Having to deal with the traumatized experience of the physical, mental and emotional abuse each day for so long can be very difficult for the nofotane women.
Having to lie down every night for a good sleep can be restless as the mind continues to wonder on how to provide for the family’s next meal as an unemployed nofotane woman. Having to go through depression and anxiety as a result of being belittled by their husbands families simply because they are nofotane women have taken its toll on most of these women.
These are some of the constant reminders of the hard lives most of the nofotane women who are members of the Nofotane Empowerment program have gone through, as they looked back at how things used to be. And it is a blessed feeling to be a part of the difference being made not only in the lives of the nofotane women, but most importantly, their families and the community.
The 9th workshop session of the Sustainable Income Generation and Self-Employment of Nofotane Women at Tufutafoe Savaii, was well attended by nofotane from Falelima, Falealupo and Tufutafoe. In attendance also was the CSSP Programme Manager, Ms. Christina Tauā, who saw for herself the emotions expressed by each women whose lives have been transformed by the program.
From learning how to manage their finances to looking after themselves physically and mentally, the result speaks volume of the difference being made. Even having the courage to stand up and share their stories is a positive achievement of the program.
The Inspirational Speaker, Mrs. Ataga’i Maiava Simone of Tufutafoe brought the participants to tears as she shared on what it means to be a nofotane woman. She was basically the family’s slave, at the peck and call of everyone in the extended family, not just her husband and children. She wakes up to the domestic duties, the plantation and the cooking and goes to bed only after the kitchen was clean. Despite the hard life, Ataga’i endured it all because of her love for her husband. According to Ataga’i, the program had transformed her life. She not only secured a sustainable income for her family, but importantly, self-confidence to actively participate and have a voice in the village women’s committee and church women’s fellowship.
Then we had the 66 year old Salafai Maiava Esau of Tufutafoe who eminates hard work as she proudly showed the partcipants her Bank Account with the Samoa Commercial Bank where she is now saving the profit from selling cocoa. From subsistence farming to commercial farming, Salafai continues to learn the basics in maintaining her small business venture.
“Thank you to the European Union through the CSSP Program, for the financial support that has enabled Samoa Victim Support Group to continued making a difference in the lives of the empowered nofotane women of Samoa.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President