As the Nofotane Project winds down to its last few months, the supporting role of the Church in maintaining momentum for the empowerment of nofotane women in Samoa has been noticeable.
This was evidence by the church leaders and their wives support at the livelihood training held at Vailoa Palauli, well attended by 130+ nofotane women, including those from Vaitoomuli, Faala and Satupaitea.
Centred at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Hall at Vailoa Palauli, Reverend Siaosi Leleimalefaga spoke on the spiritual, social and economic aspect of the Nofotane project. His testimony highlighted the general atmosphere at the training session where the young and the old, the high chiefs and the nofotane, the church ministers and the congregation, came together as one.
According to Rev. Siaosi, “I am one of the ministers who greatly support the Samoa Victim Support’s initiative in trying to develop talents and share the expertise of the women in our village and community in order to earn money, to support families, to support the village and the church. We are very thankful that the women who we sometimes looked down at, and we see them as lower than other people of the village, but now, through such program as initiated by SVSG, I am happy to tell you that I am one of the ministers who support this effort wholeheartedly.
We are not using the word nofotane anymore here in our village community, because there is some connotation of the work nofotane that brings down the value of the Samoan women, to more like a slave in a family and the community. I think the women of this village and community are enjoying the sharing, in reviving their talents and assuring that in the future, they are no more victims in society, but they are other people who the society will depend upon to support families and the community at large. It is my prayers that may this efforts and endeavors of the SVSG be enlarged and be encouraged by the whole of Samoa.”
And God answered Rev. Siaosi’s prayers as the nofotane women who attended the session revived their talents, while other extended their learning to other skills to produce some of the unique products we have seen so far.
With the church and village leaders now on board to support the empowerment of the nofotane women, SVSG’s supporting role in ensuring sustainable resultsis now made easier.
President of SVSG Samoa