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Stories

Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
Story

In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
Woman smiling.
story

| 13 August 2020

In pictures: Delivering healthcare to remote communities in Fiji

In early April 2020, the all too familiar destruction of a Tropical Cyclone (TC) – Harold – hit the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. One of the worst affected areas was the Eastern part of Fiji. Through support by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), our Member Association, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF), was quick to respond ensuring access to essential sexual and reproductive healthcare for Kadavu’s women, girls, and vulnerable groups. Fiji's vulnerable coastline Fiji’s worst affected area was the Eastern part, with TC Harold bringing destructive storm force winds and storm surge. RFHAF focused its humanitarian response on the local Kadavu population. This remote area proves a challenge to reach for the team with supplies. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email RFHAF's humanitarian response team tackle rough terrain National travel restrictions - due to the current COVID-19 pandemic - on all inter island transfers has slowed the response in some areas, including Kadavu. The island of Kadavu is one of the least developed areas of Fiji, the main source of income is substance living (Yaqona). Transport around the island is difficult, with very few roads, no public water system or electricity. The humanitarian team from RFHAF travels by boat and then on foot. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Asenaca, client Kadavu, the biggest island in the Eastern division has the greatest population (10,897). 197 evacuation centres were activated in total, initially hosting over 6,240 people. Many are women of reproductive age, with an estimated 150 currently pregnant. Asenaca learns about breast cancer self-checks from RFHAF’s healthcare provider, Karo. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nasi, RFHAF healthcare provider The medical mobile team deliver a broad range of healthcare including contraception, information and counselling on sexual health, pregnancy, HIV and STI care and testing. RFHAF Team in Kadavu performing general health checks after TC Harold. Nasi administers a HPV shot to a client. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kate, client Young women and girls are at the heart of RFHAF’s healthcare provision. Kate walks home with her dignity kit after a health check at the mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Karo, RFHAF healthcare worker RFHAF offers sexual and reproductive healthcare as well as counselling, and referrals for follow up care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Alidi, RFHAF healthcare worker The team ensures young people in the community are not forgotten and provide information and education on relationships and sexual health and rights. Alidi conducting a session with a local group of young people at Gasele, Kadavu.Photos ©IPPF/Rob Rickman/Fiji Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Woman smiling.
story

| 23 May 2022

In pictures: Delivering healthcare to remote communities in Fiji

In early April 2020, the all too familiar destruction of a Tropical Cyclone (TC) – Harold – hit the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. One of the worst affected areas was the Eastern part of Fiji. Through support by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), our Member Association, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF), was quick to respond ensuring access to essential sexual and reproductive healthcare for Kadavu’s women, girls, and vulnerable groups. Fiji's vulnerable coastline Fiji’s worst affected area was the Eastern part, with TC Harold bringing destructive storm force winds and storm surge. RFHAF focused its humanitarian response on the local Kadavu population. This remote area proves a challenge to reach for the team with supplies. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email RFHAF's humanitarian response team tackle rough terrain National travel restrictions - due to the current COVID-19 pandemic - on all inter island transfers has slowed the response in some areas, including Kadavu. The island of Kadavu is one of the least developed areas of Fiji, the main source of income is substance living (Yaqona). Transport around the island is difficult, with very few roads, no public water system or electricity. The humanitarian team from RFHAF travels by boat and then on foot. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Asenaca, client Kadavu, the biggest island in the Eastern division has the greatest population (10,897). 197 evacuation centres were activated in total, initially hosting over 6,240 people. Many are women of reproductive age, with an estimated 150 currently pregnant. Asenaca learns about breast cancer self-checks from RFHAF’s healthcare provider, Karo. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nasi, RFHAF healthcare provider The medical mobile team deliver a broad range of healthcare including contraception, information and counselling on sexual health, pregnancy, HIV and STI care and testing. RFHAF Team in Kadavu performing general health checks after TC Harold. Nasi administers a HPV shot to a client. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kate, client Young women and girls are at the heart of RFHAF’s healthcare provision. Kate walks home with her dignity kit after a health check at the mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Karo, RFHAF healthcare worker RFHAF offers sexual and reproductive healthcare as well as counselling, and referrals for follow up care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Alidi, RFHAF healthcare worker The team ensures young people in the community are not forgotten and provide information and education on relationships and sexual health and rights. Alidi conducting a session with a local group of young people at Gasele, Kadavu.Photos ©IPPF/Rob Rickman/Fiji Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Fiji community leader working with IPPF
story

| 16 May 2017

Leaders tackling taboos in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. Despite its flourishing international tourism industry, Fiji remains a deeply conservative and traditional society, bound by long-held rules on culture and conduct. In particular, any discussion about sex and sexuality is taboo: including talk of sex, condoms, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Given Fiji’s relatively high rate of teen pregnancy (36 in 1000 in the 15-19 age group, according to UNFPA 2016 statistics), it is an issue of growing concern. It falls upon the village headman to provide guidance on how the issue is tackled: and when there is one who is progressive and not afraid to discuss taboo topics, it augers well for the sexual health of the entire community. Sevuama Sevutia is one such leader. The deputy headman of Naiserelegai village is a proud advocate of condom-use, telling the young people of the village that it is vital to wear them to prevent pregnancy. “My experiences, I share with the kids,” says Sevuama. “I tell the children, get to that stage of knowing what the sexual relationship is all about. Please look after yourself and if you have a problem, with the young boys or if someone is giving you the wrong advice, please tell people. It’s my job to tell them, to call their mother, their father.” “Nowadays, as the education level rises, we have to open up. But in the village, in the olden days, when people would see condoms they would say, 'no no, don’t talk about that'. But I am encouraging them to open up.” His children, too, are encouraged to be open. “I tell them, this is a condom,” he says, brandishing an imaginary condom. “Safe sex. If you want to have sex, use a condom. Use the condom! And protect yourself from the other things.” Sevuama, 53, a former marine engineer, spent decades in Suva before returning to his bayside home village of Naiserelegai. He was in the city at the time of the cyclone but managed to get back three or four days later when the roads had re-opened. He found his home damaged but intact and his five children safe, but much of the village destroyed and his wife still in shock. He received a small amount of money from the government to help fix his roof. Earlier this year, he, along with other men in the village, participated in IPPF information sessions on male sexual health and fertility, which he described as very helpful in complementing and reinforcing his existing knowledge. “We had a lot of questions, like mostly for the man, something might have happened to them during a difficult time. All this information helps the communities.” Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Fiji community leader working with IPPF
story

| 23 May 2022

Leaders tackling taboos in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. Despite its flourishing international tourism industry, Fiji remains a deeply conservative and traditional society, bound by long-held rules on culture and conduct. In particular, any discussion about sex and sexuality is taboo: including talk of sex, condoms, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Given Fiji’s relatively high rate of teen pregnancy (36 in 1000 in the 15-19 age group, according to UNFPA 2016 statistics), it is an issue of growing concern. It falls upon the village headman to provide guidance on how the issue is tackled: and when there is one who is progressive and not afraid to discuss taboo topics, it augers well for the sexual health of the entire community. Sevuama Sevutia is one such leader. The deputy headman of Naiserelegai village is a proud advocate of condom-use, telling the young people of the village that it is vital to wear them to prevent pregnancy. “My experiences, I share with the kids,” says Sevuama. “I tell the children, get to that stage of knowing what the sexual relationship is all about. Please look after yourself and if you have a problem, with the young boys or if someone is giving you the wrong advice, please tell people. It’s my job to tell them, to call their mother, their father.” “Nowadays, as the education level rises, we have to open up. But in the village, in the olden days, when people would see condoms they would say, 'no no, don’t talk about that'. But I am encouraging them to open up.” His children, too, are encouraged to be open. “I tell them, this is a condom,” he says, brandishing an imaginary condom. “Safe sex. If you want to have sex, use a condom. Use the condom! And protect yourself from the other things.” Sevuama, 53, a former marine engineer, spent decades in Suva before returning to his bayside home village of Naiserelegai. He was in the city at the time of the cyclone but managed to get back three or four days later when the roads had re-opened. He found his home damaged but intact and his five children safe, but much of the village destroyed and his wife still in shock. He received a small amount of money from the government to help fix his roof. Earlier this year, he, along with other men in the village, participated in IPPF information sessions on male sexual health and fertility, which he described as very helpful in complementing and reinforcing his existing knowledge. “We had a lot of questions, like mostly for the man, something might have happened to them during a difficult time. All this information helps the communities.” Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 04 May 2017

Dealing with the devastation

Cyclone Winston that devastated Fiji was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My name is Elenoa Male and I live in the village of Navala. At the time of Cyclone Winston I was seven-months pregnant. It was already very hard trying to keep my other three children safe. I was alone with them because my husband went out hunting before the cyclone hit. Just before the time of the cyclone, my family was living between our traditional bure (thatched house) and a tin-roofed house. When the warnings first came, I decided to move my family from the bureto to the tin-roofed house. I realised that it would be hard to go to school where the evacuation centre was because I was pregnant. I told the kids we were sleeping under the bed. After we had dinner we prayed and we told God that now it is your will and we ask for your protection. So we lay down, and then my husband arrived and asked for the kids. I told him that we are all lying down under the bed. He said we really didn't know how strong the cyclone would be, but I told him to shut up and prepare for it. We all lay under the bed for hours. All I could hear was the strong winds. Once the winds died down, I came out but found our bure house was completely destroyed. I was sad because we need the bure for relaxation because of its coolness. I received a dignity kit from IPPF containing clothes for my children along with toothpaste and brushes, and this helped a lot in the weeks after Cyclone Winston. What I needed the most was for my kids to be fed properly and to wear good clothes. It really helped us a lot.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 23 May 2022

Dealing with the devastation

Cyclone Winston that devastated Fiji was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My name is Elenoa Male and I live in the village of Navala. At the time of Cyclone Winston I was seven-months pregnant. It was already very hard trying to keep my other three children safe. I was alone with them because my husband went out hunting before the cyclone hit. Just before the time of the cyclone, my family was living between our traditional bure (thatched house) and a tin-roofed house. When the warnings first came, I decided to move my family from the bureto to the tin-roofed house. I realised that it would be hard to go to school where the evacuation centre was because I was pregnant. I told the kids we were sleeping under the bed. After we had dinner we prayed and we told God that now it is your will and we ask for your protection. So we lay down, and then my husband arrived and asked for the kids. I told him that we are all lying down under the bed. He said we really didn't know how strong the cyclone would be, but I told him to shut up and prepare for it. We all lay under the bed for hours. All I could hear was the strong winds. Once the winds died down, I came out but found our bure house was completely destroyed. I was sad because we need the bure for relaxation because of its coolness. I received a dignity kit from IPPF containing clothes for my children along with toothpaste and brushes, and this helped a lot in the weeks after Cyclone Winston. What I needed the most was for my kids to be fed properly and to wear good clothes. It really helped us a lot.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 04 May 2017

In the eye of the storm

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Verenaisi Katerina. I have five children and we live in a remote village in the Ba Highlands. At the time the cyclone hit we were all living in a timber house and I was pregnant. I’ve lived in a bure (traditional timber house with a thatched grass roof) all my life, I’m so used to living in a bure, I’m not used to living in a tin-roofed house. We tried to be prepared when the cyclone came. But we had to all rush to the evacuation centre when the roof blew off our house. My whole family was scared, our house was flooded and our crops were all damaged. My daughter was covering her eyes and ears and crying for help. While I started preparing to move to the local school to take shelter, my husband went to get us some food. I was really, really afraid. I was so worried about my kids. I told my husband not to be late and to help me out with the kids going down to the school. In the end, I managed to get my children to the school on my own, and my husband joined us later. While my family took shelter, lots of other homes in Navala were destroyed. We were lucky: most of their possessions were blown away, but some managed to survive, and our home was damaged, but remained standing. When we came back the next day, my husband tried to start repairing the kitchen so that we could move back. We had a small stove that we were using, and we made a small kitchen so at least we could cook. My husband could only get us what was left over from the farm and that’s basically what we were living on. We had to eat a lot of flour products, a lot of rice, because our farm was badly damaged. I received a dignity kit from IPPF and found it extremely helpful, particularly in clothing my children and the baby. Some of it was worn on the very same day we received it. I later took part in a family planning session conducted by IPPF. I learned a lot from the workshop on that day. I told myself, this is it. I’m only going to have five kids. Having to go through that experience of Cyclone Winston, if I had more children, then it might have been more difficult, too late, for me to run up to that school for shelter. I have had a talk with my husband and we have decided that this one is my last. My fifth is my last.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 23 May 2022

In the eye of the storm

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Verenaisi Katerina. I have five children and we live in a remote village in the Ba Highlands. At the time the cyclone hit we were all living in a timber house and I was pregnant. I’ve lived in a bure (traditional timber house with a thatched grass roof) all my life, I’m so used to living in a bure, I’m not used to living in a tin-roofed house. We tried to be prepared when the cyclone came. But we had to all rush to the evacuation centre when the roof blew off our house. My whole family was scared, our house was flooded and our crops were all damaged. My daughter was covering her eyes and ears and crying for help. While I started preparing to move to the local school to take shelter, my husband went to get us some food. I was really, really afraid. I was so worried about my kids. I told my husband not to be late and to help me out with the kids going down to the school. In the end, I managed to get my children to the school on my own, and my husband joined us later. While my family took shelter, lots of other homes in Navala were destroyed. We were lucky: most of their possessions were blown away, but some managed to survive, and our home was damaged, but remained standing. When we came back the next day, my husband tried to start repairing the kitchen so that we could move back. We had a small stove that we were using, and we made a small kitchen so at least we could cook. My husband could only get us what was left over from the farm and that’s basically what we were living on. We had to eat a lot of flour products, a lot of rice, because our farm was badly damaged. I received a dignity kit from IPPF and found it extremely helpful, particularly in clothing my children and the baby. Some of it was worn on the very same day we received it. I later took part in a family planning session conducted by IPPF. I learned a lot from the workshop on that day. I told myself, this is it. I’m only going to have five kids. Having to go through that experience of Cyclone Winston, if I had more children, then it might have been more difficult, too late, for me to run up to that school for shelter. I have had a talk with my husband and we have decided that this one is my last. My fifth is my last.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Mother and baby.
story

| 04 May 2017

Starting again in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. 22-year-old Sulueti arrived in the village one week after the cyclone was over. She was shocked - there was nothing left apart from the foundation of the house apart from that everything was gone. She hadn't expected it to be so bad. Her 59-year-old mother, had been sick and alone during the cyclone and she was traumatised as had never experienced a storm like that before. They tried slowly to start rebuilding a small house for them to move back into and out of the community hall. It was a difficult time because Sulueti was four-months pregnant. She managed to see a doctor three times while staying in the community hall, but there were no proper examinations or ultrasounds during this time. The delivery was fine in a maternity hospital. She received a dignity kit from IPPF and received baby supplies for post-delivery, everything that was required for a new mother to care for a baby was in the kit. IPPF went to visit her in her home and gave advice on family planning - she is taking injectables now because she doesn’t want any more children. Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Mother and baby.
story

| 23 May 2022

Starting again in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. 22-year-old Sulueti arrived in the village one week after the cyclone was over. She was shocked - there was nothing left apart from the foundation of the house apart from that everything was gone. She hadn't expected it to be so bad. Her 59-year-old mother, had been sick and alone during the cyclone and she was traumatised as had never experienced a storm like that before. They tried slowly to start rebuilding a small house for them to move back into and out of the community hall. It was a difficult time because Sulueti was four-months pregnant. She managed to see a doctor three times while staying in the community hall, but there were no proper examinations or ultrasounds during this time. The delivery was fine in a maternity hospital. She received a dignity kit from IPPF and received baby supplies for post-delivery, everything that was required for a new mother to care for a baby was in the kit. IPPF went to visit her in her home and gave advice on family planning - she is taking injectables now because she doesn’t want any more children. Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Male IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 04 April 2017

Help across the generations

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Atunaisa Rayasi. I am 65-years-old and I live in the village of Natalecake, with my son, daughter-in-law and their three children. During the storm the branch of the mango tree broke off and it hit the roof which was damaged. The roof stayed intact but was damaged so everything got drenched. The children were really scared. In my room the roofing iron came out and blew away. We can still see the watermark over there on the wall, where a dark patch marks out the spot where the rains hit. Even though the house was badly damaged, I actually found it far more difficult later, when I wanted to get to the hospital to see a doctor. After the cyclone, the road to the hospital was destroyed completely. We only got to the hospital after three weeks. I had to ask my son to get a car. There were so many other people there. I had to sit in a queue and wait for my number to be called up. You get there in the morning and the number gets called at 2pm. I am not able to leave home often, so I wasn't amongst those in the village hall when the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) came around. My daughter-in-law, who was pregnant at the time, received assistance from IPPF. She got some help with the buckets which helped the whole family. We were able to store fresh drinking water inside.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Male IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 23 May 2022

Help across the generations

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Atunaisa Rayasi. I am 65-years-old and I live in the village of Natalecake, with my son, daughter-in-law and their three children. During the storm the branch of the mango tree broke off and it hit the roof which was damaged. The roof stayed intact but was damaged so everything got drenched. The children were really scared. In my room the roofing iron came out and blew away. We can still see the watermark over there on the wall, where a dark patch marks out the spot where the rains hit. Even though the house was badly damaged, I actually found it far more difficult later, when I wanted to get to the hospital to see a doctor. After the cyclone, the road to the hospital was destroyed completely. We only got to the hospital after three weeks. I had to ask my son to get a car. There were so many other people there. I had to sit in a queue and wait for my number to be called up. You get there in the morning and the number gets called at 2pm. I am not able to leave home often, so I wasn't amongst those in the village hall when the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) came around. My daughter-in-law, who was pregnant at the time, received assistance from IPPF. She got some help with the buckets which helped the whole family. We were able to store fresh drinking water inside.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Woman smiling.
story

| 13 August 2020

In pictures: Delivering healthcare to remote communities in Fiji

In early April 2020, the all too familiar destruction of a Tropical Cyclone (TC) – Harold – hit the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. One of the worst affected areas was the Eastern part of Fiji. Through support by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), our Member Association, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF), was quick to respond ensuring access to essential sexual and reproductive healthcare for Kadavu’s women, girls, and vulnerable groups. Fiji's vulnerable coastline Fiji’s worst affected area was the Eastern part, with TC Harold bringing destructive storm force winds and storm surge. RFHAF focused its humanitarian response on the local Kadavu population. This remote area proves a challenge to reach for the team with supplies. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email RFHAF's humanitarian response team tackle rough terrain National travel restrictions - due to the current COVID-19 pandemic - on all inter island transfers has slowed the response in some areas, including Kadavu. The island of Kadavu is one of the least developed areas of Fiji, the main source of income is substance living (Yaqona). Transport around the island is difficult, with very few roads, no public water system or electricity. The humanitarian team from RFHAF travels by boat and then on foot. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Asenaca, client Kadavu, the biggest island in the Eastern division has the greatest population (10,897). 197 evacuation centres were activated in total, initially hosting over 6,240 people. Many are women of reproductive age, with an estimated 150 currently pregnant. Asenaca learns about breast cancer self-checks from RFHAF’s healthcare provider, Karo. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nasi, RFHAF healthcare provider The medical mobile team deliver a broad range of healthcare including contraception, information and counselling on sexual health, pregnancy, HIV and STI care and testing. RFHAF Team in Kadavu performing general health checks after TC Harold. Nasi administers a HPV shot to a client. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kate, client Young women and girls are at the heart of RFHAF’s healthcare provision. Kate walks home with her dignity kit after a health check at the mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Karo, RFHAF healthcare worker RFHAF offers sexual and reproductive healthcare as well as counselling, and referrals for follow up care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Alidi, RFHAF healthcare worker The team ensures young people in the community are not forgotten and provide information and education on relationships and sexual health and rights. Alidi conducting a session with a local group of young people at Gasele, Kadavu.Photos ©IPPF/Rob Rickman/Fiji Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Woman smiling.
story

| 23 May 2022

In pictures: Delivering healthcare to remote communities in Fiji

In early April 2020, the all too familiar destruction of a Tropical Cyclone (TC) – Harold – hit the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. One of the worst affected areas was the Eastern part of Fiji. Through support by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), our Member Association, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF), was quick to respond ensuring access to essential sexual and reproductive healthcare for Kadavu’s women, girls, and vulnerable groups. Fiji's vulnerable coastline Fiji’s worst affected area was the Eastern part, with TC Harold bringing destructive storm force winds and storm surge. RFHAF focused its humanitarian response on the local Kadavu population. This remote area proves a challenge to reach for the team with supplies. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email RFHAF's humanitarian response team tackle rough terrain National travel restrictions - due to the current COVID-19 pandemic - on all inter island transfers has slowed the response in some areas, including Kadavu. The island of Kadavu is one of the least developed areas of Fiji, the main source of income is substance living (Yaqona). Transport around the island is difficult, with very few roads, no public water system or electricity. The humanitarian team from RFHAF travels by boat and then on foot. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Asenaca, client Kadavu, the biggest island in the Eastern division has the greatest population (10,897). 197 evacuation centres were activated in total, initially hosting over 6,240 people. Many are women of reproductive age, with an estimated 150 currently pregnant. Asenaca learns about breast cancer self-checks from RFHAF’s healthcare provider, Karo. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nasi, RFHAF healthcare provider The medical mobile team deliver a broad range of healthcare including contraception, information and counselling on sexual health, pregnancy, HIV and STI care and testing. RFHAF Team in Kadavu performing general health checks after TC Harold. Nasi administers a HPV shot to a client. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kate, client Young women and girls are at the heart of RFHAF’s healthcare provision. Kate walks home with her dignity kit after a health check at the mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Karo, RFHAF healthcare worker RFHAF offers sexual and reproductive healthcare as well as counselling, and referrals for follow up care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Alidi, RFHAF healthcare worker The team ensures young people in the community are not forgotten and provide information and education on relationships and sexual health and rights. Alidi conducting a session with a local group of young people at Gasele, Kadavu.Photos ©IPPF/Rob Rickman/Fiji Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Fiji community leader working with IPPF
story

| 16 May 2017

Leaders tackling taboos in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. Despite its flourishing international tourism industry, Fiji remains a deeply conservative and traditional society, bound by long-held rules on culture and conduct. In particular, any discussion about sex and sexuality is taboo: including talk of sex, condoms, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Given Fiji’s relatively high rate of teen pregnancy (36 in 1000 in the 15-19 age group, according to UNFPA 2016 statistics), it is an issue of growing concern. It falls upon the village headman to provide guidance on how the issue is tackled: and when there is one who is progressive and not afraid to discuss taboo topics, it augers well for the sexual health of the entire community. Sevuama Sevutia is one such leader. The deputy headman of Naiserelegai village is a proud advocate of condom-use, telling the young people of the village that it is vital to wear them to prevent pregnancy. “My experiences, I share with the kids,” says Sevuama. “I tell the children, get to that stage of knowing what the sexual relationship is all about. Please look after yourself and if you have a problem, with the young boys or if someone is giving you the wrong advice, please tell people. It’s my job to tell them, to call their mother, their father.” “Nowadays, as the education level rises, we have to open up. But in the village, in the olden days, when people would see condoms they would say, 'no no, don’t talk about that'. But I am encouraging them to open up.” His children, too, are encouraged to be open. “I tell them, this is a condom,” he says, brandishing an imaginary condom. “Safe sex. If you want to have sex, use a condom. Use the condom! And protect yourself from the other things.” Sevuama, 53, a former marine engineer, spent decades in Suva before returning to his bayside home village of Naiserelegai. He was in the city at the time of the cyclone but managed to get back three or four days later when the roads had re-opened. He found his home damaged but intact and his five children safe, but much of the village destroyed and his wife still in shock. He received a small amount of money from the government to help fix his roof. Earlier this year, he, along with other men in the village, participated in IPPF information sessions on male sexual health and fertility, which he described as very helpful in complementing and reinforcing his existing knowledge. “We had a lot of questions, like mostly for the man, something might have happened to them during a difficult time. All this information helps the communities.” Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Fiji community leader working with IPPF
story

| 23 May 2022

Leaders tackling taboos in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. Despite its flourishing international tourism industry, Fiji remains a deeply conservative and traditional society, bound by long-held rules on culture and conduct. In particular, any discussion about sex and sexuality is taboo: including talk of sex, condoms, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Given Fiji’s relatively high rate of teen pregnancy (36 in 1000 in the 15-19 age group, according to UNFPA 2016 statistics), it is an issue of growing concern. It falls upon the village headman to provide guidance on how the issue is tackled: and when there is one who is progressive and not afraid to discuss taboo topics, it augers well for the sexual health of the entire community. Sevuama Sevutia is one such leader. The deputy headman of Naiserelegai village is a proud advocate of condom-use, telling the young people of the village that it is vital to wear them to prevent pregnancy. “My experiences, I share with the kids,” says Sevuama. “I tell the children, get to that stage of knowing what the sexual relationship is all about. Please look after yourself and if you have a problem, with the young boys or if someone is giving you the wrong advice, please tell people. It’s my job to tell them, to call their mother, their father.” “Nowadays, as the education level rises, we have to open up. But in the village, in the olden days, when people would see condoms they would say, 'no no, don’t talk about that'. But I am encouraging them to open up.” His children, too, are encouraged to be open. “I tell them, this is a condom,” he says, brandishing an imaginary condom. “Safe sex. If you want to have sex, use a condom. Use the condom! And protect yourself from the other things.” Sevuama, 53, a former marine engineer, spent decades in Suva before returning to his bayside home village of Naiserelegai. He was in the city at the time of the cyclone but managed to get back three or four days later when the roads had re-opened. He found his home damaged but intact and his five children safe, but much of the village destroyed and his wife still in shock. He received a small amount of money from the government to help fix his roof. Earlier this year, he, along with other men in the village, participated in IPPF information sessions on male sexual health and fertility, which he described as very helpful in complementing and reinforcing his existing knowledge. “We had a lot of questions, like mostly for the man, something might have happened to them during a difficult time. All this information helps the communities.” Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 04 May 2017

Dealing with the devastation

Cyclone Winston that devastated Fiji was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My name is Elenoa Male and I live in the village of Navala. At the time of Cyclone Winston I was seven-months pregnant. It was already very hard trying to keep my other three children safe. I was alone with them because my husband went out hunting before the cyclone hit. Just before the time of the cyclone, my family was living between our traditional bure (thatched house) and a tin-roofed house. When the warnings first came, I decided to move my family from the bureto to the tin-roofed house. I realised that it would be hard to go to school where the evacuation centre was because I was pregnant. I told the kids we were sleeping under the bed. After we had dinner we prayed and we told God that now it is your will and we ask for your protection. So we lay down, and then my husband arrived and asked for the kids. I told him that we are all lying down under the bed. He said we really didn't know how strong the cyclone would be, but I told him to shut up and prepare for it. We all lay under the bed for hours. All I could hear was the strong winds. Once the winds died down, I came out but found our bure house was completely destroyed. I was sad because we need the bure for relaxation because of its coolness. I received a dignity kit from IPPF containing clothes for my children along with toothpaste and brushes, and this helped a lot in the weeks after Cyclone Winston. What I needed the most was for my kids to be fed properly and to wear good clothes. It really helped us a lot.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 23 May 2022

Dealing with the devastation

Cyclone Winston that devastated Fiji was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My name is Elenoa Male and I live in the village of Navala. At the time of Cyclone Winston I was seven-months pregnant. It was already very hard trying to keep my other three children safe. I was alone with them because my husband went out hunting before the cyclone hit. Just before the time of the cyclone, my family was living between our traditional bure (thatched house) and a tin-roofed house. When the warnings first came, I decided to move my family from the bureto to the tin-roofed house. I realised that it would be hard to go to school where the evacuation centre was because I was pregnant. I told the kids we were sleeping under the bed. After we had dinner we prayed and we told God that now it is your will and we ask for your protection. So we lay down, and then my husband arrived and asked for the kids. I told him that we are all lying down under the bed. He said we really didn't know how strong the cyclone would be, but I told him to shut up and prepare for it. We all lay under the bed for hours. All I could hear was the strong winds. Once the winds died down, I came out but found our bure house was completely destroyed. I was sad because we need the bure for relaxation because of its coolness. I received a dignity kit from IPPF containing clothes for my children along with toothpaste and brushes, and this helped a lot in the weeks after Cyclone Winston. What I needed the most was for my kids to be fed properly and to wear good clothes. It really helped us a lot.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 04 May 2017

In the eye of the storm

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Verenaisi Katerina. I have five children and we live in a remote village in the Ba Highlands. At the time the cyclone hit we were all living in a timber house and I was pregnant. I’ve lived in a bure (traditional timber house with a thatched grass roof) all my life, I’m so used to living in a bure, I’m not used to living in a tin-roofed house. We tried to be prepared when the cyclone came. But we had to all rush to the evacuation centre when the roof blew off our house. My whole family was scared, our house was flooded and our crops were all damaged. My daughter was covering her eyes and ears and crying for help. While I started preparing to move to the local school to take shelter, my husband went to get us some food. I was really, really afraid. I was so worried about my kids. I told my husband not to be late and to help me out with the kids going down to the school. In the end, I managed to get my children to the school on my own, and my husband joined us later. While my family took shelter, lots of other homes in Navala were destroyed. We were lucky: most of their possessions were blown away, but some managed to survive, and our home was damaged, but remained standing. When we came back the next day, my husband tried to start repairing the kitchen so that we could move back. We had a small stove that we were using, and we made a small kitchen so at least we could cook. My husband could only get us what was left over from the farm and that’s basically what we were living on. We had to eat a lot of flour products, a lot of rice, because our farm was badly damaged. I received a dignity kit from IPPF and found it extremely helpful, particularly in clothing my children and the baby. Some of it was worn on the very same day we received it. I later took part in a family planning session conducted by IPPF. I learned a lot from the workshop on that day. I told myself, this is it. I’m only going to have five kids. Having to go through that experience of Cyclone Winston, if I had more children, then it might have been more difficult, too late, for me to run up to that school for shelter. I have had a talk with my husband and we have decided that this one is my last. My fifth is my last.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 23 May 2022

In the eye of the storm

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Verenaisi Katerina. I have five children and we live in a remote village in the Ba Highlands. At the time the cyclone hit we were all living in a timber house and I was pregnant. I’ve lived in a bure (traditional timber house with a thatched grass roof) all my life, I’m so used to living in a bure, I’m not used to living in a tin-roofed house. We tried to be prepared when the cyclone came. But we had to all rush to the evacuation centre when the roof blew off our house. My whole family was scared, our house was flooded and our crops were all damaged. My daughter was covering her eyes and ears and crying for help. While I started preparing to move to the local school to take shelter, my husband went to get us some food. I was really, really afraid. I was so worried about my kids. I told my husband not to be late and to help me out with the kids going down to the school. In the end, I managed to get my children to the school on my own, and my husband joined us later. While my family took shelter, lots of other homes in Navala were destroyed. We were lucky: most of their possessions were blown away, but some managed to survive, and our home was damaged, but remained standing. When we came back the next day, my husband tried to start repairing the kitchen so that we could move back. We had a small stove that we were using, and we made a small kitchen so at least we could cook. My husband could only get us what was left over from the farm and that’s basically what we were living on. We had to eat a lot of flour products, a lot of rice, because our farm was badly damaged. I received a dignity kit from IPPF and found it extremely helpful, particularly in clothing my children and the baby. Some of it was worn on the very same day we received it. I later took part in a family planning session conducted by IPPF. I learned a lot from the workshop on that day. I told myself, this is it. I’m only going to have five kids. Having to go through that experience of Cyclone Winston, if I had more children, then it might have been more difficult, too late, for me to run up to that school for shelter. I have had a talk with my husband and we have decided that this one is my last. My fifth is my last.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Mother and baby.
story

| 04 May 2017

Starting again in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. 22-year-old Sulueti arrived in the village one week after the cyclone was over. She was shocked - there was nothing left apart from the foundation of the house apart from that everything was gone. She hadn't expected it to be so bad. Her 59-year-old mother, had been sick and alone during the cyclone and she was traumatised as had never experienced a storm like that before. They tried slowly to start rebuilding a small house for them to move back into and out of the community hall. It was a difficult time because Sulueti was four-months pregnant. She managed to see a doctor three times while staying in the community hall, but there were no proper examinations or ultrasounds during this time. The delivery was fine in a maternity hospital. She received a dignity kit from IPPF and received baby supplies for post-delivery, everything that was required for a new mother to care for a baby was in the kit. IPPF went to visit her in her home and gave advice on family planning - she is taking injectables now because she doesn’t want any more children. Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Mother and baby.
story

| 23 May 2022

Starting again in Fiji

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. 22-year-old Sulueti arrived in the village one week after the cyclone was over. She was shocked - there was nothing left apart from the foundation of the house apart from that everything was gone. She hadn't expected it to be so bad. Her 59-year-old mother, had been sick and alone during the cyclone and she was traumatised as had never experienced a storm like that before. They tried slowly to start rebuilding a small house for them to move back into and out of the community hall. It was a difficult time because Sulueti was four-months pregnant. She managed to see a doctor three times while staying in the community hall, but there were no proper examinations or ultrasounds during this time. The delivery was fine in a maternity hospital. She received a dignity kit from IPPF and received baby supplies for post-delivery, everything that was required for a new mother to care for a baby was in the kit. IPPF went to visit her in her home and gave advice on family planning - she is taking injectables now because she doesn’t want any more children. Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Male IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 04 April 2017

Help across the generations

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Atunaisa Rayasi. I am 65-years-old and I live in the village of Natalecake, with my son, daughter-in-law and their three children. During the storm the branch of the mango tree broke off and it hit the roof which was damaged. The roof stayed intact but was damaged so everything got drenched. The children were really scared. In my room the roofing iron came out and blew away. We can still see the watermark over there on the wall, where a dark patch marks out the spot where the rains hit. Even though the house was badly damaged, I actually found it far more difficult later, when I wanted to get to the hospital to see a doctor. After the cyclone, the road to the hospital was destroyed completely. We only got to the hospital after three weeks. I had to ask my son to get a car. There were so many other people there. I had to sit in a queue and wait for my number to be called up. You get there in the morning and the number gets called at 2pm. I am not able to leave home often, so I wasn't amongst those in the village hall when the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) came around. My daughter-in-law, who was pregnant at the time, received assistance from IPPF. She got some help with the buckets which helped the whole family. We were able to store fresh drinking water inside.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston

Male IPPF client, Fiji
story

| 23 May 2022

Help across the generations

Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji, was the strongest to ever hit the South Pacific. IPPF’s humanitarian response there was carried out with our Member Association, the Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji, and is part of our SPRINT Initiative, funded by the Australian Government. My name is Atunaisa Rayasi. I am 65-years-old and I live in the village of Natalecake, with my son, daughter-in-law and their three children. During the storm the branch of the mango tree broke off and it hit the roof which was damaged. The roof stayed intact but was damaged so everything got drenched. The children were really scared. In my room the roofing iron came out and blew away. We can still see the watermark over there on the wall, where a dark patch marks out the spot where the rains hit. Even though the house was badly damaged, I actually found it far more difficult later, when I wanted to get to the hospital to see a doctor. After the cyclone, the road to the hospital was destroyed completely. We only got to the hospital after three weeks. I had to ask my son to get a car. There were so many other people there. I had to sit in a queue and wait for my number to be called up. You get there in the morning and the number gets called at 2pm. I am not able to leave home often, so I wasn't amongst those in the village hall when the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) came around. My daughter-in-law, who was pregnant at the time, received assistance from IPPF. She got some help with the buckets which helped the whole family. We were able to store fresh drinking water inside.   Stories Read more stories about our work in Fiji after the Cyclone Winston