A young Foundation student at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) is thankful for her mother’s vision in helping her reach tertiary education.
Siatuolo Taumaloto is a student studying towards a Diploma in Tourism, thanks to her parents’ hard work.
“If you knew me when I was a young girl, you would not think that this would be my future,” she said.
“You would not think that I could be a student studying a Diploma in Tourism, but my mum knew.”
Ms. Taumaloto’s mother, Uaine Taumaloto, tackled their family poverty by using her traditional skills of weaving to earn income.
Uaine and her husband are both unemployed and at one stage depended only on the sea for survival, which was a tough life.
“There was hardly enough money to send our daughter to school, but I always made a way because I knew that education would lead to a brighter future,” Uaine said.
The mother of five shared that the knowledge of weaving was passed on to her by her mother, and little did she know that through the Nofotane Project, she would generate income by reviving her skills.
And now Uaine earns herself about $600 a week with her hand woven products, which includes printed mats, table mats and other handicraft works.
“I am really thankful to the Nofotane project for everything. I encourage all women but also our people to go back to our roots.”
“You will never know if you do not try, so for those who are facing poverty, find the courage to be something so you can take care of your families,” Uaine said.
Ms. Taumaloto is also carrying on their family tradition of weaving by also learning from her mother, which she hopes to teach her children too.
“In my eyes, my mum is one of my greatest role models and I have learnt so much from her. My brothers and sisters can go to school now because of the money that my mum makes. I am so proud of my mum and I am where I am because of my mum’s vision.”
Uaine is one of the success stories of the Nofotane livelihood programme. The programme is driven by the Samoa Victim Support Group and partners.