“Thank you to the Samoa Victim Support Group for the vision to economically empower women as this in turn benefits the whole village.” This was the acknowledgment from High Chief of Letogo, Tumua To’oto’ofoe Salevaogogo during the last day of the 19th training session for the Nofotane project.
Held at Letogo, the 19th session was well attended by 100 women from Vailele, Fagalii and Letogo who were trained on livelihood skills as the final component of the 2-year project SVSG and the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality are working on.
The pre-training survey found that the nofotane women are gifted with different talents. As such, it was just a matter of them utilizing these talents to generate income for the family. While the popular fabric printing, handicraft, flower arrangement and commercial cooking were the skills included in the training, the nofotane women of the Vaimauga East constituency taught the training team a skill or two on weaving hats, school bags, and others using the odd plastics and trash.
When the training team left Letogo, they have recruited an elderly who has mastered the art of weaving of hats using plastic and ribbons. She is now part of the trainers for the remaing villages to be covered by the Project. At the same time, 43 nofotane women have shown an interest in setting up small businesses of their own. This is one of the goals of the economic empowerment of nofotane women as envisaged by the project, and we are glad to see it becoming a reality.
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.”
Thank you to the village leaders of Letogo, Fagalii and Vailele for advocating for the project and for participating at the livelihood training to show your support.
President of SVSG Samoa