The purpose of the event is to promote and enhance spiritual and cultural values through strengthening partnerships and “leaving no one behind”.
The organisation first began in 1996 at a meeting in Auckland attended by women leaders from 16 countries.
The Bridgebuilders Network was then established, creating a platform for the sharing of news, information about activities and projects and the discussion of issues of concern by church women.
The network aims to advance Christian faith by prayer, exchanging information and identifying and becoming involved with national and global issues.
The network creates friendships, shares resources, culture and language and raises awareness of women’s rights and responsibilities. This country was represented at the seventh consultation help meeting in Auckland in 2014. President of the Cook Islands Bridgebuilders is Taamo Heather and the secretary is Tangi Mataroa.
The opening programme was held on Friday morning at the Pukapuka Hostel conducted by Pastor Poko Matapo and local Bridgebuilders.
The first session was based on the theme, “Leaving no-one behind”. The meeting will also include sessions on women in local business, enhancing cultural and spiritual values, restorative justice, climate change and family protection and support.
Bridgebuilders international president Rose Tauetule said the event was set up to help empower women in their spiritual development and create awareness of issues concerning women.
“Anyone is welcome to come to the Pukapuka Hostel to be informed of issues in our community, and to join in working together to move forward,” she said.
Representatives from New Zealand, Taiwan, South Africa, Austailia, Vanuatu, and Fiji have travelled to Rarotonga for the consultation, which will finish on Tuesday.