Five villages from the constituencies of Gagaemauga No. 2 and Gagaemauga No. 3 in Savaii, gathered at the Saleaula Women’s Committee fale for the the livelihood training sessions of the SVSG and the UN Women FGE project for the nofotane women of Safa’i, Saleia, Satoalepai, Fagamalo and Saleaula.
More than 100 women turned up daily for the sessions, each eager to learn a new skill from flower arrangement, commercial cooking, elei printing and handicraft.
The older nofotane women crowded around the handicraft training area, utilizing their weaving skills to create new products which are now more marketable in the tourism industry.
The younger ones opted for elei printing and putting their weaving skills into the creation of hand bags and purses from coffee mix trash.
It was an exciting atmosphere, as the nofotane women were empowered with a skill that will enable them to earn an income for themselves and their families.
Support network groups were formed for the women from the different villages that attended the Saleaula session. This is important for the sustainability of the nofotane women’s income generating activities.
So come the 19th and the 20th of July in front of the Government building, the nofotane women from the Gagaemauga No. 2 and the Gagaemauga No. 3 constituencies will showcase some of their products during the Nofotane Market Days to celebrate the official closing of the project.
“A nofotane woman will always be a nofotane; the project is not attempting to change this cultural aspect of the FaaSamoa. The project merely aims to improve the economic empowerment of women and to increase their participation in domestic and community matters, as these are some of the most important contributing factors to achieving gender equality.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President.
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