Cook Islands Family Welfare Association executive director Rongo File, left, CIFWA acting president Marina Andersen-Rima, Office of the Prime Minister chief of staff Ben Ponia, Emergency Management Cook Islands director John Strickland, and CIFWA humanitarian focal point Dean Tangata at the memorandum of understanding signing yesterday. JOANNE HOLDEN/ 23110220
A Cook Islands organisation supporting pregnant women, families, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence has partnered with the Government to keep providing its services through a national emergency.
days into cyclone season, the Cook Islands Family Welfare Association (CIFWA)
signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office of the Prime Minister
(OPM) – on behalf of Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) – on Thursday
document was signed by CIFWA acting president Marina Andersen-Rima and OPM
chief of staff Ben Ponia, in the presence of EMCI director John Strickland and
CIFWA executive director Rongo File.
humanitarian focal point Dean Tangata said the memorandum meant the
non-government organisation would be better-resourced to continue providing its
services of ante-natal care, family planning, counselling, first aid, and
protecting those at risk of sexual or gender-based violence during a crisis.
tend to spike in countries where there has been a disaster, as does sexual and
gender-based violence, so we need to ensure that support continues,” Tangata
working towards becoming more flexible in how we provide services.”
said the memorandum would not only allow CIFWA volunteers to team up with those
from EMCI, but also grant access to the Punas at the community level.
partnership would also give CIFWA’s donors more confidence, File said.
director John Strickland said the services provided by CIFWA would be a “key
component” of the Government’s disaster response.
the two organisations had been partnering for about a year, signing the
memorandum made the relationship official, Strickland said.
have been waiting for this for quite some time,” he said.
will be working together as a team. That’s my pledge, and I look forward to our
close collaboration as we go through the years.”
chief of staff Ben Ponia said the memorandum would go towards making sure “no
one in the tribe is left behind” during an emergency.
an MOU is just a formality. We know, in reality, we always work together and we
work within and beyond the needs of the community.”