Photos: Right To Information Law Community Awareness –  Malekula Island  

Awareness session at Lakatoro Market House.

A Team from Transparency International Vanuatu was recently on the island of Malekula conducting community awareness’s on the Right To Information Law from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2017.

The trip to the island of Malekula was made possible through funding support from the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP).

These are a few of the photos from that activity. 

Photos taken on a phone camera.

Traveling by boat to inform people from the offshore islands of Malekula.

Mother and her baby at Lakatoro.

Citizens being informed.

Distributing RTI Posters.

Raising the Right To Information message at Lakatoro.

Putting up posters at Potovro, Malekula.

Informing whoever we come across.

Right To Information Law is ‘The Peoples Law’.

The people have the right to know.

Distributing posters and brochures along the roads.

Vendor at Lakatoro Market House getting informed.

Matanvat, North West Malekula

Rensarie College.

Informing students and teachers at Rensarie College.

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TIV Advocates In North West Malekula Schools 

Transparency International Vanuatu continues to inform schools on the island of Malekula about the Right To Information (RTI) Law.

Today the Transparency International Vanuatu Team continued its awareness program to north west Malekula and visited Unmet College and Brenwei Junior Secondary School.

These were the schools, in the north west area, that took part in the consultation process in 2016 including Unmet community. 

TIV Advocacy Officer Douglas Tamara Informs students.

Many students will wonder “but how will the RTI Law benefit us?”

The Right To Information Law is able to assist students who are doing their research. Because whatever age category you are you have the right to access accurate information. It will largely help students educational development.

Furthermore, the RTI Law is established to “promote transparency, accountability and national development by empowering and educating the public to understand and act upon their right to information and to increase public participation in governance.”

Unmet College, North West Malekula

Brenwei Junior Secondary School

Overall, this is a law that will fight corruption for the people. This is the ‘The Peoples Law’, and they deserve to know about it. This Transparency International Vanuatu’s current mission – Anywhere. Anytime. We Will Inform The People.

“The Story Behind Vanuatu’s Right To Information Law” – Film Show In Malekula Schools.

Video Show at Norsup Secondary School, Malekula. They are watching Transparency International Vanuatu’s latest short film titled “The Story Behind Vanuatu’s Right To Information Law”. 

TIV Advocacy Officer explaining the film.

The film will be shown in school’s around Luganville next week before moving to Ambae the week after that.

Principal of Norsup Secondary School.

The purpose is to inform how and why the Right To Information Law came about and how, when implemented, it will dramatically change how we access information in Vanuatu.

Students watching film.

The film will be uploaded soon on  Transparency’s YouTube Channel.

CLICK HERE to watch our videos and don’t forget to subscribe.

TIV Continues Right To Information Law Awareness Law To Malekula Island 

A Transparency International Vanuatu Team is currently on the island of Malekula to conduct Right To Information Law (RTI) Awareness on the island.


Malekula will be the third island to receive Transparency International Vanuatu’s RTI Law Community Awareness Sessions after the islands of Tongoa and Tanna.

After Malekula the Team will travel to Luganville for a week of community and youth oriented awareness programs before moving to the nearby island of Ambae.

TIV Participates At National Presbyterian Youth Convention

Officers from Transparency International Vanuatu were recently invited to take part providing awareness at the 10th National Presbyterian Youth Convention. Below is a short report that was compiled from that trip;

From humble beginnings, involving a few missionaries and their families, the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu has grown to become the largest religious denomination in Vanuatu. Covering five provinces, dozens of islands and including people from different cultural and language groups.

Of course it did not come cheap, nor fair, but at huge financial costs and losses of lives, terrible sicknesses, musket attacks, tomahawk and spear attacks, threats on lives, hatred, raging wars, jealousy and long-sea voyages.

But despite the challenges that were faced during the growth of the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu nothing could withstand God’s Word, eventually the will to walk a different path guided the people towards embracing Christianity. The new-found faith established a form of ‘Unity’ never experienced before as different cultures, languages and warring tribes prayed together under one roof, with a united believe, and faith in one God.

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South West Bay

Over the decades the people have continued to maintain the age-old gathering of church members from different islands to discuss and debate on issues that concerns the development and governance of the Church. This month has been a busy month for the Presbyterian Church which includes National Evangelical meetings on Anietyum and National Sunday School meeting on Tanna. And also included in this month’s activities is the 10th National Presbyterian Youth Convention where over five hundred (500) young people from the Seven Presbyteries, or districts that make up the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, gathered at South West Bay in Malekula.

The entire district of South West Bay is a Presbyterian stronghold. And with the abundance of crops, fruits and vegetation it is an ideal location to hold down the Presbyterian fort, so to speak. Located within the concave that form the bay are several villages that make up the South West Bay Presbyterian Session. The people there tilt the land just above the hills and beyond, they say that further out towards the central part of Malekula is ‘no-man’s land’. In other words, there’s too much resources that the rest is left untouched.

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According to history, as told by an elder of Lawa village, the Catholic mission into the then New Hebrides first established its mission station at Lawa village on South West Bay in 1893. However, two years later in 1895 the Catholic mission was moved to Walarano community at the north eastern part of Malekula after the Presbyterian mission took over ‘Spreading the Word’ throughout the South West Bay district.

The district was lately divided into two separate Presbyterian Sessions by the heads of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, one comprising of several villages called the South West Bay Session and the other is called Lawa Session, and it encompasses the village of Lawa including its four community stations, this is where the 10th National Presbyterian Youth Convention was held from the 8th to the 14th of May.

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National Youth Convention

The Youth Convention is similar to the familiar parliamentary functions, its main role is to provide young people with the opportunity to exercise their right to express their opinions on policies and organizational governance, and also to learn from each other through the sharing of information.

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Generally, this process benefits the youth in two particular areas, firstly it allows the 28opportunity for practical experience and it grooms them proper before they begin to move up to the higher councils. And secondly, their opinions are gathered and are then submitted to the higher council as recommendations, or as directives for all youth within the Presbyterian Church to follow.

The 10th Youth Convention comprised of youth general meetings, electives or lessons, and awareness programs conducted by the Vanuatu National Youth Council (VNYC), the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR) and Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV).

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The Convention Environment

When Officers from Transparency International Vanuatu arrived at Lawa village on Thursday the 12th the place was buzzing with activities. Decorations filled the environment starting from the coast up towards the village, almost every tree trunk around the village center and along the roads were wrapped in plain colored fabric and painted with the word ‘Rebuild’.

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Beautiful banners, filled with empowered words, arched over the main road just past the 24Lawa community hall while down in the river that flowed to the ocean a small but effective dam had been constructed to create a pool of fresh water, large enough to accommodate around fifteen people and with space for a few more.

Decorations around the pool adorned the scenery in red and white colors, the entire premises awed newcomers as well as the villagers. Even the story behind their newly build stage (called Serao Kalo Memorial Stage) is one of a kind, a miracle to be precise.

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Speaking with elders in the village it was clear that by-laws ordered by the High Chief is still of great importance and is respected thoroughly. Enforcement on village laws is of paramount significance and fines or penalties are ordered and implemented with no hesitation.

TIV Awareness Session

When the Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) Civic Education Officer, Mr. Douglas Tamara, took the stage on Thursday (12th) night he encouraged that traditional respect must be continued to be practiced. And in-line with articles within the Mama Law it is a constitutional responsibility that people must obey laws and take part in communal activities as tradition dictates.

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He also stressed that the spoken native language in the area must also be preserved and 8taught to the younger generation. This advice came after speaking with several villagers who identified that they were losing out on some of their linguistic contents.

Language is more than just a tool for communicating, but it is a form of secret coding that can be used to one’s advantage when in foreign lands. It is a channel to hide and preserve valued knowledge as well as to pass on practical knowledge that can be used for development purposes.

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To the youth TIV promoted the reasons why we have a chapter in our Mama Law that established our rights and duties and legal entities. And that with every right that we have there is the duty to respect another person’s right, and if that can be achieved then there will be a balance, and fairness will prevail.

The Right To Information (RTI) Bill was also talked about to the five hundred youth delegates plus the villagers, and when asked if they thought that the RTI Bill would be helpful to them when it becomes law hands were raised from the front, to the rear and right to the back of the stage compound.

The awareness concluded with the donation of copies of the National Constitution to the Coordinator of the National Youth Convention Mr. James Joseph.

More photos from the National Youth Convention:

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Anti-Corruption & Crime Prevention Awareness Campaign In South Malekula

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU (TIV) CEO Mr. Wilson Toa and the Deputy Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force Mr. Jackson Noal recently conducted a joint awareness on the Right to Information (RTI), Anti-Corruption and Crime Prevention on South Malekula last week.

The TIV CEO and the Deputy Police Commissioner attended a Seventh Day Adventist Youth Program on Lamap on Malekula between Thursday and Monday this week.

More than 300 people from areas around Ramban Village in Lamap, Peskarus Village in Maskelyn and the Blacksands area attended the programs and were able to learn about the RTI Bill in Vanuatu for the first time ever.

“People in the South Malekula have never heard of the Right to Information Bill, this is the first time they have heard of the RTI Bill,” Wilson Toa said.

“The chiefs in South Malekula were happy to hear about the RTI Bill awareness as it will promote more transparency and accountability in the government,” he said.

More than 900 pamphlets of the RTI were delivered to the people around the Southern part of Malekula.

 

Right To Information Consultation Malekula Tour

THE THIRD TRIP for the Right To Information (RTI) public consultation tour came to end on Friday 8th on the island of Malekula. The public consultation program was spearheaded by Transparency International Vanuatu alongside the Right To Information Unit from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO).

11The team arrived on the island of Malekula on Saturday the 3rd and headed for accommodation at Lakatoro. After months of dry weather and dusty roads Malekula had finally began to turn back to its original green, thanks to the rain that had been pouring down regularly over the past couple of days.

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On Sunday the 4th the team prepared to depart for consultation with the community of Walarano, the Transparency International Vanuatu Team made headway for Walarano at 9 o’clock that morning.3

Initial arrangements had scheduled that the team arrive there at 10 o’clock, just in time for the Sunday Service to end so that the people can gather together at the church hall, for the RTI awareness, before they went home to have their lunch.

The RTI awareness session run just above an hour and a half, after which the villagers asked questions while some wrote down their thoughts on a two meter long brown paper that was placed at the front of the hall.

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A village elder, in a white buttoned shirt with navy blue jeans, voiced that “to stop
corruption this (RTI) Bill must pass because I want to know the work of MP’s. 36 years have passed in this country that has had too many corruption issues, this thing (corruption) must stop. This (RTI) Bill must pass, I support it.”

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“Yes, the Right To Information will help the grassroots 15people to access the exact
information that they want” stressed a stout villager in his early thirties, “it is for the grassroots to get the right information and to avoid corruption” he emphasized.

The rain had continued to pour heavily throughout the day with strong winds while the RTI consultation session run on undisturbed inside the church hall. Given the abundant amount of wind and rain predictions of a potential depression somewhere near showed concern on the faces of several elders from the village.

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After the Wallarano RTI session the team returned back to Lakatoro where they were staying until they returned to Port Vila on Sunday the 10th.

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Over the course of one week the team visited the communitie13s of Unmet, Matanvat, Brenwei, Pinalum, Atchin, Walarano, including Rensarie College, Lakatoro Junior Secondary School, Amelvet Secondary School, Lakatoro Market House, Norsup College, Norsup Hospital, and Tautu.

A Public Forum was also held at the Wilkins Stadiuim Conference room where public servants attended to learn more on the Rigth To Information.

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At those places that were visited the TIV officers distributed over 500 constitution books in Bislama.

The Right To Information Policy was launched by the government in early 2014, thereby forming the basis for the Right To Information Bill to be developed. The RTI Bill was listed to be debated in Parliament in late 2014 but was withdrawn for further revisions.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE MALEKULA RTI TOUR

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