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Fiji: 2010 Regional Stepping Stones Retreat

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‘Step Up and Prevent HIV’

Click here to access 2015 country reports from the countries in this region.

Organisers: FSPI (Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International)


The first Pacific regional retreat took place between Monday 22nd and Friday 26th November 2010 in Nadave, near Suva in Fiji. 40 participants from 9 Pacific countries attended, representing organisations such as UNIFEM, FJN+ and Oxfam, and the Ministries of Health of Fiji and Solomon Islands. The purpose was to increase collaboration, present and share experiences, look at sessions from other part of the world and to see how the programme could be taken further and evaluated. Sessions included country presentations (all available at the bottom of this page), history and development of Stepping Stones, initiation to sessions developed in the Latin American version of Stepping Stones on migration and homosexuality, gender exercises, human rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV, monitoring and evaluating the programme. Maire Bopp, CEO of PIAF (Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation), gave a beautiful speech at the opening ceremony of the retreat, while Joeli Colati Advocacy Coordinator at FJN+ gave a moving dance performance of what awarded him this year “Mr. Talent Winner” (both videos are available below).


A particular mention for the Solomon Islands where they are looking at ways to scale the programme up at regional level and where Oxfam has started adapting the programme to work with children; and the work in Fiji through FJN+ (the network of HIV-positive people in Fiji) which is the first organisation in the region to have completed the manual. Congratulations also on the translation of Stepping Stones into Bishlama & Pidjin. Great effort has also been made in Chuuk, Guam and Kiribati which despite various challenges are still fighting to get the programme in place.


Media Release – 22nd Nov. 2010 – “Stepping up to prevent HIV”
Media Release – 23rd Nov. 2010 – “Human Rights and Responsibilities”
Media Release – 29th Nov. 2010 – “Men and Boys against Violence against Women”


“It was an amazing week! It was fantastic to be amongst so many inspiring, warm and dedicated people, all passionate about implementing and developing Stepping Stones. The new sessions developed in the Pacific such as gender violence, teenage pregnancy and Kava use are very powerful and address the priority needs of communities. They’ve also created some really cheeky and fun new energisers. The Fijian and Solomon Ministries of Health have included Stepping Stones in their national strategic plans, while Stepping Stones is a key part of FSPI’s strategy for engaging men. The level of dynamism and creativity being poured into the programme is astounding. Thank you again to you all for your wonderful Bula (“welcome”) and for giving me a real taste of Pacific culture ;-)” Amandine Bollinger, Salamander Trust




Countries represented: Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, FSM/Pohnepei, Chuuk, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Cook Islands and UK.

Organisations participating: The Ministry of Health of Fiji and Solomon Islands, Oxfam, PIAF (Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation), SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community), UNIFEM, FJN+ (Fiji Network for people living with HIV) , Kiribati Association of NGOs, Youth for Christian Living, Kiribati Family Health Association, Tonga Family Health Association, Tonga Leiti’s Association, Tonga Community development Trust, Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association, Chuuk Department of Health Services, IPPF, Peace Corps, VSO and Salamander Trust.



  • Margaret Leniston: FSPI Regional Health Programme Manager
  • Emily Miller: International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) Overseas Program Manager
  • Leaine Robinson: FSPI Regional Health and Gender Officer- HIV and AIDS Prevention
  • Albert Cerelala: FSPI Gender and Governance Officer
  • Tura Lewai: FSPI Gender and the Arts Officer


Pacific from Salamander Trust on Vimeo.


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