I was encouraged to know that I am "still something..." - Mary MacKillop Today

I was encouraged to know that I am “still something…”

In rural Fiji, traditional community structures often do not allow for women to play an active role in decision-making.

Ana with Amita from Mary MacKillop Today and fellow participants

That’s what makes Project Talitha so crucial. It’s a leadership training initiative that is specifically run for young women living in remote Fijian communities. And it’s made possible by the generosity of our kind supporters.

Led by our local partner Ola Fou Fiji, the project aims to help young women become strong leaders in their communities — because we know from experience that this benefits the community at all levels. Women participate in training workshops where they learn important skills, like how to lead, earn an income, manage their money wisely, understand human rights, and take care of their health.

Tessa Henwood-Mitchell, our International Programs & Quality Director, had the opportunity to visit the Project Talitha team in Fiji.

Tessa shared:

“It was incredible to see how strong, confident, and vocal these women were within this community, and how supportive the entire community was of the work that Ola Fou Fiji is doing there. The Community leaders welcomed us and expressed their gratitude for the investment Mary MacKillop Today and Ola Fou Fiji are making in their young women.”

What an inspiration it is to see young women building their confidence to speak up and contribute to community decisions. These women are already making such a wonderful impact on their own life, and the lives of fellow community members.

Meet Ana, an inspiring participant of Project Talitha.

“With Project Talitha, I have learned a lot of things.

After learning new skills, especially mat weaving, I can now sell mats. I can make money to support my family. I can also dye mats so I can sell them as pillow covers.

I have learned how to save money for the future.

Sometimes people tell us that as women in the village, we are nothing. … We can’t do this; we can’t do that.

But from the first time I attended this project, I was encouraged to know that I am still something. That I can do better.

I can support my family. I can support my life.

Through this project, I can move forward.”


As stated so brilliantly by UN Women Australia, when women are given equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead – entire communities thrive. Thanks to your generous support, brave women like Ana, are building better futures for themselves. You make such life-changing work, like Project Talitha, possible.


Women’s Leadership in Rural Fiji project is supported by the Australian Government via the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).