Project Liaison Theresa Lyford reports:

The Sanctuary Shelter for Women is in its final stages as a Federation Project. We are now so close to the end of this project that the reality is, it is getting quite exciting! President Suman and Project Manager Maria had a successful meeting with the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Honourable Meresaini Vuniwaqa at Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka. Present were our SISWP President Suman Lal, NR Tasneen Ali, Maria Doton and some Club members.

Fijian Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Honourable Meresaini Vuniwaqa visits the home.

They discussed the preparation of the MOU, Boundry Fencing and basic equipment for the Shelter. The Minister has assured that the MOU will be sent to President Suman soon for approval. President Suman was also advised that once the Boundry Fencing and basic equipment is ready the handover will be done with the Government. They also discussed the programs which will be carried from the shelter by SI Fiji Region. Exciting news was that Project Manager Maria has acquired a donor for the steel for fencing which will be erected to keep our beautiful Sanctuary building safe from squatters and vandals.

The wonderful support and contributions we have received from you all have enabled us to have the Sanctuary built and all we now need to do is finalise the documentation to sign the building over to the Fijian Government. Then and only then can the Sanctuary truly become a reality. That reality is to provide a safe haven for women and their children to escape the tragedy of domestic violence. At this Sanctuary the Government will be able to provide services and amenities to the women and their children, and our Soroptimist Sisters in Fiji have taken up the next phase of the project to provide skills training to better enable the women to be able to embrace life and move forward in their society women, and not just victims of domestic violence.

Hopefully, the finalisation of the Contract will be forthcoming in the next two months and while those of us who had hoped to travel to the signing ceremony is doubtful, our Sisters in Fiji will be there to represent us all.

Seeking donations to help furnish the home, this house needs to be a welcome retreat for the women and children.  

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