“When I reached rock bottom, that was when I started looking within myself for answers to being poor, and I found it – It is all in my hands.”
This was the testimony shared by Pina Soma, a nofotane woman of Satapuala who attended SVSG’s Nofotane Program of previous years, learnt a skill or two and is now one of the newly self employed nofotane women. Mrs. Soma was a participant to the 4th session of Self-Esteem Workshops currently being carried out by Samoa Victim Support Group as part of the Canada Fund for Local Initiative project.
According to Mrs. Soma, before joining the Nofotane program she felt hopeless. With no one in the family who works, her family survived on a day by day basis with the support from others. What triggered the change in Mrs. Soma was her mentality towards life. “Here I was looking towards others for help when God gave each and everyone of us a talent, and it is just a matter of using it to survive and to glorify God.” Pina Soma
Mrs. Soma was trained on floral arrangement during the previous Nofotane project. Today, she is earning a living for her family from selling Samoan oil, Samoan cocoa, feathered costumes, pork buns and donuts. And she has come a long way from being poor, to being a confident woman, able to provide for herself and her family.
The positive changes in the nofotane women were achieved through overcoming the challenges within themselves. Gone were the hopeless and helpless attitudes, and instead we saw women with ‘a can do mentality.’ The nofotane women have been challenged to SHINE.
75% of the participants to the 4th session have already opened Savings Account with the local financial institutions. This is an achievement for the financial literacy component of the workshops as the newly self-employed women have learnt the basics in starting a business, and have progessed on to put aside saving for rainy days. This is progress towards sustainable income generation and self employment of nofotane women as per the CFLI Project.
“A nofotane woman will always be a nofotane; the project is not attempting to change this aspect of our culture, but merely aims to ensure sustainability of being empowered because a strong, proud and successful community, does not tolerate any form of violence against women.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President
Samoa Victim Support Group is only a call away (685) 800-7874. If you have some important information that will save the life of someone close to you or indirectly connected to you please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.
That decision could be the best one you could make in this life.
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