Church and village leaders of Falevao, Lalomauga, Falefa, Faleapuna, Lufilufi, Lona, Salimu, Maasina, Samamea, Musumusu, Uafato from the Anoamaa East and Vaa o Fonoti constituencies gathered for 3 days at Falevao to support the 18th session of the livelihood training for the Nofotane project.
The leaders support contributes to the success of the economic empowerment of nofotane women as the training continues to roll out in villages throughout Samoa. Such support speaks volume for the ongoing advocacy role the leaders play in raising awareness in village communities about the benefit of the project not only to the nofotane woman and her family, but also to the wider community. The advocacy training of village leaders was the first stage of the project where more than 500 village and church leaders were trained to effectively advocate for the project.
For the villages from the Vaa o Fonoti constituency, they travelled from across the hill to the training venue for 3 days, just to offer this support.
And the response from the hundreds of nofotane women who participated assured the leaders that their support was worth it, as new products were created while old skills were revived to create innovative products, with a monetary value, utilizing resources from the environment.
Rev. Risati Noaese of the Congregational Christian Church of Falevao encouraged the participants to use the opportunity presented by the Nofotane project wisely for the benefit of their children, families and the community as a whole.
A high chief of Lona Fagaloa, and an SVSG village representative Leala Siitia shared the same sentiment “Who would have thought that SVSG would go out of its way to empower nofotane women, not for the Group, but for the genuine interest to support our families, and this is the difference SVSG’s program continues to provide our people.”
SVSG’s standing with regards to the project and our culture remains, as according to SVSG President, “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.”
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