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Canada supports theatre group in the Solomon Islands to tackle gender-based violence

December 19, 2022

Nine people standing in front of artwork hanging from a wall

The High Commission of Canada in Australia is proud to once again partner with Stages of Change Women’s Theatre Association in Solomon Islands through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

Stages of Change uses theatre as a platform to empower women and girls, contribute to the promotion of gender equality, advocate for the protection of women and girls against gender-based violence, educate the local community, and increase women’s participation in civil society and peace-making in Solomon Islands.

The CFLI has partnered with Stages of Change in 2019 and 2020 and is excited to once again support their 2022 project that focuses on human trafficking and sexual and gender based violence.

The initial workshop trains 26 youth volunteers on the topics of sexual and gender-based violence, human trafficking, leadership and peace, and their relevance in the local community. A creative advocacy campaign is then conducted through theatre shows delivered across 10 rural communities.

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) is a fund provided by the Government of Canada for small-scale, high-impact projects in more than 120 countries eligible for developmental assistance.

The CFLI is intended for local civil-society organisations – like Stages of Change – based on the understanding that local organisations know the needs of their communities best and are best-placed to respond to them.

CFLI funding is awarded to approximately 650 projects annually that tackle core human rights, social justice and environmental protection mandates.

The Stages of Change project was selected by the High Commission of Canada in Australia because of its far-reaching contributions to the community through engaging youth, educating the community about human rights and gender equality, empowering young women and girls in the peace movement, and reducing incidences of gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands.

Visit from the High Commissioner

High Commissioner-designate for Canada in the Solomon Islands, HE Mark Glauser presented his credentials to Prime Minister, The Hon Manasseh Sogavare MP during his recent visit to the Solomon Islands from Canberra.

Despite the challenges presented by the magnitude-7.0 earthquake, the High Commissioner was delighted to meet with Stages of Change board members and hear about their work. 

16 days of activism

The High Commissioner’s visit to the Solomon Islands coincided with the launch of “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” – UN Women’s annual international campaign that runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on the 25th of November, to Human Rights Day on 10 December.

His Excellency Mark Glauser said:

“Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, and a universal issue. Canada remains committed to work with like-minded partners in raising awareness, advancing knowledge and mobilizing action towards this important issue. We feel honoured that the Canada Fund is empowering young women and girls to advocate for themselves and their communities, become engaged in the pursuit of peace in the region, and to engage with this process creatively in the form of theatre. Stages of Change is an inspirational program that we are proud to support.”

This year’s theme is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

The Government of Canada is proud to fund projects like Stages of Change that provide real and life-changing support to local communities, build peace and security in the region, and continue our path toward a safer and more empowering future for all women and girls.

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