Emily or Em Pawa for short, the female mascot for the Pacific Mini Games which Vanuatu is hosting in December formally made her first public appearance yesterday (Monday), as part of the celebrations for the 37th Anniversary of the Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW) in Port Vila.

The revealing of Em Pawa by the Mascot Team of Van2017 Pacific Games was done in front of the Acting President of VNCW, Anita Deroin and other members of the Nation Executive of VNCW. Also on hand for the occasion was founding member of VNCW, Motarilavoa Hilda Lini who is also the Goodwill Ambassador for Van2017, a signatory to the country’s Constitution, Mrs. Madlen Kalchichi, representatives of the Department of Department of Women’s Affairs, the Pastor and Church members of the Assemblies of God church Affairs and women, girls and men gathered for the celebration at the AOG Tebakor.

Emily or Em Pawa is the female counterpart to Nasi, short for Nasiviru (the male Parrot), the official mascot for Van2017 Mini Pacific Games.

Relvie Poilapa, Van2017 Pacific Games Community Relations and Special Events Supervisor, said they decided to have a female mascot also to highlight the importance of gender balance to the development of Vanuatu including sports in the country.

“There is so much to do to prepare for the Games so we can host a successful one for the country and the visiting teams of some 2500 athletes and officials who will be with us. So, our mascot team with Nasi and Em Pawa will be the ones who will be visiting the communities throughout the country including schools to let everyone know about the Games and the need for all of us to join in the work to host a really successful Games,” said Poilapa.

The Van2017 Pacific Games Goodwill Ambassador Lini said women and mothers will be playing a very important role in feeding the number of people that will double during the Games, coming from overseas as well as from the islands of Vanuatu to see the Games.

“To put the picture of the importance of women’s contribution into perspective,” one of the members of the Van2017 organizing committee added, “We will be depending a lot on young people, but today many of our young people are overseas on seasonal work, so we will be needing every one of us who are here to help where they can.”

Members of the Van2017 Pacific Games at the VNCW celebration venue also distributed forms for groups of people such as from communities and churches to fill in to help with work such as cleaning the places where athletes will be housed instance.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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