More than fifty women under the Nofotane project from Upolu, Savai’i and Manono displayed their handicraft works during a market day on Thursday.
Held in front of the Government Building at Eleele-Fou, the event organised by the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.) gave the women an opportunity to showcase fine mats, table mats, jewelry accessories and locally produced foods.
President of S.V.S.G., Siliniu Lina Chang, said she was happy to see the creative minds of these women.
“You can only train them in something small but then they take over from there,” Siliniu said.
“I have noticed the spirit of coming together, they support each other. We used to individually train them but now they come in groups. Not only that, they are sharing their knowledge with others to empower anyone.”
The Market Day was one of the last activities for the project.
Siliniu said it is the S.V.S.G.’s hope that these women continue their work to help them develop their lives.
Nofotane woman, Felila Kirisome from the village of Lufilufi said the project is a great way to help women generate a stable income through the skills they learn.
“For the women of my village and me, we utilised plastic bottles, spoons, forks or knives to create handicrafts or arrangements. It is a good initiative to also keep our environment clean,” Felila said.
Fuatai Tolomaa from Salailua, Savai’i echoed similar sentiments.
“It is very important for me to pass on this knowledge of weaving fine mats to my grandchildren and great grandchildren so that they can carry it on.
“This programme has helped me through empowering women. I want everyone to realise that everyone should not live depending on others but independently live life through working hard to earn everything,” Fuatai said.
S.V.S.G. in partnership with United Nations Women Fund, initiated the Nofotane project, which targeted gender equality. Nofotane is a Samoan word used to describe a married woman who lives with her husband’s family.