Founded in 2018, dreamed of since 2008…
Nikita Taiwia is the founder of Stong Fiuja.
Nikita began taking children into her home in 2014 when two very young girls disclosed to her the years of sexual abuse they had endured. After initially supporting them to navigate the justice sector and finding educational opportunities for them, Nikita realised that there was a need for further support in-country particularly in regards to case management. Since then Nikita has dedicated the last four years and spent her savings and salary supporting these girls and others in a home she runs. She provides all essential services including respite care to other children who she has come across in her daily and work life.
After running away from her home at the age of 14 years old, Nikita lived and travelled in Northern Territory, Australia, and the Philippines. She never finished her high school education and eventually got married and settled down in Vanuatu where she really felt the odds against her as a woman.
After experiencing gender discrimination in Vanuatu, she realised how important education was and has been a strong advocate for education ever since. In 2008 she went back to the Northern Territory where she worked in the disability and human services sector and also studied fulltime. Nikita received qualifications in nursing, community services, training and assessment and eventually a degree in Humanitarian and Community Services. She also undertook volunteer work and later employment in Timor Leste. Once armed with a degree she felt a pull to return towards Vanuatu and since her return in 2014, Nikita has been calling the 83-island archipelago home. With her vast experience in humanitarian work, Nikita is the real deal and walks the talk when it comes to assisting others.
“We all have a stake in assisting vulnerable individuals to have the same opportunities to succeed and thrive as others do.”
Strong Fiuja, translates to “Strong Future” in Vanuatu’s national language, Bislama.
The local Nabanga tree, also known as a Bunyan tree, has been chosen as Strong Fiuja’s emblem and logo. In Ni-Vanuatu culture, the Nabanga tree is a place of significance. It is the ‘nakamal’, where the leaders and the community gather for important meetings. It is also seen as a safe place and is perceived as a protective hiding place. The Nabanga’s hanging vines and roots represent various aspects of our lives that help us to have strong futures such as social support, justice, education and health.
The purple colour was chosen as it is a regal and royal colour that honours marginalized individuals in our society.
It is also traditionally a feminist colour, which is important, as true feminism is inclusive of all marginalized people – not just women – and this includes children and people with disabilities.