Character and ability are the characteristics that best described the self-employed nofotane women who attended the 14th session of self-esteem workshops held at Leauvaa over the week.
Travelling from the neigbouring villages of Levi Salemoa, Tufulele and Faleasiu to the west; Tuanai and Faleula to the east, the positive changes in the lives of these women and the ripple effect it has brought to their families, attributed to their strong characters and hard work.
From the 50 participating women, 90% of them have young children who attended the St. Joan of Arc Primary School at Leauvaa. This means that they have to wake up extra early during the training days to prepare the children for school, cooked the meals for their elderly and family members remaining at home, dropped off the children to school before attending the training.
No wonder why the Proverbs 31 describes a virtuous woman as the one who leads her home with integrity, discipline, and more. All the virtues a woman practices are therefore aimed at making the life of her husband better, teaching her children and serving God. Nothing in this Proverb is for her, but rather, it is all about what she blesses her family with, through her character and ability.
Which makes the attendance, the participation, and the enthusiastic learning by the nofotane women at Leauvaa, all the more rewarding for the Program.
When the training breaks for lunch, the women rushed next door to the school compound to feed their children. Half an hour later, they were back at the training venue, and only then did we see them having their meals. Now that is the strength of women of character and ability.
The sustainable income generation and self-employment of nofotane women is therefore much more than economic empowerment. It is inclusive of social empowerment. It looks at strengthening women’s social relations and their position in social structures, giving them more of a purpose outside of the home. It is when their contributions to community are recognized and valued.
The progress made by the nofotane women of Leauvaa, Levi Saleimoa, Tufulele, Faleasiu, Tuanai and Faleata, towards economic and social empowerment forms the qualitative measure of the overall Program. Change is a work in progress.
“Thank you to the funding support from the European Union through the Civil Society Support Program, which is enabling SVSG to witness change as a work in progress, in the lives of the women under the Nofotane Program.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President