The 3rd session of Self-Esteem Workshops for nofotane women as part of the Canada Fund for Local Initiative project highlighted the commitment from the women to learn.
Close to 30 nofotane earners from Utualii, Tufulele and Faleasiu gathered at the residence of the SVSG village reperesentative for Faleasiu, to share on their experiences in being newly self-employed women, to learn on how to maintain momentum of their new business ventures through marketing strategies and product development, to encourage working in support networks, and to SHINE through the self-esteem workshop.
It has been a rewarding experience, seeing the nofotane women that were once shy, that hardly participated during the first nofotane project, that seldom volunteered to share on their experience as women survivors of violence; being vibrant with confidence, the confidence of an empowered woman.
The highlight of the session at Faleasiu was the commitment from the elderly nofotane women to learn. It was a good example they set for the young women, that you are never be too old to learn.
In fact, one of the star earners awarded during the recent nofotane project was the Taueva Family of Faleasiu. The elderly couple Taueva and Apiseka Tuloto, in the age group 71-80 years old, recalled living a life of poverty, with nothing to rely on except for the plantation. Their son’s wife Falelua Taueva also attended the same nofotane livelihood training as her in laws in May 2018.
When SVSG visited the Taueva Family of Faleasiu, the change from being empowered was inevitable. Falelua walked towards SVSG’s vehicle with a confident smile as she excitedly showed the staff her coffee mix hand bags, and smiled further when she showed the family cooking pot used to make pork buns. In addition to these products, she also sells Samoan cocoa. The Taueva family now earns between $300 - $400 on good days.
The most popular response from the nofotane women who attended the 3rd Self-Esteem Workshop session was for SVSG to continue with these programs, as it encourages them, it challenges them and it boosts their confidence as newly self-employed nofotane women. And SVSG will ensure that the women are well supported through the mentors in their villages – the SVSG village representatives.
Because according to the Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President, “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.”
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