Training empowers women to help themselves

By Aruna Lolani ,

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THANK YOU CHINA: Participants from the four villages and representatives of the two governments, Samoa and China.

THANK YOU CHINA: Participants from the four villages and representatives of the two governments, Samoa and China.

An empowered woman is a happy one. 

At the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel yesterday, it was a place of singing and dancing where some 80 women celebrated their achievements from the 2017 Training Course on Creative Crafts and Sewing Skills.

Government officials were joined by women from Lotofaga, Vaiala, Vaimoso and Faleasiu for the celebration. Four weeks of training was more than enough for these women to pick up on the basic skills for creative crafts and sewing.

Minister for Women, Community and Social Development, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers, congratulated the participants.

 “We are developing a strategy that will focus on the employment of vulnerable people; developing small businesses and alleviating poverty for our most vulnerable population,” Faimalotoa said.

“This four week training is directly related to not just this strategy but the related policies of the government including the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2016/17 – 2020/21. 

“We are therefore very grateful to the government of China for supporting us through this initiative and numerous other initiatives and projects for the government and the people of Samoa.”

Faimalotoa also acknowledged the commitment of trainers who have travelled to assist our vulnerable communities, not only that but for everyone else who were involved in the making of this programme for some of our women.

“I hope that through your new found knowledge and skills, you will now save money for the future of your families,” Faimalotoa added. “You should now be able to save from buying clothes or paying other seamstresses to sew your own clothes. 

What these women have sewed within the four weeks, different clothing.
What these women have sewed within the four weeks, different clothing.

“The opportunities are limitless and I encourage you to take a hold of the learning and experiences of the last four weeks to shape and develop your own family.”

Participants Representative Lanuola Tuitama spoke on behalf of all the women.

 “We thank you for enabling us to be able to work a sewing machine. There are ladies who have never had the chance and who have never owned a sewing machine; now they are able to own one.”

Chinese Ambassador, Wang Xuefeng, said the training is the first of its kind in Samoa.

“Just one month ago when I visited the classrooms of your training, many of you looked enthusiastic about the training, but not yet familiar with the sewing machines and didn't know where to begin.

“One student told me ‘everything is fine, except that the sewing machine is not very friendly to me’."

“Over the past month, all the 80 students of the project learned how to make garments for kids, men and women in good  manner, became skilled at handling the machines and able to make different kinds of daily-wear clothing for yourselves and your families. This has not come easy.

“I know many of you have been studying very hard, practicing your skills every night after a whole day's training. Today, your hard work has paid off.”

The ceremony ended with Samoa dance performances from the women of the four different villages.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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