The workshop was initially planned for representatives of six provinces and two municipalities of Vanuatu. However, in attempting to fast track the rolling out of GEPG using BRIDGE methodology in the Pacific other participants were included: two men from PNG and another from UNIFEM Regional Office in Suva Fiji.
The workshop was an outcome of consultation and assessment of GEPG Team and BRIDGE Project active facilitators of small Pacific countries on the potential of rolling out BRIDGE modules to a wide range of stakeholders targeted by the UNIFEM GEPG programme in its focused countries of PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The Secretary-General of SANMA Province (Santo, Malo and Aore islands) Mr. Joel Path delivered the opening address. Mr. Path commended UNIFEM and BRIDGE International and partners for taking BRIDGE a level lower (to the province) to train facilitators who will be on the ground to help grassroots especially women to:
better understand of the importance of having women-friendly and gender sensitive government structures, operations and procedures.
Mr. Path reiterated that the workshop was timely as the province is reviewing its 2008 provincial elections strategies for women’s increased representation and now there is a pool of Santo based BERIDGE TtF participants to consult with and also use in preparation for 2012 general and provincial elections.
Twenty four people were involved in the actual workshop as facilitators, workshop assistant and participants.
The Facilitators were chosen based on their ability to speak and understand Bislama or its equivalent and their experience in facilitating in BRIDGE TtF and module workshops. The team consisted:
Jeannette Bolenga – Vanuatu/UNIFEM GEPG Regional Programme Deputy Manager
Tina Harihiru – Solomon Islands
Hagen Siosikefu –Government of Niue
Morris Emboi of Luganville introduced BRIDGE Project and UNIFEM GEPG to 22 executive members of 6 different districts/party sub-committees of SANMA Province Coalition of Political Parties (CPP) in a workshop immediately after the workshop closed on 14 and 15 November 2009.