Women Leaders of the Pacific reunite in Palau
In August of 2012, Vital Voices participated in the first Micronesian Women's Regional Summit with members of our Global Leadership Network hailing from from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Samoa.
The Summit, a first for Micronesia, was hosted by Palau in conjunction with the Women of Micronesia Exchange Network, through a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs. Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI) and Federated States of Micronesia's Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) received grants for Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership Program (EPWLP) projects, which they described at the Micronesian Women’s Summit.
Marie Maddison, WUTMI, Marshall Islands, far left; shown with Adi Tafuna'i and Kathy Hendrix, Senior Advisor for Programs at Vital Voices; right, Christina Stinnet and Lululeen Santos, Federated States of Micronesia.
Adimaimalaga Tafuna'i of Samoa (Adi) was the 2012 Vital Voices Global Leadership honoree for Economic Empowerment. She is pictured, right, with Robin Puanani Danner, left, President of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Both spoke at the Micronesian Women’s Summit in Palau.
After learning about Adi’s innovative work with her organization, Women in Business Development, Inc., (WIBDI), in virgin coconut oil production in isolated communities in the Pacific region, Robin invited Adi to Hawaii. The Council has subsequently announced its joint commitment with WIBDI to explore the expansion of coconut oil production to Hawaii and Native Hawaiian family farmers and will be bringing a team from Samoa to Hawaii later this year.
Vital Voices, with support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Australia’s AusAID PLP, first convened women from 12 Pacific Island nations in Vanuatu at its Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership Program (EPWLP) in December of 2011.