Meet Teima, ChildFund Kiribati's amazing Country Director

Meet Teima, ChildFund Kiribati's amazing Country Director
Meet ChildFund Kiribati's Country Director, Teima Onorio. Not only does she lead the ChildFund team in the delivery of local programmes, but she is a busy mum, wife and community member.
Being the leader of an NGO in Kiribati, has there been any challenges that you’ve had to face because you’re a woman?
Strong traditional beliefs and values of the people in the country is a challenge when it comes to discussing focus areas of ChildFund's work in Kiribati like women's rights, and child development, protection, and rights. From the beginning this has been a challenge but helping with "behaviour change" locally is part of our ongoing work.
As a leader of an NGO it is a wonderful feeling of satisfaction and achievement when you realise that you providing information has helped someone or a family improve a certain aspect of their life.
Of course, it's one thing to provide a home or community with important and relevant information and another thing to convince them to make "use" of it. But we keep working hard at this.
You’re not just ChildFund’s Country Director, you’re also a wife, mother and community member – what has that experience been like for you?
Being all of that and because I live in the project area, I am able to directly relay the difficulties that I face in my own home and community as examples for staff and our partners when planning. I like the typical experience and scenario here, and understand how any woman is in their home.
To an extent It helps staff to compile their facts and resources and in a much better position to inform people in their homes and address their needs with professionalism. 
In recent months, Kiribati has seen cases of COVID-19 across the country. What was that experience like? What role did you and ChildFund Kiribati play in the recovery / protection efforts?

ChildFund is a very flexible organization when it comes to saving people’s life.  In 2019, ChildFund (when rumors mistakenly panicking the public about the seafarer who falsely accused of getting the virus), ChildFund became the first NGO who ran and conducted a house to house to share and distribute hygiene kits and information on preventative measures.

In this last two years, ChildFund has conducted various COVID-19 interventions and activities. All of this was to ensure people are prepared and vulnerable ones are well protected in their respective homes.

Recently this year, when COVID-19 outbreaks happened – before lockdown announced, ChildFund again became the very proactive organization to deliver again masks to communities in Betio with providing guidelines on who should be prioritizing these masks should be given to.

I felt strongly that all our work around COVID-19 along all this years, was vital to keep a family safe. A healthy and happy family is where a child deserve to be at.

There are many women as great examples in ChildFund Kiribati – do you feel that you are role models for women across the country / pacific who want to develop careers

Yes our women here at ChildFund Kiribati are role models for every mother and wife in Kiribati who is trying to improve their way of life and find ways to be self sufficient and to live comfortably and eat a healthy diet and be in a clean environment. They are wives and young mothers themselves and are living examples of what they preach.

    I appreciate all the hard work that woman put in everywhere in the world, at home as primary caregivers, providing education to nature knowledge for brighter futures and in work force where contributing a lot to bring changes to people’s lives and behaviours.

    ChildFund always value the existence of women and will continues to promote and support all their achievements and great story change of life.

    “Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on”- Serena Williams


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