“As a Humanitarian, I am always passionate about serving those who are in need especially the vulnerable ones and with my current role, I am enjoying the interaction with them and learning from them”
When Vasiti reflected on whether women leaders contribute to emergency planning and response differently, she feels that the natural empathy and care that women have contributes to ensuring the vulnerable members of society are considered at all levels of an emergency operation.
“I am a mother to four children, that role of compassion and love and the fact that I am always alert brings out the best in me”
It allows me to look at scenarios holistically, and think outside the box to ensure effective emergency response occurs at all phases of the operation. I practise the principle of OODA LOOP ie (Observe, Orient, Decide,Act). Critical thinking is a part of me which guarantees that the needs of vulnerable communities are considered at all times, this includes those living with disability, the elderly … I have become so accustomed to ensur[ing] those vulnerable are … not left out,” says Vasiti.
Putting consultation in practice, Vasiti says her team was “always in constant discussion with other Government ministries such as the Ministry of Women” and other representative groups to ensure the relief items deployed, and methods to provide them, were appropriate.
“Bringing in that understanding as part of the planning [of an emergency response] makes a lot of difference to those who receive that much-needed assistance,” she explains.
Vasiti also promotes inclusion and equality in her personal life. She is an advocate for education in rural communities, and the co-founder of the Mobile Me Project – a mobile application that helps people living with disability find accessible locations across Fiji.
She also spends time donating sanitary products to women in need.