As a charity and volunteer organisation that empowers women, Women's Federation for World Peace Australia works to provide women worldwide with the knowledge, tools and support needed to create peace within their families, their communities, our nations and our world.
how this event started
WFWP Australia began a Charity Walk to raise funds to support WFWP Global Development and Aid Projects within the Island Nations of the Pacific. Two years later, the Melbourne Pasifika Festival developed alongside the Charity Walk as a celebration of all Pacific Island cultures that is open to the wider Australian community.
Commencing in 2003, WFWP Australia has undertaken service projects within the Island nations of the Pacific to support women and their families living in PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji. Projects include:
Books for the Islands
Women's Sewing Centres
Pasifika Scholarship Fund
Pasifika Micro-credit Project
Island Lights Project
New Hope Academy Kindergarten and Primary School
Days for Girls re-usable menstrual kits
1. In the Solomon Islands, New Hope Academy was established as a kindergarten in 2010. The academy developed into a primary school in 2019. and the new school buildings opened for the 2021 academic year. WFWP Australia funds the training for some teachers and supports the development of the school with essential resources and children’s learning books for the establishment of their library.
2. Initiated in 2017, the ‘Pasifika Scholarship Fund’ provides monies for women to study at university level and gain access to skills previously denied to them due to lack of finances. Women have gained studies in Early Childhood Education, Law, Masters in Business Studies, Education in School Management, Diploma in Education, and Certificate in Business. The women who do these studies also strive to become leaders in their community.
3. Commencing in 2020, the ‘Pasifika Micro-Credit’ project provides Micro-credit training and loans to Island women to support or begin start-up local business. As the women establish their micro-business, they can provide daily necessities for their family, educate their children, and improve the overall situation of their community. The education provided through the project enables the women an opportunity to change their financial and family situation. These women want their children to be educated! Empowering these women not only strengthens their family but has a direct impact in their community.
4. Beginning in 2009, the ‘Women’s Sewing Centres support women learn and/or volunteer their skills at the sewing centres. Their hope is that they become economically independent. Regularly, WFWP Australia ships good quality donated sewing machines and fabric to these countries.
5. Starting in 2015, the ‘Island Lights Project’ provides portable solar lights to remote villages that do not have electricity. This project enables families to have lighting so their children can continue their studies at night and the mothers can conduct cottage style businesses and not cook and eat meals in the dark. We also provided solar panels for the New Hope Academy, which previously did not have electricity.
6. Operating since 2008, through the ‘Books for the Islands’ project, thousands of boxes of high-quality children’s books have been shipped to local primary schools in Vanuatu, PNG, the Solomon Islands and Samoa. Many Island nations do not have libraries for their primary schools! WFWP Australia works towards expanding community resources by starting new school libraries or augmenting existing ones, by suppling good quality children’s reading and textbooks in either the English or French language.
7. ‘Global Partners’ through the Global Women’s Peace Network since 2020, ‘Days for Girls’ (Wandin Chapter) sew washable feminine hygiene kits for women and girls living in developing countries. WFWP Australia, in partnership with Days for Girls, ship boxes of kits to women in the Island nations of the Pacific through our WFWP Oceania Chapters. Days for Girls and WFWP Australia provides these kits free of charge, enabling girls and women to not miss valuable days from their education or employment.
To raise funds for these projects, initial walk-a-thons were organised and funds raised allowed with time the initiation of bigger projects such as the Pasifika Scholarship and the Pasifika Microcredit initiative.
With the support of WFWP Japan, WFWP Australia contributed to the building and opening of the New Hope Academy School in Honiara, Solomon Islands, and to the creation of a WFWP Solomon Islands Chapter. Now this Chapter is spearheading the expansion of the school and its Women's Sewing Centre.
With the need to further support these projects, WFWP Australia has partnered with Pacific Island Community Organisations within Victoria to deliver a larger scale festival with the aim to celebrate Pasifika Cultures and raise funds for WFWP Global Development and Aid projects.
Join us each year to be part of the change we are making in the Pacific Islands.