on the Virtues Project. This workshop is part of the training they are to have to be registered as facilitators.
The two women were from the target community of Koroipita. They immediately set their plans to work in that community. The households are clustered in groups of ten so each of the women would work in her cluster, teaching the families how to use the 5 strategies of The Virtues Project and giving them a set of cards and a virtues poster. In less than two weeks 13 household had been introduced to the project with set plans to revisit and support the families as they learn to deal use these strategies to work with their children.
While the facts speak for themselves in terms of the commitment and enthusiasm of the trainees and their clients, what is very evident is the excitement that has been generated as first the workshop participants and now their contacts learn these skills and discover ‘who they really are’. As one of the women discovered when two of her children had a fight, when she got them to do a virtues pick, one got Justice and the other Peacefulness which had a big impact on them.
The photos show Mr Narayan closing the workshop, the youth making their presentations and the women making their presentation.