Torika’s journey with Pacific Connect
- How and when did you come across the Pacific Connect Program?
“I came across the Pacific Connect program when I saw a post on Facebook about the Pacific Connect Virtual Dialogue on the topic ‘from side hustle to sustainable business’ for female entrepreneurs in the Pacific. It was around last December, and a few female entrepreneurs I know of participated in the dialogue.
- What is next for you in terms of projects and engagement with Pacific Connect’?
“Since attending 2 workshops organised by Pacific Connect, I wish to continue to be part of the Pacific Connect family in Vanuatu, participate in more workshops and dialogues, whether it be topics on entrepreneurship or female empowerment. I also want to continue developing relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Pacific and beyond. Since the content and wealth of knowledge I have gained is too good for me not to share, I would love to help facilitate more workshops like the ones I’ve attended to more youths in my country.”
- Which Dialogues, workshops, Forum or networking events did you participate in?
“I participated in the Ladies & Learn interactive workshop and the workshop on Effective Social Media.”
- How did your engagement and participation with the Pacific Connect Program influence your current work or career?
“After my participation in both programs, I felt empowered and encouraged by the amazing entrepreneurs who are also on the same journey as I am to achieving their dreams. My network grew and I most definitely felt confident about using social media to spread the word about my projects. The knowledge gained enabled me to think more creatively outside the box and provided me with skills to take on new roles in my current work.”
- How Pacific Connect enabled or supported you to progress with your idea, project or personal development?
“The Pacific Connect Program has supported me in creating a new network of people who I have a lot to learn from, and have helped in sharing and spreading the word about my project on their personal social media platforms. With the knowledge gained about the importance of visibility and branding, we created a new LinkedIn page for our project and a new variety of contents were created and posted. Our number of likes, followers and reach have increased dramatically with a few posts during the duration of the program.”
- How does being part of the Pacific Connect network allow you to make a difference in your community or the people you work with?
“The knowledge gained from the Pacific Connect Program has allowed me to not only support my project and current work but enabled me to transfer the skills and ideas to other entrepreneurs i work with in V-lab (Vanuatu’s first idea and business incubator).
Tell us about your business or projects.
“Tasinga Vanuatu is a non-profit, community organization that wishes to see telehealth services expanded throughout every province in Vanuatu. It targets the most vulnerable and supports the health care workers working in remote facilities. We have been a part of this telehealth initiative since 2016, when we first came together with two volunteers to provide this service for a remote health facility called Naviso on Maewo Island. Now we want to see it grow to benefit other patients and communities.”
“V-lab supports innovation and social entrepreneurship in Vanuatu and seeks to provide access to facilities, services and mentoring to the young entrepreneurs with a view to enable them to develop and grow their businesses and ideas as well as to promote entrepreneurship in the country.”
Torika Kalman is an entrepreneur and an enthusiast for social development. After completing university, she was persuaded by her older sister to be a volunteer for the Vanuatu Red Cross in Santo, Vanuatu and that is where her journey and passion for social work grew. She was deployed on several disaster response missions where she met Dr Basil Leodoro, a leading surgeon in the country who introduced her to the concept of telehealth.
Together with a team of Ni-Vanuatu medical doctors, they set up Tasinga Vanuatu which is an organization leading the expansion of telehealth services throughout Vanuatu.Torika wears several hats, she’s currently the CEO of Tasinga Vanuatu, a program coordinator for V-lab which is a charitable organization supporting innovation and entrepreneurship and most importantly a volunteer at heart.