Successful Impact Fund Recipients

The Impact Fund supports partner organisations to deliver projects in support of their local communities. Read about successful applicants below.

Bhutan

Khesar Gyalpo University for Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Faculty of Nursing and Public Health [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Delivery of training to strengthen preceptorship in nursing education 

The Faculty of Nursing and Public Health, Khesar Gylapo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), will produce competent, committed and compassionate healthcare workers.

KGUMSB is the only medical university in the country and trains many of Bhutan’s healthcare workers. The faculty supports experienced practitioners to teach and supervise students, who are known as a preceptors. However, in Bhutan, there are eight hospitals and seven primary health centres identified as clinical practice facilities with untrained preceptors.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will train at least 80% of the 83 existing preceptors. This training will support preceptors to enhance their knowledge and skills, which will enable students’ learning in the clinical settings more efficiently and professionally. This will be the first formal preceptor training delivered by the university.

Nurse educators, hospital-employed nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals working as preceptors will be trained on the structured preceptor guideline. Gender equality and diverse experience will be considered to promote an inclusive program.

Ministry of Education [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Enhancing disability and gender inclusive education 

The Bhutan Ministry of Education will build the capacity of teachers to deliver inclusive education services and design learning materials. This will empower teachers to educate and support children living with a disability.  

With limited awareness, infrastructure, capacity and resources for inclusive education, it is currently difficult for teachers to provide quality education for children living with a disability. To provide equitable access, opportunities and quality education for people with a disability in Bhutan, the Ministry of Education will expand inclusive education services.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the Ministry will: 

  • purchase learning resources including teaching, awareness and sensitisation materials 
  • deliver training for 90 teachers at two inclusive schools 
  • explore the acquisition of online learning resources and interactive education for children with a disability. 

‍Teachers at inclusive schools will be trained in screening, assessment, basic interventions and lesson adaptation for children with a disability. Sessions will also promote understanding, inclusion and empowerment for girls living with a disability. 

The project will improve teachers’ awareness and capacity to deliver inclusive education. Ultimately, it will improve the quality of education and social inclusion of children with a disability in inclusive schools. It will also improve teachers’ abilities to adapt alternative responses and support for children living with a disability. 

Ministry of Labour and Human Resources [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Empowering disabled youths through entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship awareness program 

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources will develop self-employment training and programs for people with a disability, particularly women and girls. It aims to improve the employment options and independence of people with a disability. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will include: 

  • consultation sessions with stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, disability partner organisations and education institutions to understand the training needs of people with a disability, including women and girls 
  • development of training and awareness sessions based on stakeholder feedback 
  • ‘train the trainer’ programs to improve skills in business management, vocational skills and experiential learning methods 
  • an entrepreneurship awareness program to improve participants business management and vocational skills and to increase their awareness of self-employment schemes 
  • monitoring and evaluation of project outcomes. 

This project will be delivered at education institutions that have existing programs for people with a disability. It aims to improve the employment options and independence of people living with a disability. Ultimately, the project aims to nurture an entrepreneurial culture and foster innovation in people with disabilities, empowering them to live in an inclusive society. This is consistent with Bhutan’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness to pursue inclusive socio-economic development. 

National Biodiversity Centre [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Nature for all – an inclusive nature garden for people with a disability 

The National Biodiversity Centre project will help improve access to the Royal Botanical Garden in Thimphu, Bhutan for young people living with a disability. This project will expand the range of activities available to people living with a disability, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where opportunities to connect and experience nature are limited.  

With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will: 

  • deliver sensitisation and awareness workshops on the importance of universal design in nature gardens for people living with a disability 
  • design and install braille and audio information interpretations, sign language videos and signs in the botanical garden targeting people living with a disability 
  • launch universal design installations coinciding with the 2021 International Day of People with a Disability. 

Contact with nature has significant personal, social and wellbeing benefits. This project will enhance gender equality, disability and social inclusion by making the Royal Botanical Garden accessible to everyone. It will also improve visitors’ understanding of the natural environment and nature conservation. 

This project will be implemented by the National Biodiversity Centre in partnership with Zhenphen Group, a group for young people living with a disability. The project also aims to improve Zhenphen Group’s capacity in stakeholder engagement, project management and universal design for people with disabilities. 

RENEW - Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors (BBCC) [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Counselling supervision certificate level two and three trainings

RENEW – Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors (RENEW-BBCC) is a professional body working to register, train and certify counsellors in Bhutan to ensure a high standard of service.

There are few postgraduate counselling professionals in Bhutan. The profession is in its infancy and requires support in continuing education and maintaining professional standards.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will train 37 supervisors around the country in certification level two and three. At the completion of their training, the participants will be eligible for the endorsement and certification by Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia) as professional supervisors.

These supervisors will provide case consultation, clinical supervision and support to enhance and develop the counselling profession in Bhutan.

Cambodia

AusCam Freedom Project [2020]

The Freedom Film: keeping girls and women safe from trafficking in Cambodia during and after COVID-19

The AusCam Freedom Project will produce a 3-5 minute video for media use in Cambodia to educate the public on the risks that lead to women and girls being trafficked or exploited, promote the organisation's new crisis hotline, and provide immediate relief and support to those vulnerable.

AusCam Freedom Project [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Freedom film and graphic novel: protecting girls from exploitation in Cambodia 

 

The AusCam project will produce a film and graphic novel to raise awareness of violence towards girls and young women in Cambodia, with support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund. This builds on the 2020 Freedom Film project, which produced a short film about gender inequality, preventing exploitation and promoted access to a crisis hotline. 

In Cambodia, women and girls cannot access the resources and opportunities that men typically enjoy. Research shows that women approach solving social problems like exploitation and trafficking differently because they have uniquely different experiences to men. Young women can become individuals of influence if they are provided with protection and an education.  

‍This project will produce a second Freedom Film and a graphic novel for print and online distribution through schools. It will educate girls and their families on the realities of seemingly harmless job opportunities and identify actions that girls can use to stay safe, stay in school and pursue a more gender-equal future. These materials will raise awareness of violence that young women and girls face, offer support through a new crisis messaging service, and provide access to educational and leadership opportunities at AusCam.‍ 

Vulnerable girls can access temporary case management support for crisis relief including health support, psychological first aid and legal protection through the crisis messaging service. Girls who qualify will be enrolled into AusCam’s Shine Centre program, offering tailored educational opportunities and support. 

Project activities will include: 

  • producing the new Freedom Film and graphic novel 
  • hosting workshops at schools  
  • launching the film and graphic novel online and in schools 
  • providing relief packages to girls who call or message the crisis hotline. 

These activities will build AusCam’s capacity to reach young women at risk, and help ensure that girls can access support to improve their educational outcomes and resilience.  

EnergyLab [2020]

Building capacity and empowering our volunteer network to support clean energy opportunities for Cambodia

By building the capacity of staff and volunteers to run events and outreach activities, EnergyLab will engage with students, professionals and policy-makers to raise awareness on the opportunities clean energy can bring for Cambodia

Friends International [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Supporting marginalised communities into employment in Siem Reap 

Friends International will provide online job readiness and vocational training for people in Siem Reap. It will also offer online employment support to connect participants to job opportunities or help them to start their own business. This project will increase the education and employment prospects for marginalised people in Cambodia. An Australian volunteer is assisting Friends International to deliver this project. 

People from marginalised backgrounds face major barriers to employment, including low levels of education, discrimination and a lack of job readiness. These barriers have been exacerbated by COVID-19, which has devastated hospitality and tourism sectors, the main sources of employment in Siem Reap. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • deliver online job readiness training to prepare participants secure and retain jobs 
  • offer online vocational training on hospitality, beauty, barbering, motorbike repair and home-based industries 
  • provide online employment support including connecting participants to job opportunities or helping them to start their own businesses 
  • provide online training for employment officers and case workers to effectively support participants. 

Training modules will be adapted for online delivery including tailoring training methodologies and providing resources to support students learning at home.  

This project will expand community-based services, increasing the education and employment prospects for marginalised people in Cambodia despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing stable employment promotes stability in participants’ lives, offering them with opportunities to generate income and support their families.  

Friends-International [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Increasing community resilience against COVID-19 impacts in Siem Reap 

 The Friends-International project will train and equip 150 community members to be ChildSafe Agents and provide emergency support to 100 families. It will help ensure marginalised families in Siem Reap, Cambodia are more resilient, have greater food security and offer safer environments for children. 

COVID-19 has caused widespread unemployment in Siem Reap with the most marginalised people impacted the most. There has been an unprecedented increase in child labour, street work, unsafe migration, school drop-out, substance abuse and poverty. As a result, children and young people are increasingly exposed to abuse and exploitation. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • train 150 community members to be ChildSafe Agents 
  • provide essential COVID-19 prevention materials (masks, hand sanitisers) and information 
  • provide direct emergency support to families affected by COVID-19, including food provision, short-term rent, and hygiene materials 
  • distribute awareness-raising resources on COVID-19 information and prevention. 

Training topics will include: 

  • recognising and reporting child wellbeing risks via the Friends-International 24/7 ChildSafe Hotline 
  • supporting Friends-International socials workers to provide direct protection and emergency assistance 
  • referring children in danger to targeted services and partner organisations 
  • providing resources to families on child protection and COVID-19 prevention. 

This project will also strengthen community-based protection mechanisms and increase the proportion of children, young people and caregivers who can access direct support.  

National University of Battambang [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Tailored start-up business support for disadvantaged groups from fishing villages in East Tonle Sap Lake

The National University of Battambang (NUBB) is supporting eco-tourism business opportunities for disadvantaged groups in East Tonle Sap Lake.

Based on advice from the tourism industry, the university will identify fishing villages with the greatest potential for community-based eco-tourism. However, these disadvantaged groups require assistance to overcome challenges in finance, basic English-speaking skills, business management skills, marketing skills and tourism and hospitality skills or accreditation.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • gain an understanding of the needs of aspiring eco-tourism business start-ups
  • identify existing resources, or develop tailored solutions, to address these needs
  • facilitate activities to meet these needs, such as workshops, site visits, mentoring, networking, training courses and accreditation.

These activities will support at least ten aspiring entrepreneurs to address their business development needs, and it is expected that at least 65% of participants will demonstrate significant progress towards establishing a successful eco-tourism business. At least 75% of participants will come from disadvantaged groups, especially women and young people.

Regular stakeholder meeting within the university will contribute in addressing risk, project exit strategy and extending the benefits and impact beyond the project period.

Organisation to improve communication and swallowing therapy services in Cambodia (OIC Cambodia) [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Supporting and including people with communication and swallowing disabilities 

OIC Cambodia will strengthen the capacity of National Physical Rehabilitation Centre staff to provide services to people with communication and swallowing disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will strengthen the existing rehabilitation system and workforce to provide services through training, coaching and resource development with partner organisations. An Australian volunteer is assisting OIC Cambodia to deliver this project. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, rehabilitation services have been severely disrupted. Staff have strived to maintain essential services for people with a disability via telehealth rehabilitation sessions. People with a disability can have difficulty accessing mainstream public health messages and struggle with social isolation. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • identify training needs and priorities for public rehabilitation staff at the National Physical Rehabilitation Centre 
  • conduct training for rehabilitation staff on how to increase the inclusion of people with communication and swallowing disabilities, including those recovering from COVID-19 
  • develop resources to strengthen the inclusion of people with communication difficulties 
  • conduct training for physiotherapists to provide basic speech therapy strategies for children and adults with communication and swallowing disabilities 
  • develop resources for caregivers of people with communication and swallowing disabilities 
  • develop training and resources about COVID-19 recovery strategies for people with communication, eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. 

This project will equip rehabilitation staff with the strategies and resources to provide accessible communication that is tailored to people with communication and swallowing difficulties. Staff will be more confident to interact, support and treat people with a disability. People with communication disabilities will be able to access rehabilitation services, be included in decision-making about their rehabilitation and will be able to communicate with staff.

Supporting the development of a speech therapy clinic and training facility in Cambodia 

 

OIC Cambodia will establish a pilot program to integrate children’s speech therapy services within the National Paediatric Hospital system and rehabilitation services. The project will provide speech therapy support to children and their families, and training for staff to become speech therapy assistants. An Australian volunteer is assisting OIC Cambodia to deliver this project. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected service delivery at National Paediatric Hospital as staff adapt to delivering services remotely. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • pilot the integration of speech therapy services within National Paediatric Hospital rehabilitation systems and services 
  • provide speech therapy assistant training, supervision and support to allied health professionals  
  • provide foundational early childhood intervention training for allied health professionals  
  • develop and evaluate speech therapy intervention and training materials in Khmer to support children with communication and swallowing disabilities 
  • deliver communication training workshops so staff can observe speech therapy services for children.

This project will expand the speech therapy services that National Paediatric Hospital provides to children with communication and swallowing disabilities, and their families. It aims to promote a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to speech therapy services at the National Paediatric Hospital.

Organisation to improve communication and swallowing therapy services in Cambodia (OIC Cambodia) [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Capacity building in rehabilitation: Supporting people with communication and swallowing disabilities 

OIC Cambodia will increase the social inclusion and support of people with communication and swallowing disabilities through building the capacity of Cambodia's rehabilitation workforce and system. It will strengthen the existing public rehabilitation system and workforce through training, coaching and resource development at the National Physical Rehabilitation Centre in Phnom Penh, in partnership with Cambodia's national rehabilitation organisation, the Persons with Disabilities Foundation. 

People with communication disabilities have difficulties expressing and understanding language. Those with swallowing disabilities struggle with eating, drinking and swallowing safely and independently.  

Participants will include adults and children with communication and swallowing difficulties, their carers and rehabilitation professionals. With support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will:  

  • ‍offer direct speech therapy services for adults and children with communication and swallowing difficulties 
  • provide support to participants’ caregivers 
  • build the capacity of rehabilitation professionals and workers to support people with communication and swallowing difficulties 
  • develop relevant communication and swallowing rehabilitation resources to support accessible communication. 

Speech therapy services will improve participants’ quality of life as well as providing learning opportunities for staff to observe, learn and receive coaching on basic speech therapy interventions. The resources and learnings from this project will be shared with other physical rehabilitation centres in Cambodia. 

This Life [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

A brighter future for women

This Life’s program This Life Without Violence (TLWV) aims to reduce the incidence of Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) in Cambodia and its impact on women, girls, families and communities.

The TLWV program focuses on building community responses to VAWC and awareness of child protection issues and rights. The program reduces risk factors, strengthens protection and improves community-based responses for child protection and the prevention of domestic violence.

International Women’s Day (IWD) presents an opportunity to run a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of combating VAWC.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • produce a short video for the IWD campaign
  • use this video to increase awareness of gender inequity through a national social media campaign reaching one million Cambodians
  • conduct five awareness-raising activities with 1,500 participants on VAWC and gender equality.

These activities will increase awareness of gender equity, women's rights, VAWC and how to access services if experiencing domestic violence. The community events will also allow participants to share their experiences and the issues that are important to them around gender equality and VAWC.

Both activities will engage women and children, villagers and local authorities to come together to express their concerns and recommendations.

Village Support Group [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Capacity building young micro-business owners and Village Support Group staff in forestry and fisheries  

Village Support Group (VSG) is assisting more than 30 community-based organisations in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey Provinces to add value to their local products, such as herbs, fruits and fish, through activities like preserving and packaging. VSG also supports the groups to improve the conservation of forests and fisheries. 
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Many small business owners in these regions lack awareness of their socio-economic rights and the benefits available from the government for small enterprise development. Younger community members are often encouraged to migrate to urban centres and across borders to earn an income.    

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:  

  • develop and implement training programs in ‘knowing your socio-economic rights’ to help at least 80 participants access government support and build connections 
  • develop and implement training in how to add value to rural products from harvesting, preserving, packaging and marketing, as well as basic financial literacy 
  • develop and deliver training for VSG staff so they can train others on topics including social enterprise skills. 

 As a result of these activities, rural communities will be able to access government support and build connections with businesses and markets to build their sustainability. These outcomes will help businesses increase employment, especially for rural youth who are at risk of unsafe migration over the border to Thailand.  
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The majority of labour required for producing local products is carried out by women, especially the harvesting, preparation and sales. Therefore, the focus of the project is on women and youth in the community but does not exclude anyone.  

Wathnakpheap [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Education For All: COVID-19 pandemic response in Cambodia 

Wathnakpheap will ensure that educational programs can continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting inclusive and equitable education for young people in Cambodia. This project will provide computer hardware, internet connectivity and training so staff can deliver appropriate home-based and early childhood development activities. An Australian volunteer is assisting Wathnakpheap to deliver this project. 

Home offices are not common in Cambodia. Wathnakpheap staff often do not have appropriate computers or internet connections to work from home. Most Cambodians face restrictions on physical movement and gatherings due to COVID-19, so Wathnakpheap staff cannot work in their offices. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • purchase computers for education support programs including laptops, tablets and monitors for staff  
  • purchase prepaid data packs for staff to use at remote office locations and onsite at schools 
  • technology training workshops for staff. 

This project will ensure Wathnakpheap can continue to provide core educational activities to its students. It will also expand online education activities for school communities in Prey Veng, Stung Treng and Kratie provinces. It will remove barriers for staff to deliver program activities remotely, so students can continue to develop and improve their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Women's Media Center of Cambodia [2020]

Awareness raising campaign to build community resilience during COVID-19 

The Women’s Media Center’s ‘COVID-19 and Cambodia’ media campaign aims to enhance community resilience with reliable, factual information about COVID-19, making the community less susceptible to rumour and misinformation, and enabling them to take steps to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from the negative health, social, and economic consequences of the pandemic. 

Women's Media Centre of Cambodia [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Increasing young people’s access to accurate COVID-19 information through digital media 

The Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia aims to improve community access to accurate COVID-19 information by increasing the Centre’s outreach via social and digital media. It will support the purchase of new equipment and the provision of digital media training for Centre staff. An Australian volunteer is assisting the OIC Cambodia to deliver this project. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women’s Media Centre has provided accurate and timely information through national news and radio channels. However, Cambodia has young population, with around 50% of Cambodians under the age of 25 and nearly 60% under the age of 30. This means that young people are an important target group for accurate COVID-19 information. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • purchase new equipment to provide modern digital media services  
  • build the capacity of Women’s Media Centre staff to use social and digital media
  • develop a social media strategy for the Women’s Media Centre.  

The project team includes an <name>, an Australian volunteer. 

The project will allow the Women’s Media Centre to host online shows and debates, reaching a wider, more diverse and younger audience. ‍It will empower staff to address misinformation about COVID-19, particularly to young people and women in Cambodia. The Women’s Media Centre will remain relevant to its audience by modernising their services and embracing digital and social media.  

Women's Media Centre [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Empowering young Cambodian women through digital media 

The Women’s Media Centre will create a podcast to openly discuss taboo topics that are critical to progressing gender equality and inclusion. The project will feature Cambodian women, including intersectional marginalised groups and the LGBTQI+ community, enabling women to make more informed decisions about their bodies, health, relationships, and careers.  

Women’s issues are not openly discussed in Cambodia, and women's health issues are often a cause of shame. Cambodia has a very young population, who would benefit from being engaged in innovative ways.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • create branding, advertising and social media pages for the podcast to build an audience of young Cambodian women using targeted social media advertising 
  • produce one hour podcast episodes 
  • publish produced podcast episodes on hosting sites and social media 
  • create social media forums to discuss podcast topics. 

Podcast topics will include gender-based violence, women’s health, sexual health, relationships, body positivity, ‍women in the workplace and mental health. 

Formatted as discussion-style interviews with experts in their field, the podcast will ensure women can access empowering, non-judgemental and accurate information on issues that impact their lives. Guests will include medical professionals, women’s rights activists, inspirational women and members of the LGBTQI+ community. 

Through improved access to information, the project will help empower young Cambodian women to make decisions about their lives, bodies, relationships and careers.‍ 

WorldFish Cambodia [2020]

Awareness-raising videos: sustainably managing fish conservation areas

WorldFish Cambodia will produce and share online videos to raise awareness of the importance of integrated inland fish conservation in Cambodia.

eSwatini

Kwakha Indvodza [2020]

Impending pandemic: testing and impact mitigation support of eSwatini's COVID-19 response 

Kwakha Indvodza will provide personnel support eSwatini’s national COVID-19 screening and testing processes, and run campaigns targeting men who are at risk of violence or hardship. 

Tintsaba Crafts [2020]

Tintsaba Artisan Relief Fund

Tintsaba Crafts will provide their women artisans with emergency relief funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support them with much-needed health, food and sanitation items.

Federated States of Micronesia

Chuuk Women's Council [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Women's menstrual pad sewing and outreach program 

The Chuuk Women’s Council project will support women in Mortlocks and Northwest communities to produce reusable fabric menstrual pads. Participating women will improve their literacy, numeracy and small business skills business as well as accessing health and food security support services. 

‍Many families from the Mortlocks and Northwest regions of Chuuk have established their home on Weno to attend school, find work and to seek medical assistance, while waiting to join their partners in Guam, Hawaii or the United States. Some men have remarried while abroad, leaving women and children on Weno with no financial support. These women are capable and resilient but have limited access to opportunities for skill development or income generation. 

Women participating in this project will learn how to sew reusable menstrual pads with support from the Chuuk Women’s Council project team. They will also access literacy, business, health and food security programs as well as support services. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project activities will include: 

  • ‍outreach to identify suitable candidates for the project 
  • skill development and training of participants 
  • support for participants to develop their own small businesses and to purchase their own equipment. 

Participating women will have a sustainable means to generate an income, increasing their self-confidence and self-worth. It will also help young women in the broader community, who will be less likely to miss school or other community events during their menstrual cycle through access to menstrual pads. 

Micronesia Conservation Trust [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Refinement of knowledge management system to accommodate communications needs

The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) supports biodiversity conservation and related sustainable development for the people of Micronesia in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Palau (ROP), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the US Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

The amount of information MCT collects and stores has been rapidly increasing, creating a need for more efficient ways to manage and secure data. A new knowledge management system is nearing completion, and will allow MCT to better store, manage and integrate data.

MCT is also developing a communications strategy to share knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and draw greater attention to conservation issues in Micronesia. The new knowledge management system requires some refinement to ensure that it supports the communications strategy.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • select and contract an IT specialist
  • support the IT specialist to scope, design, install and deliver a knowledge management system that supports MCT’s communication strategy.

MCT has policies governing diversity and inclusion, especially around gender, disability and vulnerable groups, which will be applied to this project. The project will include training for MCT's staff on the updating and routine maintenance of the knowledge management system and database.

Fiji

Commonwealth Local Government Forum Pacific (on behalf of Pacific Partnership - New Urban Agenda) [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Establishing a communications strategy and website for the Pacific Partnership – New Urban Agenda 

The Pacific Partnership for Implementation of the New Urban Agenda (PP-NUA) was established to accelerate the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Pacific.

A dedicated website for the partnership is needed, together with materials promoting and disseminating information on sustainable urbanisation in the Pacific. The website will provide a platform to share knowledge and serve as a repository for Pacific Island members to access resources relevant to SDG achievement. It will also enhance capacity in advocacy, communications and knowledge management.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • host a communication strategy workshop to plan the website
  • produce a communications strategy that will inform the website content
  • contract a web developer to develop a website concept
  • develop and launch the approved website.

These activities will result in improved communication, coordination and knowledge sharing between the PP-NUA and stakeholders. For most Pacific Island countries this is the only practical way their information could be shared due limitations with internet coverage and funding to host their own websites. Ultimately, the website will enable positive change as the PP-NUA seeks to facilitate increased actions, behaviours and improved policy in sustainable urbanisation.

Fiji Cancer Society [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Working towards eliminating cervical cancer by 2030

The Fiji Cancer Society aims to reduce late presentation of cancer through early detection activities with young women. Women in Fiji cannot easily access life-saving early detection services, such as pap smears or cervical and breast cancer screening. This project will target female students at Fijian tertiary institutions including women from different cultural identities, LGBTQI+ people and people living with a disability.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will engage, educate and motivate students to take charge of their health, including understanding the early signs and symptoms of cancer. This will include: 

  • consultation with Fijian tertiary institutions, including the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University, to tailor early detection activities to students’ needs 
  • providing vaginal speculums for cervical cancer screening 
  • providing free breast screening to men and women regardless of their sexual orientation (LGBTQI+) and abilities 
  • training public health qualified youth volunteers to be advocates on cancer prevention 
  • distributing resources on cancer prevention including healthy lifestyle, stress management, diet and anti-smoking advice. 

This project aims to ultimately reduce the burden on government and local health centres that provide palliative care and contribute to the World Health Organisations’ strategic goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030. Investment in early detection activities will improve the quality of life of women in Fiji. 

Lautoka School for Special Education [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Promoting inclusion and diversity by upskilling students with a disability 

 The Lautoka School for Special Education will provide the resources and equipment required for teachers to train and prepare students with a disability for work in Fiji. It will improve the quality of vocational and life-skills training, providing the hands-on experience required students to succeed at work. 

The Lautoka School for Special Education provides vocational training to students living with a disability. Students at the vocational training centre are provided with opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to secure a job. The students are trained in cooking, sewing, handicrafts and office work. Qualified teachers provide comprehensive learning support to students, tailored to their needs and goals.  

The success of this vocational training is limited by a lack of resources. With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will be able to provide the practical hands-on experience needed to prepare students for real job/life situations. Teachers will provide the skills needed to assist students in the job market and prepare them holistically for the real world. Students will also be encouraged to become entrepreneurs by creating their own goods and services. The project will also provide students with opportunities to work collaboratively with others. 

This funding will be used to purchase whatever resources, equipment and training materials are needed to help students master vocational skills. For example, purchasing sewing machines so students can learn to sew, providing the skills to work in a garment factory or run a tailoring business from home. 

The skills taught during the vocational classes will benefit students throughout their lives, improving their social connections, financial independence and capacity to care for themselves. 

Na i Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei Cakaudrove [2021 - Climate Action]

Building and enhancing disaster resilience in rural women of Cakaudrove province 

Na i Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei Cakaudrove will build the capacity of rural Fijian women in disaster resilience, enhancing their traditional knowledge with modern disaster resilience strategies. The project will help participants to build the knowledge, skills and resources required to support their families and communities to improve sustainable food security.  

Cakaudrove province in northern Fiji is becoming more vulnerable to climate change-induced natural disasters such as persistent flooding, rising sea levels and high intensity tropical cyclones.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • deliver two-day community-based workshops targeting rural women, and open to young people, men and community elders 
  • establish community food plots to act as nurseries for disaster resilient crops such as kumala (sweet potatoes), yams, dalo ni tana (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), and via (Alocasia macrorrhiza)
  • produce a rural disaster resilience booklet that will include information collected from workshops, traditional knowledge and images of community food plots. 

This project will increase participants’ knowledge of disaster resilience, strengthening their role in their families and communities as a key resource during natural disasters. Participants will share traditional methods and knowledge that are still practiced or that can be revived.  

Savusavu Tourism Association [2021 - Climate Action]

Building climate resilience in Natewa Bay through coral restoration 

The Savusavu Tourism Association will rehabilitate degraded reefs in Fiji by using coral nurseries to grow coral fragments that are selected for their thermal tolerance. Participants will replant corals in degraded areas of reef, restoring the structure and improving its resilience to climate change.  

Natewa Bay reefs suffer from degradation due to climate change, including damage caused by rising sea surface temperatures and the increasing frequency and severity of storms. Climate change-related heat stress also damages reef-building corals, which leads to the collapse of the reef ecosystems that support marine life and fisheries. There are no current coral restoration projects in the region. Without intervention, damaged reefs could deteriorate completely, compromising food security for communities that rely on these fisheries.  

This project will improve restoration efforts by enhancing the heat-tolerance of coral communities and creating new breeding populations of naturally occurring corals. ‍‍‍With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will establish coral nurseries at eight reefs, allowing coral communities to re-establish. It will include: 

  • installing horizontal rope nurseries 
  • training local community wardens to manage the rope nurseries including selecting heat-resistant corals, safely removing coral fragments and installing them in rope nurseries 
  • monitoring coral nurseries and replanting of grown corals onto degraded reefs. 

Participants will become long-term custodians of reef restoration efforts and will be responsible for maintaining coral nurseries. Communities will be engaged to take an even greater interest in the health of their reefs. Coral nurseries could also become part of ecotourism activities in Natewa Bay, creating stronger economic foundations for these communities. 

Tennis Fiji [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Development of materials to support gender equality, disability and social inclusion activities in outreach programs through community consultation 

Tennis Fiji aims to improve support for gender inclusion, respectful relationships and disability inclusion measures in Tennis Fiji’s outreach development programs. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will create publications that combine tennis activities with positive social messaging about gender equality, respectful relationships, disability and social inclusion measures. These messages will be paired with suitable traditional stories from Fijian communities. These stories will be collected through workshops in the Nadi and Lautoka regions. Participants will include people from Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities, women’s groups, disability activist groups, low socio-economic communities and diverse religious communities.   

The project will also include workshops with Tennis Fiji’s community children’s program to produce artwork that highlights their perceptions and enjoyment of tennis. Content produced at these workshops will be used to illustrate the publications about gender equality, respectful relationships, disability and social inclusion measures. 

Project materials will be used to train new development officers and community leaders and to maintain the sustainability of Tennis Fiji’s community sports programs.‍ This project aims to create materials that Tennis Fiji and its communities can own, be proud of and use to engage people in sport and spread positive social inclusion messages that are relevant to the Fijian context.  

Vivekananda Technical Centre [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Supporting communities to be better equipped to propagate fruit trees, ensuring more resilient and disaster tolerant communities

The Vivekanda Technical Centre (VTC) will build the capacity of rural Fijian women in propagation of fruit trees by enhancing their traditional knowledge with modern strategies.

Fiji is becoming more vulnerable to climate change-induced natural disasters such as persistent flooding, rising sea levels and high intensity tropical cyclones. VTC will help Fijians build their knowledge, skills and resources to improve sustainable food security and engineering agricultural systems that are more tolerant to climate disasters. As well as providing fruit, the trees also provide benefits as firewood, managing microclimates and reducing erosion in highly tilled areas.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • deliver two-day community-based workshops targeting rural women and inclusive of men
  • establish community programs that encourage the propagation of fruit trees, which can be re-sold to the VTC
  • produce a rural disaster resilience booklet that will include information on fruit tree production and their environmental and economic benefits. 

VTC will increase participants’ knowledge of fruit tree propagation and their role in diversification, which will lead to more sustainable systems and resilience in disasters.

Indonesia

Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) [2020]

Defending rights during the pandemic: building capacity of human rights defenders and enhancing community resilience during COVID-19

Asia Justice and Rights will support victims, build knowledge and equip change agents with the tools required to challenge abuses of power during the time of COVID-19.

Celebes Global Act (CEGAT) [2020]

Family food resilience and livelihoods during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Celebes Global Act (CEGAT) will help families affected by COVID-19 to enhance their food security and livelihoods, by supplying small aquaponics farming systems and training families in their use.

Celebes Global Act [2021 - Climate Action]

Black soldier fly farming for sustainable climate action and food security 

Celebes Global Act will reduce the environmental impact of organic waste in Makassar, Indonesia by recycling it into animal feed using black soldier fly larvae. The project will support small traditional chicken and fish farmers to produce insect-based protein feed. 

Organic content comprises 60% of Indonesia’s total waste. Black fly larvae can process organic waste into highly nutritious and affordable feed for poultry and fish.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will: 

  • identify the most appropriate black soldier fly larvae farming model for the Makassar community 
  • recruit participants most likely to benefit from producing black soldier fly larvae feed for their poultry or fish farms 
  • train participants to produce black soldier fly larvae for poultry and fish feed 
  • support participants to implement black soldier fly larvae farming on an ongoing basis. 

The project will establish a community of farmers who use black soldier fly larvae to feed their stock. Participants will collect and use organic waste produced by households, markets and street-food vendorsIt also aims to increase the Makassar community’s consumption of protein-rich food such as poultry and fish by supporting farmers to produce more affordable options. 

Coral Triangle Center [2021 - Climate Action]

Zero waste initiative and permaculture garden 

The Coral Triangle Center will launch a zero-waste initiative in Sanur, Indonesia. It will incorporate composting, recycling, organic permaculture gardening, community outreach and visitor education. The project will reduce the amount of landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions generated by their facility and demonstrate techniques that promote food security.  

The Coral Triangle Center is an integrated learning space dedicated to marine conservation. It holds education classes and other innovative activities to visitors and local community members. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • develop a waste management plan for the Coral Triangle Center 
  • construct a permaculture garden 
  • train the program team 
  • create visitor programs on waste management and permaculture gardening 
  • engage with the local community. 

The Coral Triangle Center will invite their local community, focusing on women and school children, to learn about zero-waste strategies and permaculture gardening. All programs will be accessible to people with disabilities and will be delivered using an interactive and engaging format. 

This initiative will allow the Coral Triangle Center to provide education about waste management and organic permaculture gardening, using hands-on experiences as a powerful tool for learning. The waste management facility and permaculture garden will be designed to be replicated on a household scale, so participants will be inspired to adopt these ideas in their own homes. 

Friends of the National Parks Foundation [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Addressing the barriers to the Friends of the National Parks Foundation's digital marketing strategy

The Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF) works to protect wildlife, restore habitats and help communities in Indonesia. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has halted the flow of international travellers to Indonesia, which has limited the number of volunteers at FNFP centres. As a result, FNPF has invested in digital marketing to communicate about environmental issues to local, national and international audiences. However, these activities have been hindered by a lack of equipment, software and budget. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • purchase digital marketing equipment, software and social media advertising
  • provide photography training at the Kalimantan, Nusa Penida, Bali and Besikalung centres to increase FNPF’s photo and video content
  • run youth engagement activities in Nusa Penida and Kalimantan to raise awareness of environmental issues and how to use photography to protect local wildlife.

The equipment will be maintained in accordance with product care instructions to ensure the sustainability of the project.

IPB University - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences [2020]

Measuring family resilience as parental mediation from children’s use of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bogor region, Indonesia

The Computer Science Department of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Bogor's IPB University will investigate parental mediation of child internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic, to determine the impact of internet use and effective strategies.

Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association - Yogyakarta Chapter (PKBI DIY) [2020]

Increased income of marginalised communities in COVID-19 situations

To continue supporting small businesses that assist marginalised stakeholders including transgender people, sex workers and disabled communities, the PKBI DIY team will develop online marketing and physical display spaces for products.

Lembaga Profesi Teknik dan Manajemen Makassar (LPTM) [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Enhancing technical training to support underprivileged young people find employment 

Lembaga Profesi Teknik dan Manajemen Makassar (LPTM) will deliver the technical training demanded by the local job market to underprivileged youth in Makassar.

In Indonesia, industries such as construction, railways and mining are rapidly growing. Trade skills in heavy machinery operations and mechanics, for example, can help more young people find employment. ‍

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • develop an automation tool to improve efficiency in the program’s administration
  • introduce online learning modules to reach a wider audience inclusive of all genders and people with special needs
  • engage with the community about the importance of training and education through workshops on training programs, exhibitions, and community family days.

These activities will improve the accessibility of the training program by reducing its administrative costs, making online modules available to more people and supporting community awareness of the importance of skilled training.

Lembaga Pengkajian Dan Pemberdayaan Masyarakat (LP2M, Institution of Community Study and Empowerment) [2020]

Moving together building resilience of grassroots women facing the impact of COVID-19 in three districts in West Sumatra

Through training, workshops and discussions, the LP2M team will build the resilience of local women and help develop businesses and vegetable production, to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

PPMK (Empowering Women To Fight Poverty) [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Practical Skills Building Workshop 

PPMK (Empowering Women To Fight Poverty) will improve the earning potential of women and girls living in Bantul, Jogjakarta through practical workshops, microfinance, collaborative online forums and ongoing assistance. It will offer participants the opportunity for greater autonomy and to provide income for their families. 

PPMK (Empowering Women To Fight Poverty) will improve the earning potential of women and girls living in Bantul, Jogjakarta through practical workshops, microfinance, collaborative online forums and ongoing assistance. It will offer participants the opportunity for greater autonomy and to provide income for their families. 

Indonesian women with the lowest incomes tend to have very limited education or vocational training.  This limits job opportunities for these women, forcing them to work extremely low paying jobs. Women who start their own businesses have the greatest earning potential.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will provide: 

  • workshops in trades relevant to participants’ interests to increase their earning potential in horticulture, mushroom farming, cooking and marketing 
  • microcredit loans for participants to start a business 
  • basic materials for participants to expand their businesses 
  • opportunities to engage with broader social and professional networks as well as peer support groups for each trade.  

Participants will be selected from PPMK’s current clients. This project will provide participants with strong foundations to expand their businesses and reduce their business overheads.  It will empower participants, improving their self-esteem, decision making and access to opportunities. Ultimately, participants will have greater flexibility, autonomy in their work and personal lives. 

PT Disabilitas Kerja Indonesia [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Getting young people with disabilities ready for work

Disabilitas Kerja Indonesia (DKI) is a start-up social enterprise which specialises in getting people with disabilities into work. ‍

By providing specialised training in areas that are in demand from employers, young people with disabilities can improve their prospects for work. Once people with disabilities find meaningful, paid work they also tend to make life choices, contribute to society and be recognised for their skills and talents.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • appoint trainers to deliver training on workplace skills such as teamwork and punctuality; office administration; Excel and warehouse skills
  • select 30 young people with disabilities to attend training
  • deliver four training sessions to help participants get ready for work Xprepare 50 training manuals, which will include guidance on how the approach can be improved for future training purposes.

The young people will benefit from improved specialist skills and training, which should give them greater confidence and knowledge about employer needs. It is expected that 30% of participants will obtain employment within six months of attending the training.

The project will be located in Jakarta as a pilot scheme which can be expanded to other regions and rural areas when further funding becomes available.

Pusat Kerjasama, Pengembangan dan Inovasi Pendidikan FIP Universitas Negeri Makassar [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Building early career researchers' scientific writing and publication

Universitas Negeri Makassar (UNM) is ranked 35th in both international and national journal publications among Indonesian universities. As most reputable journals are published in English, it is challenging for the non-English speaking researchers at UNM to publish their work. Researchers at UNM, particularly early career researchers, require support in English academic writing, proofreading, editing, and publishing.

The proposed project will provide academic publication capacity development to 10 project participants which will include: 1) an English for Academic Purpose course; 2) Publication Mentoring Program; 3) English Proofreading and Editing support and 4) Journal Publication Grant.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will select 10 participants to take part in academic publication capacity development activities, including:

  • a course in English for Academic Purpose
  • support in proofreading and editing
  • a publication mentoring program
  • a journal publication grant
  • a series of publication workshops to develop journal manuscripts that follow standards and criteria of accredited international journals.

The project will create a community of early career researchers at UNM by encouraging the project participants to act as mentors to other researchers.

Nurani Perempuan Women's Crisis Center [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Building a support group for survivors of sexual violence 

The Nurani Perempuan Women's Crisis Center will form a support group for survivors of sexual violence in West Sumatra. It will hold workshops to develop a support group module, build participants’ capacity to understand the needs of survivors of sexual violence and enhance their advocacy skills.  

This project will target women survivors of sexual violence aged 17 to 30 years who have received consultation, assistance and recovery services from Nurani Perempuan Women's Crisis Center.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will deliver: 

  • five-day workshops on identifying the needs of sexual violence survivors, understanding gender-based violence and building solidarity among participants 
  • a two-day workshop on empowering participants and building advocacy skills  
  • a three-day workshop to develop a framework and program for a sexual violence survivors group support 
  • support group meetings for survivors of sexual violence on an ongoing basis. 

This project will help participants to strengthen and empower each other, becoming agents of change in their communities. They will understand the causes, drivers and solutions to preventing sexual violence. The support group will become an ongoing platform for survivors of sexual violence to build their self-confidence, social networks and resilience. 

Yayasan Besipa'e [2021 - Climate Action]

Safe drinking water sanitation and hygiene resilience 

Yayasan Besipa'e will help support the Besa community to move from dependence on short-term relief towards achieving long-term water, sanitation and hygiene outcomes. The project will provide training and resources for training and resources to boost the resilience of the community to future disasters. 

Cyclone Seroja hit Indonesia in April 2021. The Besa community was the most severely affected village in the Timor Tengah Selatan region. During the cyclone, household water sources were affected and residents needed alternative ways to access drinking water. While relief efforts can meet short-term community needs, long-term solutions are required to improve disaster resilience and household water security. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • conduct consultation to identify community needs 
  • purchase materials to construct household ceramic water filters 
  • purchase reusable sanitary kits from local suppliers 
  • deliver WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) training 
  • deliver reproductive health, menstruation, hygiene and family planning training 
  • deliver agricultural training that will help farmers to increase yields and food security, reduce erosion and discourage damaging land management practices 
  • ‍construct low-cost hygienic ablution facilities that provide models for community members to replicate 
  • conduct review and evaluation activities. 

Community members will be empowered and equipped to make decisions regarding how they will put WASH training into practice. This project will provide follow-up support as community members begin to implement training outcomes. It will prioritise local resources and employ local people, providing income during the disaster recovery period. 

Yayasan Emas Hitam Indonesia [2020]

Mari berkebun (let's garden!)

Yayasan Emas Hitam Indonesia will support families in their local community with vegetable and fruit seedlings, and train them and their children at workshops on how to care for plants, ultimately helping them become more self-sufficient.

Yayasan Solemen [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Solemen mental health outreach workshops 

 Yayasan Solemen will conduct interactive workshops in rural Bali communities for families currently supporting people with an intellectual disability live. The project will foster greater understanding and care of people with an intellectual disability in these communities. 

Many families in rural Bali communities resort to pasung, the forced confinement of people with an intellectual disability. Although this practice has been banned since 1977, it is rarely enforced, with 15% of people with an intellectual disability reported to have been subjected to pasung at least once. Solemen has successfully identified, treated, rehoused and reintegrated people with an intellectual disability into the community. However, they continue to meet resistance from the community members. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, Solemen outreach workers will run workshops, including: 

  • co-design of focus groups to inform the design of the workshop 
  • interactive activities and opportunities to explore community members’ concerns 
  • a promotional strategy including a booklet, video and resources in Indonesian 
  • delivery of tend workshops 
  • project monitoring and evaluation. 

This project will build greater acceptance and understanding of people with intellectual disabilities in rural Bali communities, reducing the likelihood of others being subjected to pasung in the future. It will empower people living with an intellectual disability by employing co-design principles that include them in planning, implementation and evaluation of this project. 

Kiribati

Kiribati Rugby [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Kiribati Rugby school sports program

Kiribati Rugby will work to improve Kiribatians’ health and lifestyle by providing quality sport, education, and employment opportunities.

Sport and physical activity have a positive influence on children’s health, building physical, psychological, social and cognitive skills. Kiribati Rugby has achieved its goal of gaining membership to the World Rugby Union Oceania and is now working towards maintaining a comprehensive school sports program. The aim of the program is to increase interest and participation in sport, promote a healthy lifestyle, and open pathways and employment opportunities.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • introduce the school sports program to schools, teachers and parents via school communications and community meetings
  • register students, schools and family members in the program
  • train support staff and volunteers using online and self-evaluation processes
  • purchase three laptops, a camera and associated equipment to record matches, training sessions and fitness drills to be distributed to players, coaches, referees and volunteers.

Kiribati Rugby intends to remain a member of World Rugby Union Oceania by meeting its annual requirements in policies including diversity and inclusion. The program will create a male, female and mixed rugby team in each school with no cost to participants, ensuring that lower economic students have the opportunity to participate.

Kirimati Urban Council [2021 - Climate Action]

Strengthening food security on Kiritimati Island 

 The Kirimati Urban Council will support the establishment of a garden plot and nursery to grow food crops on Kiritimati Island. It will provide training for community members to improve their agricultural skills, boost food security and improve household earning capacity. 

Kiribati consists of 33 atolls across the Pacific Ocean. The Kiritimati Islands form the largest coral atoll in the world and have limited land available for growing food. Food security and nutrition are urgent issues, due to climate change impacts, increasing population and cargo shortages.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • conduct a training workshop on atoll agriculture including crop husbandry and composting 
  • establish a garden plot and nursery for the production and distribution of food crops 
  • purchase seeds and gardening tools, and 
  • monitor and evaluate the progress of the garden plot. 

This project will improve the capacity and skills of church groups, non-government organisations, women and families to grow vegetable and food crops. It will improve the availability of nutritious food for communities. It will also enhance the earning capacity of households by selling surplus crops. Improving food security will help Kiribati communities to be more resilient to natural disasters and climate change impacts. 

Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre [2020]

Community outreach program on COVID-19 and domestic violence and gender-based violence

The Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre will visit Kiribati’s two big islands and consult with women and children about preparedness for COVID-19, and domestic violence and gender-based violence issues.

Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Women's Conference on gender-based violence, COVID-19 and CEDAW obligations 

The Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre will host a conference to build the capacity of women to understand gender-based violence and women’s issues in Kiribati, including women living with a disability and the LGBTQI+ community.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will: 

  • create a working group with key women’s group stakeholders to plan the conference's program, objectives and target audience 
  • purchase a computer to assist with conference preparation and delivery 
  • create a radio campaign and resources about services provided by Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre 
  • host a one day conference for 100 participants. 

‍Participants will improve their understanding of ‍gender-based violence and its root-causes, its link to COVID-19 and awareness of Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre services. They will also understand Kiribati's obligations under the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination and provide feedback on its concluding remarks.  

Participants will have the opportunity to learn and discuss gende- based violence and women's issues in a constructive dialogue. This conference will form the basis for ongoing connection between non-government organisations in Kiribati. 

Laos

Souphanouvong University Faculty of Education [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Inclusion role model training at the Souphanouvang University Faculty of Education

The Souphanouvang University Faculty of Education project provides training that empowers student teachers to be inclusive education role models in remote northern regions of Laos. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Investment Fund, participants will understand the needs of children with a disability and provide successful learning opportunities for all students.

In Laos, children with a disability often do not achieve their academic potential because schools are not adequately prepared to support their needs and goals. Teachers, who are respected as leaders in rural communities, may lack the experience and skills needed. With the right support, children with a disability can learn and grow to become successful adults.

This project will support 50 student teachers to attend education workshop and connect them with a professional learning network. Teachers will become effective ambassadors who can promote, support and implement changes in their own schools and communities. This will improve the capacity for rural schools to deliver quality inclusive education. Partner organisations involved in inclusive and special education will participate in the development of training workshops.

This project will deliver intensive training on:

  • inclusive education for children with a disability
  • understanding different types of disability
  • learning welcoming attitudes that include children with a disability
  • designing teaching strategies for inclusive education
  • creating teaching resources using low-cost materials, hands-on activities, pictures and online resources
  • building collaboration including working with parents, co-teachers, community members and professional networking.

‍Participants will also receive hands-on training at the Luang Prabang Special School to learn about working directly with children with hearing needs. ‍

This project will increase student teachers’ knowledge, understanding and skills in inclusive education, adapting curriculum for diverse learners and building communities that support children living with a disability. It will create the basis for a continuing professional network of educators and community members committed to inclusive education.

Lesotho

Kick4Life [2020]

Good Health & Wellbeing through Sport Online

Kick4Life will adapt their existing ‘Good Health & Wellbeing through Sport’ curriculum into online, animated content, to help reach young people with critical health messages while their physical sports programs are unable to run due to COVID-19.

Kick4Life [2021 - Climate Action]

Youth climate action in Lesotho 

Kick4Life will empower young people in Lesotho to strengthen their knowledge, advocacy and leadership skills on climate action. Participants will develop sports-based tools on climate change education. They will deliver sessions to their peers on reducing land degradation, water preservation and promoting biodiversity.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will develop and deliver: 

  • sports-based tools for climate change education 
  • an advocacy plan to promote climate action in Lesotho, including media coverage and working with partner organisations 
  • a climate action plan for the Kick4Life Centre and its operations including planting and nurturing indigenous trees and shrubs, implementing new water preservation and energy saving measures. 

The project is designed to give young people a voice, build awareness, share knowledge and provide a platform for action on climate change. This will be the first project of its kind in Lesotho.  

The project will engage and empower young people within communities that are directly affected by the impacts of climate change. Participants will include young people living with a disability, those living with HIV and members of the LGBTQI+ community. Kick4Life will identify participants from existing programs including Girls United, Champions United and Good Health and Wellbeing through Sport, as well as working with other partner organisations. 

Thuso-Tla-Tsoa-Kae Handicapped Centre [2021 - GEDSI Round]

The Gracious Gardener 

The Thuso-Tla-Tsoa-Kae Handicapped Centre will provide a new greenhouse for children living with a disability to grow vegetables. Participants will learn gardening skills which they can use in their villages once they graduate from school, promoting social inclusion.  

‍The project will be managed by a teacher at the Thuso-Tla-Tsoa-Kae Handicapped Centre. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will include: 

  • construction and maintenance of two greenhouses for growing vegetables from seedlings  
  • teaching students to plant, water, weed and harvest the garden 
  • producing vegetables to feed children at the Centre and sell the surplus to the local community
  • teaching students marketing skills for selling vegetables. 

The project will provide participants with vocational and marketing skills that will help them to contribute to their communities and to be more resilient. 

Mongolia

Arts Council of Mongolia [2021 - GEDSI Round]

2021 Zoom: artists in leadership campaign 

The Arts Council of Mongolia project will deliver the 2021 Zoom: Artist in Leadership (Zoom 2021) campaign to raise awareness of gender equality, with support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund. The Arts Council of Mongolia ensures that the art and culture of Mongolia is sustainably developed, promoted and preserved. This project builds on the 2020 Zoom campaign that raised public awareness of gender equality through photography. 

Zoom 2021 will engage media artists to promote gender equality, democratic values and develop capacity of young talents. Participating artists will strengthen their civic engagement and ability to promote gender equality by expressing social needs. The project will be delivered in person or online, depending on the COVID-19 context in Mongolia. 

Project activities will include: 

  • organising leadership skills workshops, focussing on gender equality in a global context 
  • organising media art workshops, building the capacity of participating media artists 
  • providing opportunities for artists to create media artworks 
  • producing media artworks promoting gender equality 
  • providing arts education for the public that promotes an equal society 
  • organising public and online exhibitions featuring works produced by participating artists 
  • developing ongoing partnerships with UN Women (Mongolia), local businesses and the Mongolian artistic community. 

Sign-language interpreters at events will ensure members of the deaf community are included in the project. 

Achieving gender equality involves the elimination of gender-based violence, and the empowerment of all women and men. This project will empower artists to gain leadership skills by raising awareness of gender equality. Participants will use their artistic skills to challenge Mongolian gender stereotypes. Artists will be encouraged to draw on their own voices and lived experiences to promote gender equality in Mongolia. 

Beautiful Hearts Against Sexual Violence [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Fellowship program on applying trauma-informed psychosocial approach for clinical social workersFellowship program on applying trauma-informed psychosocial approach for clinical social workers

Beautiful Hearts Against Sexual Violence will support social workers in Mongolia to better assist survivors of child sexual violence.

Trauma can impact a child’s cognitive, academic, behavioural and social functioning and can have lifelong consequences. In Mongolia, clinical social workers are the primary first aid providers for survivors of child sexual violence. However, state services such as one-stop centres and police shelters are relatively new and have limited experience in providing services for survivors of child sexual abuse.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 
• establish a project team and training program on trauma-informed psychosocial service approaches for social workers employed in state-run services and non-government organisations in Mongolia
• deliver a three-month fellowship program for 15 social workers in Ulaanbaatar in how to deliver best-practice trauma care for survivors of child sexual violence
• organise a conference for 50 social workers to foster professional relationships, support networks and discussion of challenges in the sector to be raised with authorities. 


As a result, survivors of child sexual violence will receive improved care from social workers, who will also be able to teach their colleagues and engage more professionals in improving the care of survivors.

Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Creating youth employment opportunities  

Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia will organise activities that foster youth employment and entrepreneurship.

Youth unemployment is a significant issue in Mongolia, where only 55% of people aged 20-24 are employed (National Statistics Office, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to close down and workers to lose their income.

There are several social enterprises in Mongolia that promote youth employment and community development. These businesses require kick-start funding to transition their ideas into a self-sustaining business. Crowdfunding is a popular and effective way to raise funds as it breaks down barriers between those in need and those available to help them.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • assist five social enterprises to launch a crowdfunding program in Ulaanbaatar and Khentii, Dornogovi, Selenge, Bayankhongor provinces
  • create videos, photos and social media content about the social enterprises to be used on crowdfunding platforms
  • host an in-person and online event in Ulaanbaatar showcasing the social enterprises, providing them with a physical platform to share their vision and raise funds
  • support the social enterprises to keep their funders up to date Xorganise three networking activities for 75 young people and relevant employers.

This project will improve the social and financial opportunities for young people in Mongolia by providing them with enhanced skills, knowledge and opportunities to enter or re-enter the job market.

MOMFEMNET [2020]

Strengthening capacity building for collective online activism

MOMFEMNET will strengthen the capacity of its 22 member organisations to work remotely, organise emergency responses, and engage in activism online, through research, training and stakeholder engagement.

Press Institute of Mongolia [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Strengthening the role of media and civil society in promoting gender equality in Mongolia

The Press Institute of Mongolia aims to increase awareness of gender stereotypes in young journalists and civil society activists. They will strengthen their leadership skills to promote gender equality in Mongolia through online workshops to increase participants’ capacity to recognise and challenge gender stereotypes. 

Women’s voices are underrepresented in Mongolian media, and gender stereotypes and sexualisation are prevalent in media coverage. While civil society organisations engaged in promoting gender equality often lack the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate their messages using modern communication tools. Journalists typically do not consider civil society activities as newsworthy, and non-government organisations can lack the skills to attract media attention to their issues. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the Press Institute of Mongolia will increase understanding and awareness of gender stereotypes among young journalists and civil society activists to strengthen their leadership skills in promoting gender equality in Mongolia. The funding will assist to: 

  • develop a strategy to attract participants, including offering mentoring and peer support opportunities 
  • organise online workshops for young journalists to raise awareness of gender stereotypes and gender-sensitive reporting techniques 
  • hold workshops for civil society activists to understand ways to effectively use social media to promote gender equality  
  • hold a social media contest to promote gender equality, raising public awareness of gender stereotypes in Mongolian society 
  • organise an award ceremony to celebrate and promote the best social media contest entries that challenge gender stereotypes and address gender equality issues. 

All project activities will be organised online, involving journalists and civil society actors from urban and rural Mongolia. 

This project will improve the capacity of young journalists and civil society activists to recognise and challenge gender stereotypes in media and communication content. It will raise public awareness on gender stereotypes and key gender issues on Mongolian social media.

Save the Children Japan [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Strengthening parents’ literacy skills to support children’s needs in Uvurkhangai, Mongolia 

Save the Children Japan aims to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Mongolian herder parents and to help them care for children living with a disability. This project targets parents in the Arvaikheer, Uyanga and Kharkhorin soums of Uvurkhangai province and will be managed by Save the Children Japan staff in Ulaanbaatar and Uvurkhangai provinces. 

Some Mongolian herder parents can lack the education skills required to support children living with a disability. Many children with disabilities are left out of educational opportunities due to their parents’ nomadic lifestyle, geographic location and lack of access to formal schooling. Herder parents can benefit from assistance to support to their children's learning and development. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will provide mobile education training focused on literacy and numeracy skills with partner organisations including the Life-long Education Centre. These organisations have established capacity in working with Mongolian children with a disability and their families.  

Activities will include: 

  • conducting literacy and numeracy assessments of Mongolian herder parents 
  • delivering mobile training to project participants 
  • sharing project results with local governments, partner organisations and through social media. 

Parents will become more confident in supporting their children’s education and accommodating their needs. Local governments will also improve their awareness of the needs among their community. 

Read more about the outcomes of the program on the Save the Children website

The Asia Foundation [2020]

Developing guidance for COVID-19 prevention and control in local schools in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 

The Asia Foundation will help Mongolia reopen schools after one of the longest breaks in the world, by piloting a reopening plan at one school, to be used as a model for others across the country. 

University of Zavkhan Province [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Providing gender responsive support to entrepreneurs in Zavkhan province 

The University of Zavkhan Province will help entrepreneurs in four eastern sub-provinces of Zavkhan province to grow their businesses and overcome challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Zavkhan is a remote province in Mongolia that is not connected to the capital city by paved road or railway. Entrepreneurs in this region lack access to broader Mongolian or international markets. Business opportunities for Mongolian men and women often differ due to differing gender roles, caring responsibilities and unequal distribution of information or funding. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • ‍conduct a needs analysis of entrepreneurs in selected sub-provinces to inform the development of project activities 
  • identify candidates for the project, based on criteria including gender equality, disability and social inclusion 
  • ‍deliver capacity-building activities to develop participants’ IT, social media and marketing skills 
  • purchase equipment to expand participants’ businesses 
  • oversee mini-projects to reinforce knowledge and skills developed during capacity-building activities 
  • provide mentoring to embed capacity-building skills on an ongoing basis. 

‍This project will improve local entrepreneurs sales by improving their knowledge and skills in product development, marketing and branding. It will also improve job creation in the Zavkhan province. The project will help participants’ businesses to become more efficient, gain new market share and access microfinance opportunities.  

Myanmar

ACTED [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Supporting income generation and menstrual health management through the development and launch of a locally-made reusable sanitary pad in Myanmar

ACTED will deliver innovative menstrual health solutions and support the local production of reusable sanitary pads as a means for income generation for vulnerable women in Kayah and Rakhine States.

Research by ACTED highlighted the short supply of disposable pads in remote areas and concerns regarding pad disposal, particularly in camp settings. Many of the women in these areas have been directly affected by conflict, which has impacted their access to sanitation and employment opportunities.

ACTED has been developing a business plan to enable low-income women tailors to start their own businesses manufacturing reusable sanitary pads. The next step in the project is to identify and establish connections with local suppliers of raw materials so the tailors can purchase the materials they need to produce, market and sell locally-made reusable sanitary pads.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • contract a market expert to conduct research on local materials to be used in sanitary pad production
  • select six tailors to participate in the project (three in each state)
  • conduct two partnership workshops (one in each state) to introduce tailors to potential suppliers of raw materials
  • support tailors to finalise their business plans based on negotiations with suppliers

This project will improve economic opportunities for six tailors and provide the wider community with access to affordable, sustainable menstrual hygiene products. ACTED will ensure that the women tailors are connected to local supply chains so they can maintain their own businesses after the completion of the project.

Thabyay Education Foundation [2020]

Thabyay Education Foundation Kachin State Volunteer Network

The Thabyay Education Foundation will coordinate a network of volunteers in Kachin State to support local needs-based COVID-19 initiatives, including the dissemination of public health information, and the provision of medical and food supplies.

Thabyay Education Foundation [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Emergency support for displaced Karen ethnic people 

The Thabyay Education Foundation will provide support to displaced and persecuted Karen civilians, a s

The Thabyay Education Foundation will provide support to displaced and persecuted Karen civilians, a socially diverse indigenous population of the Karen state in south-east Myanmar. This project is supported by the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund. 

The recent unrest in Myanmar has seen a substantial increase in ethnically fuelled violence towards minority groups. Local sources estimate more than 12,000 Karen civilians are displaced due to military sponsored violence. Displaced civilians are mostly women and children who are considered most at risk. 

The Thabyay Education Foundation will support persecuted civilians in Myanmar by providing basic resources including food, education supplies, shelter supplies, maternal hygiene supplies and clothing. It will: 

  • establish volunteer and logistics networks supported by local partner organisations in the Karen state to efficiently distribute critical supplies
  • provide support for ongoing education to empower and drive social inclusion 
  • identify at-risk areas and populations to triage available resources 
  • establish logistics support allowing the efficient distribution of critical supplies 
  • distribution of resources to allow ongoing education that promotes social inclusion. 

This project will engage with at-risk Karen civilians directly, supporting immediate and direct inclusion in delivery project activities. It will equitably target women and children who are most at-risk, with resource distribution directed by the volunteer network. 

This project will be managed by an experienced team of domestic and international staff with deep experience in the region, humanitarian aid and project management. To deliver this project, The Thabyay Education Foundation will draw on local understanding from local partner organisations, staff with strong regional and political understanding, and international best practice.  

Turquoise Mountain [2020]

Supporting artisans in the handmade textile sector during COVID-19

Turquoise Mountain will raise health and hygiene awareness among 300 women weavers and their families in rural areas of Myanmar, and ensure they continue to access markets and generate income, while repurposing existing facilities to produce personal protective equipment.

Nepal

International Union for Conservation of Nature, Nepal Country Office [2021 - Climate Action]

Strengthening the capacity of Indigenous women and young people on nature based solutions in Nepal 

Program partner of the Ministry of Forests and Environment of the Government of Nepal and the Australian Volunteers Program: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will enhance the community resilience of indigenous women and young people in Nepal. Participants will learn to apply nature-based solutions that address climate change impacts. It will ‍help women and young people to build on existing traditional practices that can benefit from nature-based solutions. 

Over 70% of Nepalese people depend on land-based ecosystem services for their livelihoods but have limited capacity and knowledge to cope with climate-related disasters. Climate change impacts are projected to increase and communities who depend on natural resources are the most vulnerable. The concept of nature-based solutions provides a promising approach to addressing climate change impacts but is not well understood in Nepal. Indigenous women and young people are well versed in traditional knowledge and practices, but they lack the skills and resources to apply nature-based solutions. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • identify networks of indigenous women and young people who represent resource custodians and local indigenous communities of Nepal  
  • assess their capacity to apply nature-based solutions in natural resource management projects 
  • form a voluntary task group to champion nature-based solutions within their networks and with partner organisations 
  • train participants in nature-based solutions, ecosystem-based adaptation and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction 
  • organise educational visits to projects that demonstrate nature-based solutions, ecosystem-based adaptation and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction practices. 

This project will strengthen the capacity of Indigenous women and young people to promote nature-based solutions in their work.‍ It will be designed in collaboration with partner organisations that represent indigenous women and young people. 

Kathmandu University School of Arts [2020]

Social, emotional and mental health impact of COVID-19 on students, faculties and teachers, and building institutional and hygiene infrastructure 

Kathmandu University School of Arts will design social and cultural programs to help staff and students respond to COVID-19 by researching the social, emotional and mental health impacts of isolation, as well as supporting the resumption of classes in 2021 with health and hygiene promotion. 

Palau

Palau Ministry of State, Division of Gender [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Strengthening gender mainstreaming within the Palauan Government through capacity building and stakeholder engagement

The Palauan Division of Gender within the Ministry of State is a new area responsible for implementing the Palau Gender Mainstreaming Policy. A key priority is to build the capacity of other Palauan Ministries to adopt a gender lens in their own portfolios.

Since the Palau Gender Mainstreaming Policy was endorsed in 2018, there has not been an opportunity to bring government stakeholders involved in gender-related work together. While gender mainstreaming work has continued in some areas, momentum in other areas has slowed down.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • hold a day-long forum with 30-40 government stakeholders in February 2022 to build a renewed commitment to the Palau Gender Mainstreaming Policy, revisit the roles of each Ministry, and share knowledge of gender programs and policies
  • deliver a series of workshops with civil servants in target Ministries in March 2022 to build capacity and support them to mainstream gender in their work.

The delivery of these stakeholder activities will strengthen gender knowledge and leadership in the Palauan Government and promote the importance of gender equality in Palau. The February forum will result in an agreed governance and oversight mechanism of the Policy, and each Ministry will be encouraged to set targets and actions to address gendered gaps in their laws, policies, programs and reporting.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery

Virtual education at the museum

The Papua New Guinea National Museum & Art Gallery will create an educational website of their collections, allowing people to access collections during COVID-19 and beyond. 

Port Moresby Nature Park [2020]

Public hand washing and entry queuing improvements along with COVID-19 safety awareness signage at Port Moresby Nature Park

Port Moresby Nature Park will introduce hand washing stations and improved queueing to entries at the park, to improve visitor hygiene and promote social distancing.

Solar Solutions PNG

 Lukautim peles hausik

The Solar Solutions Papua New Guinea (PNG) project will solve urgent power, water and safety issues for the Tubuserea Health Centre, which serves children, young people and elderly women from Motuan coastal villages. The facility often suffers from power outages, which significantly impacts on the quality of care that patients receive. 

With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • consult with Motuan communities 
  • supply and install a solar power station, ensuring reliable energy for lighting and providing an uninterrupted electricity supply for medical equipment 
  • supply and install a solar streetlight to provide effective after-hours access to the Tubuserea Health Centre 
  • provide a water irrigation pump to ensure water supply is managed sustainably 
  • provide training on the installation and maintenance of new equipment and infrastructure 
  • conduct an awareness campaign and workshops on managing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This project will be supported by youth groups to ensure local ownership of the project and its outcomes. 

The Solar Solutions Papua New Guinea (PNG) project aims to ensure all patients from Motuan communities, regardless of gender, disability and sexual orientation, can safely access health care. Patients will receive more consistent care because the facility will have reliable lighting, power and water supplies. This project will also improve Motuan communities’ preparedness for COVID-19.  

Tenkile Conservation Alliance [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Data management and capacity building

The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) is working to save the lives of people, animals and their places in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The protected Torricelli Mountain Range (TMR) in Sandaun Province is under threat from logging and a growing human population. If local staff and landowners can collect information and upload it to TCA’s database, they can create a powerful resource for conservation management.

This project will create TCA's Protected Areas Monitoring and Management (PAMM) phone application (app), which will collect data on biodiversity, culture, environmental damage and villages. Photos, videos, GPS points, questions, surveys and patrols will be uploaded to TCA's online portal. Any staff or landowner who is registered can access their own data and their village's data.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • release the PAMM app to 100 TCA staff via instructional videos and tutorials
  • support the collection of data on the PAMM app by TCA staff and organise that data on the online portal
  • input data from TCA's files onto the portal. 

Using apps is entrenched within TCA and this project will take the organisation and its stakeholders further towards sustainability. At least 100 TCA staff will use the PAMM app and will build the capacity of other people in their villages to do the same. Villagers will be able to see the progress of their village, the boundaries, land-use plans, biodiversity and cultural aspects. Ultimately, the online portal will become a library and educational hub for Papua New Guineans to better manage their land.

Philippines

Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Vocational training skills for young adults 

Center for Excellence in Special Education will provide young people with training in barista, bread,  pastry and cookery so they can secure meaningful jobs and lift themselves out of poverty. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will target young people who currently live in poverty.  

Successful trainees will be given internship opportunities which could help them secure ongoing part-time or full-time job placements. This will help them to be independent after the project has finished. 

Project staff will visit communities to hold town hall sessions and provide an overview of the training being offered. Participants will be supported with food and transport allowances. 

Development Action for Women Network [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

eCommerce empowerment training program for Filipino migrant women

The Development Action for Women Network (DAWN) is supporting Filipino people, especially returning distressed migrant women and their children, through services that strengthen their dignity.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the repatriation of more than 400,000 Filipino female migrant workers. These women and their children are highly vulnerable to human trafficking, labour exploitation, gender-based violence and mental health issues.

DAWN and SIKHAY currently work in Manila with government agencies and international organisations building the self-sustainability of repatriated women. This project will create an eCommerce website to market SIKHAY’s alternative livelihood products, providing a live training platform for SIKHAY participants.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • develop a new SIKHAY eCommerce website to market and sell products online
  • develop training materials on eCommerce and the digital transformation of women-owned alternative livelihood projects
  • train staff to deliver eCommerce courses for alternative livelihood projects to women migrant returnees.

Faced with the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are adapting to the digital marketplace in order to succeed. This project builds on SIKHAY’s retail operations and will complement the current Entrepreneurial Skills Training Program. Learning to use digital platforms will improve sales, marketing, administration, and service delivery. Applying this knowledge will strengthen the resilience and sustainability of the participants’ alternative livelihood projects.

Municipality of Canaman [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Child nutrition monitoring 

The Municipality of Canaman (LGU Canaman) will develop and implement a solution for monitoring the progress of child nutrition programs to support the good health of children aged 0-5 years.

Currently, child nutrition data is gathered quarterly by Barangay (village) Nutrition Scholars (BNS) using pen and paper. An Excel tool developed by the National Nutrition Council could be utilised to record the child’s personal information and allow their nutritional status to be automatically calculated and easily added to reports. ‍

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • define the requirements for the Barangay Nutrition Program solution
  • procure tablets for the program
  • develop an app that allows the BNS to input data on a tablet and link to the database
  • train 24 BNS to use the new software.

This project will enable the collection of vital information regarding children’s health to be recorded efficiently and accurately, and automatically uploaded to the Nutrition Council databases to be tracked over time. ‍

The Municipality is experienced with managing and maintaining software systems and there will be ongoing reviews on the need for future updates.

Welcome Home Foundation [2021 - Climate Action]

Sustainable food security 

The Welcome Home Foundation will strengthen food security by supporting the expansion of its current gardening curriculum. It will fund a new greenhouse and upgrade of current facilities. Students will learn how to grow their own vegetables using applicable gardening techniques, through in-person and online classes.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • construct a greenhouse that is designed to withstand changing weather patterns and increased rainfall 
  • purchase and plant high quality vegetables, bamboo and tree seedlings 
  • upgrade existing garden plots and facilities 
  • purchase a laptop and internet connection for online classes. 

Trainers will teach essential gardening techniques to students so they can use these skills at home. This will help students to provide food for their families, while lowering their monthly food expenses. Students will also learn about waste management and recycling organic waste through the on-site worm farm. 

This project will empower people who are deaf or hard of hearing by improving their skills to naturally grow their own food and provide an alternative source of income. It will also strengthen students’ confident confidence as they prepare to enter the job market. 

The project will increase the capacity for the Welcome Home Foundation to produce vegetables and fresh fish throughout the year. It will also provide surplus produce for nearby communities.

Samoa

Independent Water Schemes Association [2021 - Climate Action]

Strengthening community resilience against climate variability and water scarcity 

The Independent Water Schemes Association will support the purchase of a logger and ultrasonic flow-meter to assess the condition of community water sources in Samoa. The project will improve community capacity and strengthen awareness of water conservation, water quality, climate change and environmental stewardship. 

The Independent Water Schemes Association supports more than 50 communities in Samoa to manage their own water supply networks. These water supplies are intermittent, untreated and of variable quality. Data collection is critical to making informed sustainable water management decisions so rural communities can remain resilient during times of climate variability and water scarcity.  

‍With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:‍ 

  • procure a logger and ultrasonic flow meter 
  • hold a workshop with government water stakeholders and partner organisations 
  • hold a consultative workshop with Samoan communities to actively engage them in water source assessments 
  • train staff and operators to use water instruments and keep records 
  • use water instruments to conduct assessments at each community 
  • analyse and share the findings of these assessments. 

‍‍‍This project will improve community health and livelihoods by improving management of water sources and networks. It will provide data to support the development of actions that mitigate the impact of climate variability, water shortages and natural disasters.‍‍‍ 

National University of Samoa [2021 - Climate Action]

Campus plastic bottle and aluminium can recycling 

The National University of Samoa will improve the recycling of plastic bottles and aluminium cans at its campuses. The project will collaborate with the University's student association to develop and produce organic and paid social, digital and broadcast media advertising to target staff and students. 

The University currently provides collection, storage and transportation of plastic bottles and aluminium cans. However, audits have identified low recycling rates, high contamination and litter generated by staff and students across its campuses.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will develop organic and paid media campaigns that highlight the benefits of recycling to staff and students. It will use role models and respected influencers to address the major barriers and motivations to the new behaviour requests. This project will support paid placement of news and promotional items through YouTube, Facebook and television advertising.   

The project aims to improve recycling by 70% in the first year, increasing to 80% per year when the whole University is included. It will improve students’ understanding about their individual impact on the environment, leading to changing attitudes and behaviours. ‍Through collaborative efforts with stakeholders, this project aims to support the University’s Waste Management Plan vision of creating a cleaner and healthier learning environment. 

 

Samoa Human Resource Institute [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Formalise the accreditation of Samoa human resource national competencies

Samoa Human Resource Institute (SHRI) is a professional institute formalising human resources (HR) as a profession and creating professional standards and categories of membership.

SHRI aims to improve the standard of the HR industry in Samoa by offering training to private and public sector employees and working with the National University of Samoa to develop programs and a degree in Human Resources Management.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • deliver a workshop with local HR practitioners to develop HR competencies
  • analyse draft competencies with the public sector, private sector and tertiary provider
  • design HR courses or programs for accreditation
  • submit national human resource competencies for local accreditation by the Samoa Qualifications Authority.

This project will allow SHRI to formalise key standards and competencies that could be used nationally to accredit the HR profession.

 

Samoa Cancer Society [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Enhancing nationwide capacity about cancer 

The Samoa Cancer Society will produce talkback programs to address misconceptions about cancer and share information about health promotion practices and screening initiatives.  

Traditional beliefs play an important role in shaping attitudes about health and disease causation in Samoa. Disease prevention is not seen as an integral part of 'fa’aSamoa' (Samoan language, customs of relationships, and culture). Modesty, fear or a lack of knowledge can inhibit community engagement with cancer prevention practices and participation in screening programs. Cancer can be seen as a 'palagi' (westerner) disease, caused by spirits or a punishment from God. 

The project will address knowledge gaps and misperceptions about cancer in the context of Samoan cultural norms and practices. It will harness the influence of family, chiefs and church leaders in fa'aSamoa to share its messages.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:  

  • record, produce, broadcast and livestream 12 30-minute talkback programs on mainstream and digital media platforms 
  • produce videos and resources translated in English subtitles and sign language interpretation 
  • engage with community stakeholders and partner organisations to select program topics and tailor resources 
  • review community feedback of talkback programs and their understanding about cancer. 

Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority (SFESA) [2020]

Securing the Samoa Fire & Emergency Services Authority and its employees against COVID-19-linked events

The Samoa Fire & Emergency Services Authority will build the capabilities and knowledge base of first responders and staff to possible COVID-19 cases.

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Sport and Leadership Institute [2020]

Building capacity to secure a safe return and ongoing delivery of sport and physical activity in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Sport & Leadership Institute will work with a health professional to develop resources, manuals and training materials, to build staff capacity for the safe return of sport and physical activity across Solomon Islands.

South Africa

Ann Harding Cheshire Home [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Equipment to facilitate communication with volunteers for our residents 

COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns have made it difficult for residents in care facilities to connect with others and many have experienced boredom or loneliness.

Residents at Ann Harding Cheshire Home in Randburg, Gauteng Province, would benefit from an increased connection to facilitators and family outside of their home setting. The Ann Harding Cheshire Home is a residential care facility for adults aged 18 to 54, who have physical disability. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will purchase webcams, a big screen smart television, a meetup camera and a speaker to help residents connect with family and an external facilitator. 

This equipment will also allow the residents to explore the world more through the internet, and residents will be encouraged to use it on a daily basis.  

Ann Harding Cheshire Home [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Computer accessibility for Ann Harding residents 

 The Ann Harding Cheshire Home will provide a computer station that all residents can use, including residents living with a disability.  

Residents struggle with boredom and loneliness, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as residents cannot see their families and friends. Some residents also struggle to communicate, which makes it difficult for staff to understand their needs. 

Computers will be installed in an existing area close to the residents’ lounge area, equipped with specialised software that allows residents who struggle to communicate access to the internet, email, social media and video calls. Residents can type their needs (using specialised equipment), and then show it to a staff member. The software has predictive text and will become more efficient over time. The computers will also be equipped with specialised mouses and keyboards for people with limited mobility.  

‍With support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, project activities will include: 

  • purchasing and installing five desktop computers 
  • ordering specialised software and equipment 
  • staff and resident training 
  • encouraging residents to use the computers on a daily basis. 

The computer station will broaden residents’ horizons and improve their social connections and mental health by improving their access to friends and family. 

Botshabelo [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Early childhood development education for women and children in rural areas

Botshabelo will offer effective early childhood development training and knowledge-sharing to women in rural and remote regions of South Africa. It will provide the skills and resources for women to establish early childhood education micro-businesses while being agents of social change in their communities. 

Women rural and remote regions of South Africa often do not have the education training and tools needed to empower their own career paths. They can lack the foundations in early childhood education or sustainable business practices to establish successful early childhood development programs.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, Botshabelo will: 

  • upskill women with theoretical and practical skills in early childhood development 
  • promote shared knowledge and skills development 
  • create a peer network system that is sustainable and will ensure accountability 
  • establish a training centre for participants using an existing early childhood development facility 
  • train rural early childhood educators at the training centre, 
  • provide technological support for remote training. 

This project will allow teachers in rural and remote areas to receive training, coaching and mentoring on a regular basis. It will also empower rural women to improve the value of early childhood education in rural South Africa by building positive and authentic relationships with the key stakeholders.  

This project will provide the basis for quality early childhood education curriculums for children in South African rural areas. Effective early childhood education will enable these children to enter primary school on par with children from urban areas. It will also promote safe and educational places for children to develop holistically, and help provide good educational foundations that will set children up for future academic success‍.‍ 

Malamulele Onward [2020]

Protection of children with cerebral palsy and their families living in rural resource-constrained settings from the negative impact of COVID-19

Malamulele Onward will provide children living with cerebral palsy, and their families, with food, clothing, personal protective equipment and sanitisation products, to help support them during COVID-19, as well as providing education and testing support. 

QuadPara Association Western Cape [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Disability awareness campaign 

The QuadPara Association Western Cape project will dispel myths and preconceived perceptions about wheelchair users in South African communities. It will deliver art workshops in schools to show children how to confidently interact and engage with wheelchair users, improving their understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. 

People with a disability continue to be marginalised and misunderstood in South Africa. This project aims to educate children at schools about people living with a disability at an age when they are likely to be more open minded. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will visit 12 schools to: 

  • share success stories from people with a disability and explain the challenges faced by wheelchair users 
  • display mouth paintings by QuadPara Association Western Cape members 
  • teach students how to interact with wheelchair users 
  • highlight the importance of accessible environments for wheelchair users 
  • demonstrate the importance of positive lifestyle choices. 

The project team will include three wheelchair users, their carers and a driver who will travel to three rural regions in the Western Cape province. The QuadPara Association Western Cape will work with the Western Cape Department of Education to ensure that the project targets schools where positive messages about wheelchair users are most needed. 

Participants will be equipped with the knowledge required to confidently engage with wheelchair users. The information shared will dispel misconceptions about people with disabilities in the community, improving understanding and acceptance in their communities

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) [2020]

Reimaging our futures beyond COVID-19

SAIIA will engage with South African young people and educators on a series of interactive virtual dialogues to help provide a safe and supportive platform for them to share their views on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop ideas and solutions for tackling challenges during the pandemic and beyond.

Sri Lanka

Bridging Lanka [2020]

Building COVID-19 resilience in vulnerable communities in northern Sri Lanka

Bridging Lanka will work to understand the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable families in the Mannar District of Northern Sri Lanka, trial responses to help build community resilience, and explore ways to recruit and work with volunteers remotely.

Equality-based Community Support And Training (ECSAT) [2020]

ECSAT back to business

Equality-based Community Support And Training (ECSAT) will run training to support their beneficiaries to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19, as well as resume their education, vocational training and therapeutic support services for people with disabilities.

Organisation of People for Engagement and Enterprise [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Enhancing employment prospects for disadvantaged children through innovative digital education.

The Organisation of People for Engagement and Enterprise (OPEnE) will deliver high quality digital lessons to school students across Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has a lack of qualified teachers and an under-resourced education system. To help deliver high quality education to all Sri Lankan schools, OPEnE has developed digital lessons in English and Information and Communication Technology, which have been recognised as valuable resources by the government. However, many schools do not have the resources and training required to teach these lessons.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • deliver a smartboard and laptop to three schools which are particularly disadvantaged in Mannar district
  • deliver a laptop for use by OPEnE staff for training teachers and working with community groups
  • deliver training to all grade one-to-five teachers to demonstrate the use of the equipment and digital lessons
  • plant trees to improve the learning environment
  • establish edible gardens to teach about healthy eating and provide fresh produce to students.

OPEnE has a long-term commitment to these schools. The outcomes will benefit current and future students and can be scaled up to other schools. These schools will become models for digital education and greening of schools with the active participation of communities and parents in the region.

Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce 

The Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce project will focus on addressing the technological challenges facing women entrepreneurs as they seek to grow their businesses. The project will select 100 women entrepreneurs primarily from the Hambantota District women’s entrepreneur forum, which provides support, education and networks to help local women grow their businesses. Participants will include local ethnic groups (Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim) as well as women living with a disability. 

With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will include:  

  • training and awareness sessions to establish online and social media goals for participants’ businesses 
  • developing and implementing social media and online marketing strategies 
  • designing Facebook pages and websites, including establishing links with the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce 
  • hosting events to build participants’ network connections and learn from other businesses 
  • workshops on cultural barriers, workplace harassment and domestic violence as well as LGBTQI+ and disability inclusion. 

Male entrepreneurs will also participate in workshops to understand the importance of women in the workplace and the benefits of inclusion. 

The project will improve participants’ ability to use social media to improve their business’ performance, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will feel more confident in their ability to compete in a predominately male environment and understand the benefits of social inclusion. 

 

Tanzania

Comfy Care12 [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Increase knowledge and uptake of reusable pads amongst adolescent girls in schools.

Comfy Care12 will improve menstrual hygiene awareness and increase the use of sanitary pads by adolescent girls in rural and remote areas of Tanzania by designing and distributing affordable, reusable sanitary pads.

Managing menstruation is challenging for adolescent girls in Tanzania, where the purchase of menstrual pads is stigmatised and expensive. This is especially difficult for adolescents in rural areas, where 91% of shops do not sell disposable menstrual pads. As a result, 48% of schoolgirls miss or drop out of school due to menstruation challenges, severely limiting their potential.

Comfy Care12 seeks to provide young girls with affordable reusable sanity pads that can last them up to 18 months. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will work in Manyara, Arusha and Pwani regions to: 

  • deliver a product development strategy and pilot program
  • strengthen the development of affordable reusable sanitary pads for young adolescent girls
  • work with a partner to manufacture reusable pads for the pilot program
  • run focus group sessions with young adolescent girls in three rural regions
  • deliver three education sessions with young adolescent girls in rural Tanzania

Comfy Care12 will include males in the focus group sessions when addressing the stigma surrounding menstrual hygiene management to create a more supportive environment for girls to manage their menstrual hygiene.  

ECHO - East Africa [2020]

Perennial vegetables for urban Tanzanians

ECHO - East Africa will increase the nutrition of urban Tanzanians during the COVID19 pandemic by promoting the growing and consumption of nutrient-dense perennial vegetables, in small urban gardens with minimal space.

ECHO East Africa [2021 - Climate Action]

Improving nutrition capacity through Tanzanian health clinics  

ECHO East Africa will improve the nutrition of vulnerable peri-urban populations in Arusha, Tanzania by targeting those who work at and attend mother and child health clinics. It will provide families and health practitioners with training sessions and resources to grow and prepare perennial vegetable varieties. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, resource-poor households struggled to provide nutritious food to their families. Malnutrition is widespread. Perennial vegetables are nutritious, easy to grow, bear green leaves throughout the year, are resistant to pests and need minimal water. Most Tanzanians have access to carbohydrate-rich maize, rice and sweet potatoes, but limited access to nutrient-dense foods rich in proteinvitamins and mineralsMany perennial vegetables varieties can be readily adopted because they resemble traditional vegetables.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will: 

  • deliver training and resources on growing and preparing perennial vegetables varieties to mothers attending health clinics 
  • train health professionals on the importance of providing patients with nutrition and food security messages  
  • provide seeds and cuttings of perennial vegetables varieties to participants 

Peri-urban gardeners will reduce malnutrition and promote improved food security at the household level. Self-reliant, nutritious food production allows participants to address their own nutrition challenges using affordable and available resources. 

Flying Medical Service [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Physical therapy and exercise room for people living with a disability 

The Tanzania Flying Medical Service project will design and install a small physical therapy and exercise facility at the Olkokola Centre for the Physically Handicapped. The current facility is only able to help people living with a disability to walk or run, limiting the range of health and mobility benefits that can be achieved. 

With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the new facility will allow participants with prostheses, mobility issues and those in wheelchairs to improve their strength and movement. A physiotherapist will also assist with designing exercise program tailored to participants’ needs and goals. 

Project activities will include: 

  • designing the gym and exercise facility in consultation with a physiotherapist  
  • renovating the facility space 
  • purchasing suitable equipment 
  • training participants to use physical therapy and exercise equipment. 

‍The Olkokola Centre also runs a residential program that trains people living with a disability in trades such as tailoring, carpentry and masonry. These clients will assist with renovating the facility space. 

In rural and remote Tanzania, people living with a disability face social stigma which affects their ability to support themselves. This project will improve participants’ health and fitness, making them more resilient in their daily lives. It will also improve participants’ ability to take advantage of prostheses and other mobility aids provided by the Olkokola Centre and to participate in vocational training. 

Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative (GLAMI) [2020]

GLAMI Radio Project

The Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative (GLAMI) will continue mentoring Tanzanian secondary school girls during COVID-19 and into the future by developing the GLAMI Radio Project, an innovative way to reach existing and new scholars with lessons on resilience, leadership and confidence.

Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative (GLAMI) [2021 - GEDSI]

Engaging parents to promote girls' education in Tanzania

The Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative (GLAMI) project supports gender equality by influencing parents’ attitudes about girls’ education and empowerment. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, it engages parents to help their daughters finish school and encourages parents to become advocates for girls’ education.

This project is delivered at partner schools of the Binti Shupavu Program, a training and mentoring program for adolescent girls that addresses challenges that lead to Tanzanian girls leaving secondary school. This four-year program builds girls’ confidence, resilience, and the determination to succeed despite all obstacles.

Involving parents in their daughters’ education improves girls’ retention in secondary schools. This project holds annual parent engagement meetings at partner schools to bring together parents and guardians of Binti Shupavu Scholars. These sessions aim to increase parents’ support and advocacy for girls’ education. Parents are encouraged to discuss the challenges that their daughters face. Binti Shupavu mentors and scholars share their educational journeys with parents, highlighting their challenges and successes. These sessions encourage parents to identify how they can support their children to achieve their dreams.

This project supports gender equality by influencing parents’ thinking about girls’ education and empowerment. Parents learn from and inspire each other, developing a sense of support and belonging with their peers.

Maternity Africa [2020]

Providing access to good, evidence-based maternal healthcare for vulnerable and marginalised women and girls during the COVID-19 emergency

Maternity Africa will continue towards their goal of making every childbirth safe for every woman in Tanzania, by providing access to maternal healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastoral Women's Council [2021 - Climate Action]

Enhancing food security and school retention of female Maasai students in rural northern Tanzania 

The Pastoral Women’s Council will expand the Emanyata Secondary School’s agricultural program. It will provide healthy food to students, improve community food security and expand opportunities for girls to attend school. It will purchase crops, trees and poultry to broaden production of the school’s 50-acre farm 

The Emanyata Secondary School is a community-owned school in Ololosokwan, a pastoral Maasai villageIt provides students with a safe foundation to become confident and self-reliant global citizens, while celebrating and promoting indigenous Maasai culture.  

The Ololosokwan community has faced significant economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in families being unable to fund their children’s educationIn response, the school revisited its economic model and identified alternative methods to support children’s education and address food insecurity in its community. 

‍With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will: 

  • develop a viable and sustainable permaculture business plan assisted by a permaculture expert
  • purchase crops and gardening tools, including vegetables, tubers, legumes, fruits, medicinal trees and herbs 
  • build a coop to accommodate 200 chickens. 

By selling surplus food, the school will enhance food security in its community and create an additional income-generating activity to deliver free quality education to Maasai children, particularly girls who would otherwise miss out. The project will also bolster opportunities for students to learn farming skills.  

Sidai Designs [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Digital transformation – creating economic opportunities for Maasai women in Tanzania 

Sidai Designs will improve its website to integrate online commerce and storytelling about traditional beaded designs produced by Maasai women. This will improve customers’ understanding of the impact of their purchase and expand market reach.  

Maasai women are among the most marginalised groups in Tanzania. They have little control over their resources, education and livelihoods due to an embedded patriarchal system.  

‍Sidai Designs previously employed 120 Maasai women to produce traditional beaded designs for local and international markets. Due to COVID-19, there has been a drastic decline in demand for these products. Lack of tourism and cancelled international trade shows (Sidai Designs’ largest marketplace) have significantly reduced sales and employees’ financial independence. Sidai Designs identified issues preventing them from reaching customers and competing in the international marketplace including an out-of-date website, lack of web integration and poor searchability. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • upgrade Sidai Designs’ website to integrate online retail, wholesale and storytelling 
  • conduct a website audit to identify all functionality, SEO ranking, optimisation, customer conversion and visual content needs 
  • collect stories about Maasai women who produce traditional beaded designs including the history of their tribes and their techniques 
  • integrate all sales channels onto one website 
  • set up reporting dashboards across all platforms to analyse data and guide ongoing activities 
  • upskill full-time staff through training. 

By bringing Maasai women’s products to international markets, this project will drive increased demand and preserve beading traditions. It will promote sustainable employment and financial independence for Maasai women, which is a catalyst for long-term positive social change.  

The Plaster House [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Supporting families of young children living with a disability 

The Mama’s Education Program provides support for mothers who have young children living with a disability. Mothers learn the skills to care for their children, care for their own wellbeing and to be advocates for children living with a disability in their community. With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the Mama’s Education Program will be integrated into the day-to-day activities of The Plaster House.  

The Plaster House offers surgical rehabilitation services for children living with a disability. The Impact Fund project will help build the skills of existing staff, supporting them to deliver four three-month residential education programs to children living with a disability and their families. It will support the production of resources and materials and the capacity development of staff through mentoring and training. 

The Mama’s Education Program provides Tanzanian mothers who have young children living with a disability with new ideas, skills and knowledge aimed at improving their health and wellbeing, and the health and wellbeing of their children. Mothers participating in the program will be encouraged to demonstrate these new skills at The Plaster House, so they can be applied when they return to their community. 

Participants will also learn about the services available at The Plaster House, so they can be advocates for children living with a disability in their community and improve the outcomes for children living with a disability more broadly across Tanzania. They will become part of a support network, creating enduring relationships that will continue past their residential stay. 

Umoja Tanzania Incorporated [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Family support project

Umoja Tanzania Incorporated (Umoja) supports vulnerable and disadvantaged Tanzanian youth and their families through training and education.

Umoja has supported young Tanzanians since 2009, however there is also a need to offer support and education to the families and communities of the direct beneficiaries in order to encourage holistic change.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • raise awareness of training for the parents and guardians of Umoja students
  • deliver training to 250 parents, guardians and community members in Arusha
  • deliver training to 10 Umoja committee members who will then be able to train additional communities
  • conduct monitoring and evaluation on the impact of the project.

Umoja will provide trainings on subjects identified by the Umoja Parents and Guardian Committee, such as business skills, small-scale sustainable farming, sexual reproductive health and domestic violence. With support from Umoja, the committee leaders will conduct trainings and workshop in their own communities.

Umoja will provide additional mentoring support, training of trainers, monitoring and evaluation to ensure sustainability of this project.

Timor-Leste

Assosiasaun Halibur Defisiensia Matan Timor-Leste (Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired) [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Taka Imi Nia Matan Loke imi Ni Fuan (Close Your Eyes and Open Your Heart) Theatre 

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired project will establish a theatre group for people who are blind or living with a visual impairment in Timor-Leste. This group will raise awareness of issues facing people who are blind or visually impaired through performances of traditional dance, music and theatre. 

The disadvantages faced by people who are blind or living with a visual impairment, particularly women, are not well understood in Timor-Leste communities. Improving the understanding of these issues will lead to greater empathy and support. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, 30 participants will improve their skills in performance arts. Project activities will include: 

  • providing three months of training and development for participants in performing arts, in partnership with the Timor Furak youth art group 
  • engaging musicians who are blind or visually impaired to work closely with performers  
  • purchase of performance training and preparation traditional costumes 
  • developing a show for performances in municipalities outside Dili. 

This project will empower participants who are blind or living with a visual impairment to improve their quality of life. Learning traditional dance will improve participants’ confidence, resilience and the ability to participate more actively in their community. By focusing on public performance as the medium, Timor-Leste communities will be more engaged and aware of the issues facing people who are blind or living with a visual impairment.  

Ba Futuru | For the Future [2020]

Youth-led campaign for stopping the spread of fake news and rumors of COVID-19 in rural communities throughout Timor-Leste

Ba Futuru will partner with a local media organisation to develop an entertaining and informative three-part video series on fake news, and will work with their network of 150 youth volunteers to share this in communities across Timor-Leste.

Blue Ventures Conservation [2021 - Climate Action]

Accelerating community-led sustainable management of marine resources 

Blue Ventures will support Timorese coastal communities to monitor their fisheries and reef habitats, understand the effects of climate change and improve food security. It will share tools and training to empower local communities to manage their environmental and marine resources.  

Timor-Leste reefs suffer from bleaching events, coral disease and overfishing, which is further exacerbated by climate change. It is important to understand the status of these ecosystems and the fisheries they support.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, Blue Ventures will train Timorese community members to conduct reef ecological surveys. This data will support marine management decisions that improve catches, make fishing more sustainable, and incentivise action to protect the biodiversity of marine ecosystems.  

The project will train community members in reef, seagrass and fisheries monitoring and management. Tailored training will empower these communities to monitor reef health, inform community management plans and facilitate the adaptive management of marine resources. Communities will become custodians to protect and sustain local habitats and fisheries. 

‍At least seven Timorese community members will also attain certifications in SCUBA diving-based monitoring and data collection techniques. Upon completion of SCUBA and Reef Check training, data will be collected and shared with participating communities. This will provide a holistic picture of the reefs and fisheries, allowing communities to make informed management decisions. 

Communities will possess the skills to monitor and protect the reefs around Atauro and on the mainland. Management actions led by local communities will help safeguard natural resources of cultural importance, by mitigating overfishing and safeguarding the resilience of critical ecosystems against climate change impacts.

East Timor Development Agency [2020]

Strengthening cooking of nutritious food and improving hygiene practices

The East Timor Development Agency will produce healthy cooking, hygiene and nutrition videos, with lessons delivered by chefs from the Agency's Education Restaurant, to help Timorese people of all ages live healthier.

Fundasaun Alola (Alola Foundation) [2021 - GEDSI]

Transformative learning for disability inclusion 

The Fundasaun Alola project will strengthen the inclusion of children with a disability in rural Timor-Leste education projects.  

Children with a disability are less likely to enrol at school and have greater chance of not graduating from their education. In Timor-Leste, class sizes are large, where it is common to have more than 70 students in a classroom. The needs of children with a disability are often overlooked, and teachers can have limited access to support. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will improve Alola staff’s understanding of disability inclusion. It will be integrated into future Alola projects to better support children with a disability and their teachers. 

Project activities will include: 

  • a sharing session to identify strengths, successes and challenges in supporting children with a disability 
  • improving Alola staff knowledge and practices in delivering learning activities that meets children’s particular needs 
  • relationship building with partner organisations and disability peak bodies through staff visits and workshops 
  • conducting learning events on assisting people with a disability and families in rural or isolated areas 
  • collecting health data using Washington Group question sets. 

The project will engage with people with a disability through partner organisations, disability peak organisations and mental health professionals. All sessions will be facilitated by Timorese facilitators, embedded in the Timorese cultural context and conducted in Tetum language. 

HAIM Health [2020]

COVID-19 public communications and education campaign - Timor-Leste districts

HIAM Health will increase the understanding of health, safety and hygiene among their beneficiaries and staff to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, and develop factual information on how the disease spreads and preventative strategies.

 

Juventude Dezenvolvimentu Nasiona (Young People for National Development) [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Hapara Aseidu Seksual (Stop Sexual Harassment) 

The Juventude ba Dezenvolvimentu Nasional (JDN) project will develop a training resource to educate young women on sexual harassment in Timor-Leste. This will include education, life skills training, responsive actions and advocacy to build the knowledge and skills of young women. 

In Timor-Leste, young women struggle with unequal treatment and discrimination. Sexual harassment can be seen as normal rather than as disrespectful behaviour towards women. JDN will use this project to help educate young women about sexual harassment and help them to know their rights. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • deliver workshops that provide strategies, tools and life skills training to assist young women faced with sexual harassment 
  • establish a young women’s writing group who will prepare project resources with the support of mentors and advisors 
  • train young women to facilitate workshops and become trainers of other young women 
  • trial workshops with young women in Dili 
  • promote project resource for use in other organisations. 

This project will provide knowledge and ideas to allow young women to challenge the pervading attitudes that lead to sexual harassment. Young women will be empowered to take action in their families, communities and universities to address sexual harassment. They will possess the skills to talk about violence against them and they will be able to advocate against violence towards women. 

Maluk Timor [2020]

Maintaining essential HIV services that have been disrupted by COVID-19 and the state of emergency

The impact of COVID-19 and the state of emergency in Timor-Leste has led to a decrease in testing, treatment and education on HIV. These funds will support Maluk Timor to continue to treat HIV in the Timor-Leste community during this challenging time.

Supporting continuity of access to essential primary health care for rheumatic heart disease patients in Timor-Leste throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

This project will increase the capacity of district healthcare workers to provide essential primary care services for rheumatic heart disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing patients with access to monthly injections to prevent episodes of health conditions.

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e (Permatil) [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Capacity building for horticulture, aquaculture and chicken farming trainees 

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e (Permatil) will support rural families in Timor-Leste by teaching them the technical permaculture skills to become self-sufficient, improve their income and restore the environment.

Permaculture also improves accessibility by making work as easy as possible, allowing people with different abilities to participate. ‍

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • purchase and distribute indigenous seeds, small fish, chickens and appropriate tools to participants in are and Ornai who have completed Permatil’s training program in horticulture, aquaculture and chicken farming
  • create a video on the progress of participants highlighting good permaculture techniques to be used as a teaching tool for other communities
  • monitor and evaluate the impact of the project and report findings.
  • Permaculture offers an inclusive, eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable future for Timor-Leste. The principles of permaculture are imbued with gender equality, diversity and inclusion and Permatil ensures these are appropriate in a Timorese context.

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e [2020]

Workshop and training on horticulture, aquaculture and chicken raising

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e will support community groups, particularly young people, with training in water conservation, aquaculture, horticulture and animal husbandry, to improve food production and income generation.

Working Women's Centre [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Decent work for domestic and vulnerable workers

 

The Working Women’s Centre project will empower potential domestic workers and home-based workers by providing access to information, referrals and public advocacy. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will deliver outreach workshops in Ainaru and Covalima, targeting villages with women in agriculture and high levels of economic disadvantage.

Domestic work and home-based work are growing as a source of income for women, most of whom come from limited educational and socio-economic backgrounds. This work is excluded from the Labour Code of Timor-Leste, making these women vulnerable to economic exploitation, physical and sexual abuse.

This project will deliver outreach workshops equipping women with knowledge and resources to access work with reasonable working conditions and legal protections. The sessions will include education on vocational, advocacy and organising skills, so that women can advocate to be recognised as workers. These workshops will also raise awareness of issues facing women workers in Timor-Leste with decision makers and partner organisations.

‍Workshops will be designed in consultation with domestic workers, home-based workers and community leaders. This will involve community consultation, engagement and focus group discussions in each municipality. Promotional materials will also be produced to support collective action, including a community radio show.

 

Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund Timor Leste [2020]

Digitising youth work in Timor-Leste

Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund will upskill their team of Timorese youth workers, training them in project management, digital, and best practice youth work, as well as building their technological capacity, to better share digital resources with their community.

Tonga

Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC) [2020]

Vava'u communities’ disaster management plan review

The Ministry will consult with the community, and review and update community disaster management plans, to ensure the Vava’u population are able to minimise the risk of disasters, including COVID-19.

The Mango Tree Centre for People with Disabilities [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Building the speech therapy capacity for people with disabilities 

The Mango Tree Centre for People with Disabilities provides therapies to around 50 children with disabilities each week. Most of these children have cerebral palsy, complicated speech and eating disorders.  

It is vital to provide caregivers with equipment and training on how to feed their child safely at home, as inadequate feeding methods can cause death for children with disabilities. Engaging a remote speech therapy mentor from Australia can help Mango Tree Centre to improve the quality of life and survival rate of children with disabilities, as there is no avenue for studying speech therapy in Tonga.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • engage a speech therapy mentor from Australia to train Mango Tree staff in Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD), which is the most effective alternative communication tool for people with cerebral palsy 
  • create PODD books for 25 children to assist with their development 
  • supply equipment to children with disabilities or their caregivers, like visual topic boards, yes/no visual boards and feeding aids

Once the Mango Tree Centre has acquired the PODD program and undertaken the training, staff will be able to develop and provide the resources independent of outside support.  

Tonga Public Service Commission [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Employment database and analysis

The Tonga Public Service Commission (PSC) implements public sector reform initiatives in areas such as human resources, policy, performance management, training and remuneration.

Data used by PSC is kept in various spreadsheets, with no processes to control versions or usage. PSC will significantly improve its data integrity and analysis through the integration of a new database. The Microsoft software applications SQL Server and Power BI have been selected as they are widely used and supported. There are many resources available for product training and support including online, and the cost is competitive with similar products.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • design and populate the database
  • establish processes for updating the database from data sources
  • deliver data analysis and software training

These activities will save staff time in locating data; improve accuracy and consistency in reporting; and enable staff to assess employment, performance, asset trends and areas for improvement. Improved data and analysis will assist the Tongan Government to improve efficiency in organising, managing and monitoring its personnel and finances.

Tuvalu

Funafuti Kaupule (Funafuti Town Council) [2021 - Climate Action]

Fresh Food Security 

The Funafuti Kaupule project will support the development of a hydroponic system to grow vegetables. Participants will be trained to construct and manage hydroponic systems, improving their capacity to produce sustainable water-efficient food and matching seasonal conditions and demand. 

Sea level rise and storm surges increase the salinity of Tuvalu’s groundwater, making it unsuitable for crop irrigation. Seasonal fresh water scarcity also affects vegetable production. As a result, Tuvaluans dietary intake of fresh vegetables is low.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • conduct a survey of Funafale landholders to determine their priority crops, dietary preferences and resource needs 
  • purchase a small hydroponic demonstration system, gardening materials, tools and crops 
  • conduct a five-day workshop to train participants in the construction and management of a hydroponic system 
  • determine a suitable site for hydroponic and raised bed demonstration systems 
  • complete a cost/benefit study to compare the productivity of each growing system 
  • identify a partner organisation to manage the system. 

‍‍This project aims to build Tuvalu’s capacity and self-reliance in vegetable production. Participants will grow crops that are not affected by groundwater salinity and match seasonal conditions and demand. This project will provide a sound foundation for further expansion of sustainable water-efficient food production in Funafala. 

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports [2020]

Operation Continuous Learning: professional community development

This project from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will help deliver resources to teachers and students across Tuvalu via television and radio while the impacts of COVID-19 continue.

Vanuatu

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Vanuatu Committee (INC) [2020]

COVID-19 holistic training and handwashing stations

The Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) Vanuatu Committee will deliver training on COVID-19 risks, handwashing, gender impacts, disability inclusion and food security, to community markets, schools and corrective services facilities.

Ministry of Health [2020]

Building the capacity of Vila Central Hospital Emergency Department with a desktop computer

The Emergency Department at Vila Central Hospital plays an integral role in patient care, and the use of a desktop computer will improve data collection, be used by staff for webinars with counterparts in other Pacific countries and health organisations, and be used for staff training.

Hygiene and sanitation training for Provincial Health Extension Workers

The Ministry of Health will support their staff and those of other authorities with the latest messaging and guidelines on COVID-19 response through two workshops, and the production of promotional materials.

National and provincial cooperation on Risk, Communication and Community Engagement for COVID-19 (RCCE) review

This project will improve the coordination of Risk, Communication and Community Engagement on COVID-19 in the Health Promotion Unit, Vanuatu Ministry of Health. The project will analyse current processes for COVID-19 awareness and prevention, and improve collaboration among key stakeholders in crisis response and long-term health priorities.

Ministry of Health [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Strengthening the capacity and safety of COVID-19 risk mitigation activities

 The Vanuatu Ministry of Health will deliver essential personal protective equipment, standard uniforms and communication support to medical and monitoring teams based at the Shefa Provincial Health Department. These teams are responsible for executing COVID-19 mitigation and monitoring activities across Vanuatu.

This project is supported by the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund and the Vanuatu Ministry of Health. An Australian volunteer is assisting the Vanuatu Ministry of Health to deliver this project.

All COVID-19 mitigation and monitoring activities are conducted by the Vanuatu Ministry of Health. Medical and monitoring teams based at the Shefa Provincial Health Department are responsible for on the ground activities associated with monitoring international arrivals and investigating confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.

‍As frontline workers, these teams are at the highest risk of infection from COVID-19 and providing personal protective equipment will help to reduce the spread of any potential outbreaks from these essential workers. Designated uniforms will also make these teams look more professional, increasing the community’s confidence that effective, nationally coordinated measures are being taken to protect Vanuatu against the threat of COVID-19.

The project will also provide communications support to medical and monitoring teams, allowing them to effectively communicate, record and report information about COVID-19 mitigation and monitoring activities.

Ministry of Health - Vila Central Hospital [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Improving access to the Vila Central Hospital for people with a disability 

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health will improve the Vila Central Hospital's capacity for inclusion of people with a disability by addressing issues highlighted in an occupational therapy audit. This project will improve accessibility at the hospital, based on consultation with people living with a disability and advice from an occupational therapist. An Australian volunteer is assisting the Vanuatu Ministry of Health to deliver this project. 

Vila Central Hospital is the major referral centre for Vanuatu. Currently, the hospital cannot service people living with a disability because its facilities are not fit for purpose. Despite the significant need for access, the hospital was not designed to support and include people with a disability. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • create a project design to meet the needs of patients with a disability 
  • install building ramps identified in the occupational therapy audit 
  • create accessible bathroom and shower areas 
  • fit an access ramp to the Vila Central Hospital van. 

An occupational therapist will provide input to ensure the project’s design and implementation meets the needs of people with a disability. 

This project will promote inclusion for people with a disability, allowing access for people in wheelchairs to hospital services. It will allow people with a disability to shower and toilet safely and with dignity in the medical and surgical ward. Ultimately, the project aims to start conversations about building accessible hospital environments, encouraging the inclusion of people with a disability, and ensuring they can access appropriate medical care.  

Improving facilities to support COVID-19 response in Vanuatu 

 

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health will improve the staff, storage and teaching room in the Vila Central Hospital’s Emergency Department. Staff will be able to prepare and respond to COVID-19 situations more effectively. This project aims to improve patient care and staff morale by providing the facilities for staff to do their work effectively. An Australian volunteer is assisting the Vanuatu Ministry of Health to deliver this project. 

The Vila Central Hospital Emergency Department currently has one large room that is used as a staff room, a change room, a storage room and a teaching area. This space is currently not fit for purpose and has no running water or air conditioning.   

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • build a staff change room 
  • purchase shelving and storage boxes to organise equipment and supplies in the storeroom 
  • install a kitchen with running water so staff can wash their hands and prepare meals. 

The project will allow staff to organise and monitor supplies of critical items equipment so they are easily accessible in an emergency. It will also allow them to prepare and respond to COVID-19 situations more effectively. 

Staff will have a comfortable place to teach and learn during weekly education sessions, which include training on infection prevention and control sessions to inform their COVID-19 response. They will also have a private change room to ensure they can adhere to infection control principles, especially when working with potential COVID-19 patients.  

With a fit for purpose kitchen area, the staff can prepare nutritious food to keep their energy up during a busy shift. Ultimately, this project will improve the quality of patient care and staff morale, providing the facilities for staff to do their work effectively. 

Ministry of Health [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Delivering inclusive sign language training in Vanuatu 

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health project will provide opportunities for staff, partner organisations and the community to learn sign language, promoting inclusive workplaces and communities. The use of sign language is limited in Vanuatu, which can lead to the exclusion of people who are deaf or hard of hearing from many areas of life. Sign language is critical to ensuring equitable access across the community. 

With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will produce an instructional video on the use of sign language tailored to the lived experience of people who are deaf and hard of hearing in Vanuatu. It will also design and deliver activities for the 2021 International Day of People with a Disability with the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People. 

Sign language increases opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate, develop social skills, gain an education, participate in cultural and social life, gain access to paid work and participate in political processes. By training Ministry of Health and partner organisation staff to communicate by sign language, Ministry of Health staff will improve their ability to communicate and work with the deaf ni-Vanuatu Disability Inclusion Adviser. 

‍Active inclusion of people who are deaf or hard of hearing in community activities will also reduce stigma and enable them to become valued members of their communities. Advocacy activities such as celebrating the International Day of Sign Languages will help improve awareness of the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people, and the importance of sign language. 

National Youth Council [2021 - GEDSI Round]

SHE CAN Lead – young women's leadership program 

 The Vanuatu National Youth Council will provide girls and young women with training, mentoring and support, empowering them to take on leadership roles in provincial, municipal and national youth councils. 

The Vanuatu National Youth Council was established in 2009 and is supported by eight provincial and two municipal youth councils. Young people elect their peers to represent them at these councils. Executive members of these councils have been predominantly men with the expectation that women will be quiet during meetings, hindering their ability to secure leadership positions. 

‍With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program, this project will deliver training sessions, study tours and mentoring programs for young women, provided by partner organisations such as Care International, Vanuatu Family Health, Wan Smol Bag and the Department of Women's Affairs. These activities will be focused on improving the leadership, presentation and advocacy skills of young women. 

This project aims to ensure that young women can exercise their leadership roles confidently on youth councils and at local government meetings. Young women will be able to adapt quickly to their newly elected roles and be effective advocates for their communities. It also provides a pathway to broader leadership roles in advocacy and politics, with the ultimate aim of increasing the proportion of women in leadership roles on provincial, municipal and national youth councils. 

ProMedical [2020]

Building confidence, resilience and improving health outcomes for Ni-Vanuatu people living with disabilities to combat the impacts of COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone Harold

This project will deliver services to Ni-Vanuatu people living with disabilities in the local community, including first aid training by ProMedical Vanuatu paramedics for community members and health education on COVID-19 for carers and family. This will improve the capacity of the local community to respond to the global pandemic.

ProMedical [2021 - COVID-19 Response]

Maternal health and postpartum haemorrhage training for paramedic students

ProMedical Vanuatu project will provide training to educate paramedic students in maternal health and postpartum haemorrhaging. This project will focus on the delivery of babies outside of hospitals, which is common in Vanuatu. It will also provide education to communities and senior school students on maternal and reproductive health. An Australian volunteer is assisting ProMedical to deliver this project.

Vanuatu has been severely impacted by COVID-19. Many communities have lost their main source of income, as tourists are not allowed to travel. Therefore, residents cannot afford transport or medical care.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will deliver weekly training sessions for paramedic students to learn skills including how to correctly deliver a baby and placenta as well as managing postpartum haemorrhaging in multiple scenarios. It will also provide education to communities and senior school students on maternal and reproductive health. The project will purchase a MamaBirthie Simulator and Adult IV Training Arm.

Promedical VESMA [2021 - COIVD-19 Response]

Smart phones for remote Vanuatu communities

Promedical Vanuatu will supply smart phones to remote communities in Vanuatu, allowing them to communicate using free satellite broadband. Remote communities and medical clinics will be able to access telehealth sessions, health care information and training.‍ An Australian volunteer is assisting ProMedical to deliver this project.

Promedical Vanuatu is the only emergency ambulance service in Vanuatu. It is often tasked to remote locations with minimal patient information provided. Some responses involve long drives to remote communities over roads in poor condition. Many communities travel long distances by boat to meet ambulance services at remote locations.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will significantly improve the quality of health care services and community health information to isolated villages and islands of Vanuatu. It will improve Promedical’s access to information about the location and condition of their patients during an emergency. Remote clinics and communities will be able to access first aid, health care information and telehealth sessions using smart phones connected by satellite broadband. The project will also provide information about COVID-19 vaccination and prevention programs, assisting health services to educate and encourage communities to support the vaccination rollout.‍

‍Using the smart phones, remote communities will be able to maintain communications during natural disasters so that appropriate aid and assistance can be provided to affected communities. Partner organisations will be able to tailor their aid and assistance, based on up to date information from each affected community. This will improve the quality of health care and assistance provided to isolated communities.

Wan Smolbag Theatre [2020]

Rainbow Disability Theatre COVID-19 awareness performances

Wan Smolbag’s Rainbow Disability Theatre will visit schools and communities, sharing messages about COVID-19 and good hygiene practices through a fun and engaging performance.

Wan Smolbag Theatre [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Rainbow Disability Theatre disability inclusion play 

With funding from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, Wan Smolbag Theatre will support the Rainbow Disability Theatre Group to deliver a play in rural and remote Vanuatu communities. It will promote the inclusion of people with a disability and challenge community perspectives. The play will be followed by community workshops on disability and inclusion. 

The Rainbow Disability Theatre Group includes 20 people with a physical disability and their carers. Their work aims to change perceptions about people with a disability by delivering positive, confident and inclusive messages in their plays. The Rainbow Disability Theatre Group also provides a link between communities and the Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability to help community members access support. 

The play will tell the story of the late Francis Ruru, who was an actor and co-ordinator of the Rainbow Disability Theatre Group. The project will include: 

  • a two-week rehearsal program 
  • tour planning‍ 
  • performances and workshops in Efate and nearby islands 
  • evaluation of performances and workshops. 

The play will showcase the story someone with a disability who lived a remarkable active life, highlighting that they have the same rights as everyone else and should not be silenced. 

Vietnam

Action on Poverty [2020]

Gathering ethnic minority stories (GEMS) in Vietnam

In partnership with the Vietnamese Writers Association, Action on Poverty Vietnam will run a creative writing camp in Doi Village, Moc Chau District, Son La Province, bringing together amateur and professional Vietnamese authors to produce works of creative writing inspired by local stories, landscape, culture and people, with a focus on stories about gender and development challenges. 

AIP Foundation [2020]

PROTECtion capacity building

The AIP Foundation will improve their database platform and build staff capacity to analyse their range of programs, in particular their N95 mask production that was established during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Centre for Knowledge Co-creation and Development Research [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Gender-sensitive storytelling: A new approach for teachers to promote gender equality in primary education

In Vietnam, gender norms are unchallenged within the education system, leading to gender disparities in students’ learning and well-being. According to UN Women Vietnam (2021), the absence or lack of a comprehensive gender mainstreaming approach within the education system limits initiatives that promote gender equality.

Storytelling is a unique teaching method for primary pupils to develop an understanding, respect and appreciation for gender identities. CKC aims to empower teachers in practising gender-sensitive storytelling to raise gender equality awareness in primary schools.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • deliver two-day workshops for 50 primary teachers in Hue city on breaking gender stereotypes in teaching practices and promoting gender equality through gender-sensitive stories
  • run a gender equality storytelling challenge for the 50 participating teachers to write children’s gender-sensitive stories
  • create and print 100 copies of a book featuring stories written by the competition finalists and promotional posters to share these messages. 

These activities will raise awareness about gender equality within the education sector and will help start conversations about harmful gender stereotypes within primary schools and families.

The books and posters will be an informal educational tool that can be used in schools and homes, and will have a positive impact on approximately 2,000 primary teachers, pupils and parents.

Hearing and Beyond in Vietnam [2020]

Improved hand sanitation and clean water project

Hearing and Beyond in Vietnam will share COVID-19 public health messages and increase access to hand washing and clean drinking water for children that attend their services.

Hearts for Hue [2021 - Climate Action]

Building the adaptive capacity of chicken farmers in Huong Van 

The Hearts for Hue project will increase Huong Van chicken farmers’ awareness of options to address climate change impacts by offering practical demonstrations and training activities. It will empower chicken farmers to improve the sustainability and resilience of their businesses and communities. 

Huong Van is a poor rural community in Thua Thien Hue province. It has suffered severe weather events that have significantly impacted local chicken production. The sustainable development and uptake of family chicken farming will improve the livelihoods of the province’s poor and disadvantaged people. Family poultry creates income, which empowers women financially and improves the educational and nutritional status of children. 

‍‍With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:‍ 

  • create a chicken raising club for disadvantaged women  
  • construct and display chicken coops that show how the impacts of climate change can be reduced (for example, heat and cold extremes) 
  • provide training on sustainable poultry husbandry practices  
  • provide training on improving marketing and sales 
  • ‍demonstrate the advantages of new poultry breeds that are better adapted to local conditions‍ and poultry vaccines. 

Resilient communities are more likely to remain viable in the face of climate change. This project will provide participants with the skills and resources needed to operate chicken farms that are more resilient to the impacts of climate change and produce more stable income. Increased poultry production will also keep local food prices lower and will enhance food security. 

HopeBox Vietnam [2021 - Assignment Support Round]

Capacity building for survivors of gender-based violence

HopeBox is a social enterprise in Hanoi that provides employment skills, business engagement opportunities and work-based therapy for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) over a six-month program. Accommodation is provided to program participants and their dependents and a social enterprise kitchen gives participants professional experience selling products.

In Vietnam, 62.9% of women have experienced domestic violence, with 87% of cases unreported at the time. COVID-19 increased the incidence of GBV, and 15 additional women were recruited to the HopeBox program in 2022. HopeBox must become more efficient in order to meet the increased demand for its services and the return of consumer demand for its social enterprise following lockdown.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • purchase additional kitchen equipment for the social enterprise business
  • arrange concept development, design and packaging for a new product to be sold in the social enterprise kitchen
  • deliver training on the new product to program participants.

Women’s economic empowerment is an important factor in achieving gender equality in Vietnam. These activities will help provide a safe and welcoming working environment for women who have experienced GBV, while improving their livelihood. This project will become part of the day-to-day operations of HopeBox when completed.

REACH [2020]

Developing an international accreditation program at REACH

REACH will continue their work to support Vietnam’s disadvantaged youth through vocational training, by working remotely with their Australian volunteer to upgrade their food and beverage training course.

Vietnam Women's Academy [2021 - GEDSI Round]

Promoting women’s economic empowerment in the context of COVID-19  

The Vietnam Women’s Academy will assist female small business owners to adapt to COVID-19 by developing training on digital platforms and solutions. It will also provide scholarships for female students who are struggling financially due to COVID-19. 

COVID-19 has significantly impacted Vietnamese businesses across hospitality, education and training, employment, tourism and real estate sectors. Faced with the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 epidemic, small businesses including women-owned enterprises need to adapt to the digital marketplace to survive.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • develop training materials on the digital transformation of women-owned business 
  • organise training courses for female managers and leaders of small businesses in Hanoi 
  • offer scholarships for female students suffering financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Participants will learn how to use digital platforms to improve sales, marketing, administration and delivery services. They will apply this knowledge to comprehensively change the way their businesses operate in the short to medium term across sourcing, manufacturing, collaboration and customer relations. This project will ultimately improve the long-term resilience and sustainability of participants’ businesses. 

Scholarships for female students will allow them to continue their studies, empowering them to access further education and employment opportunities in the future.