The Falealili Recognised Seasonal Employees (R.S.E) Programme is celebrating their tenth anniversary in June. The celebration also marks the success of the programme in improving the livelihood of the families.
It will see a first agricultural show to showcase Falealili’s spin-offs from the New Zealand R.S.E and above all to acknowledge the successful partnership with their New Zealand counterparts- in Falealili fashion.
As the single largest A.T.M for Falealili which has injected an average of $2.3 million tala a picking season, from salary remittances directly for Falealili families, ”it is only fitting, that Falealili celebrates its blessings by honouring our loyal stakeholders and employers in New Zealand,” says the man responsible Poutasi Falealili’s paramount chief Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale.
“Falealili’s RSE workers will display their achievements during and after their temporary employment in the program,” added Tuatagaloa.
He added that local stakeholders that include the Seasonal Employment Unit, the local arm to the New Zealand counters will also be invited to be part of the show along with other stakeholders.
“It’s basically a showcase. It will be a two day event and will coincide with the return of our 180 RSE workers,” adds a modest Tuatagaloa.
There will be prizes which are donated by Mr. Apple and Mr. Appleseed.
But on a rather serious note, the Falealili RSE Program will also be enforcing new strategies to ensure that everyone is on page, when it comes to the RSE account which has been without a doubt Falealili’s saviour for over a decade since it became part of the growing RSE family here and in Aoteroa.
“Our program is now enforcing the three year period stand down policy.
“We feel that three years in the program, is sufficient time for our RSE workers to show their reaps of hard labour in New Zealand in terms of new homes, cars, small business and even farming-small time.
“And the RSE Committee is also doing its part by monitoring our workers when they return home to ensure that they do not squander their hard earned income.
“It’s an effort to try and engage families as well,” says Tuatagaloa.
“And we our workers don’t end with someone going to pick apples so that when they come back we monitor what they do with their money. “We believe it is our business to ensure that the employee who goes away does benefit and they are putting their money in good use.
“It is also part of our selection process.
“And if someone doesn’t spend their money wisely, irresponsible, reckless we take them off the list and put somebody else that shows responsibility and commitment.”
The Falealili RSE program originally started at Poutasi in 2008 where only 15 workers were picked. Today, the program has expanded to cover the entire Falealili County with 180 RSE workers from Falealili in New Zealand for this year’s picking season.