More than fifteen women who are part of a Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development programme (M.W.C.S.D.) are showcasing their products and crafts at Vaiusu.
The two-week event is not just a display of the quality of the workmanship by the village women, it is also an avenue for them to earn money from their work.
One of the mothers taking part, Jennifer Falaniko, said the programme is all about finding ways to put food on the table for her family.
“When the Ministry of Women introduced the programme at the beginning of this year, I thought, well this sounds really good,” she said.
“If some women can do it, why not me, especially looking at the high cost of living that we now have.”
So she learned some new skills and she started sewing and creating small crafts for sale.
“This is not for me but for the sake of my family especially my children. They’re still young and I want to make sure that they’ll stay in school until they finish and get themselves a good education.”
Mrs. Falaniko said every penny counts for her.
“I have learnt so much over the past months and it’s great,” she said. “I am now creating my own puletasi styles and so much more. To me this is about empowering us as mothers to be bread winners.”
Another mother, Alofi Afaese, said most of the village mothers are happy to be part of the programme. “When this programme was first introduced by our village’s mayor to all mothers of the village, I was really happy,” she said.
“I was looking at ways to produce my own stuff, to sell at my own cost for my family to survive on, especially my children,” she said.
“Before I never considered being a business owner. But since this programme, I see myself as a business owner in the future. Not only do I have the ability to create products and sell, now I can earn some money for me and my family.” Mrs. Afaese said that they are grateful to the government for the opportunity. “This helps us to develop our own skills on how to deal with selling especially the creating of different products.
“The programme will produce many magnificent stories of hope and successes in our families, in our children and the country. This is really encouraging.”