Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)
Supporting safe, strong communities in the Solomon Islands
Learning about financial matters like saving, budgeting and business development helps to build independence for women who have faced domestic violence. In the Solomon Islands, the Anglican Sisters at the Christian Care Centre (CCC) are teaching these skills, as well as providing essential shelter and counselling.
Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO Anglican Overseas Aid (AOA) has been working closely with the CCC in Guadalcanal province, Solomon Islands as a part of their Safe, Strong Communities program. The CCC is an important refuge for women, as one of only a few places women can go to receive shelter and support in situations of domestic violence in the Solomon Islands. It is owned and run by AOA’s partner, the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM), with Anglican Sisters managing and delivering the services and programs.
At their request, the Sisters were trained so that they can teach the women about financial literacy. Teaching financial skills gives vulnerable women more independence and control over their lives, equips them to take care of their children, and helps them navigate stressful financial situations. The women are taught how to identify financial problems, to budget, set achievable goals and saving plans, and they gain insight into opportunities to earn money.
During their time at CCC, the survivors often share their situations, giving the Sisters the opportunity to talk to them about their relationships and home life. To help the Sisters in this counselling role, they also attended gender equality training. This values-based training gives the Sisters tools to help women overcome the trauma from domestic violence and rebuild their lives.
The ACOM Project Officer says that the training built the Sisters’ “confidence in supporting survivors through the trainings teachings and skills” and “encourages the survivors and rebuild(s) their confidence in themselves and in humanity itself.”