It was all smiles at the 5th session of self-esteem workshops called SHINE, hosted by the Falealupo community for the nofotane earners from Tufutafoe, Fagasa, Falelima and Falealupo.
The workshop is part of the Canada Fund for Local Initiative Project carried out by Samoa Victim Support Group for the nofotane women who have previously trained on livelihood skills under the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality Project, and have progressed to become earners and/or breadwinners for their families.
The problem in which the Project aims to address is the unsustainable income generation for nofotane women who have started a small business. This is due to the lack of resource to support their businesses and a lack of confidence to maintain the momentum for self-employment.
At the Falealupo session, SVSG was amazed at the transformation in the women’s lives, and that of their families. This was evidence by the unity and joyful spirit amongst the nofotane women and their husbands who volunteered to attend the self-esteem workshop to support their wives.
The nofotane earners shared on how they have formed support networks amongst themselves to encourage each other in their newly formed business ventures. To ensure that other families enjoy the benefits of being economically empowered, the nofotane earners have gone a step further and conducted livelihood skills training for the unemployed women in their villages, encouraging them to build relationships with others and open savings accounts for rainy days.
For the nofotane earners from Tufutafoe, Fagasa, Falelima and Falealupo, each woman now has a Bank Account which attest to the nofotane women’s understanding of the basics in managing their finances. When the Project Team left Falealupo, we were humbled by the ability of the nofotane women to SHINE through their empowerment. Their smiles and that of their husbands say it all.
“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
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