Church and village leaders including leading women, from the Anoamaa West and part of the Vaimauga East constituencies, gathered at the CCCS Hall Luatuanuu, for the third consecutive session of trainings for SVSG village representatives.
This is part of the SVSG and the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality Project currently underway, supporting the economic empowerment of nofotane (a woman who marries into a family) women.
SVSG village representatives from 8 villages including Fusi, Salelesi, Eva, Solosolo, Luatuanuu, Leusoalii, Laulii and Letogo were empowered during the 3-day session, on how to effectively advocate to their respective village councils, churches, women’s committee and the village in general, to support the economic empowerment of nofotane women.
The cheerful hospitality of the hosts, Reverend Elder Aila & Valasi Patea of the CCCS Luatuanuu opened up the discussion in a very positive note. This atmosphere together with the participants and observers, being well versed on SVSG’s work through ongoing community awareness they have hosted, have assisted in an open dialogue amongst the participants.
There was belief, excitement and motivation amongst the trained SVSG village representatives, on their role as advocates for the project within their village communities. And these were noted from the comments they have made.
The village mayor for Eva Seumanu Tutusa commented on gender equality being part of the church’s teachings. “I a’oa’oga fa’atalalelei, e le’o toe taua lea mea o le nofotane.”
On the other hand, one of the high chiefs of Luatuanuu, Tofete Lafaaua reiterated the importance of leadership in a family. Says he, “E le’i avea i tatou o ulu o aiga e tatou te sauā ai i tina.”
A leading woman in her family, Silia Misa, commented on how her family practices respect and has accepted nofotane women as their own, “Ou te ta’ua tamaitai o le nuu o tamaitai o le nuu, a’o fafine fai mai, o teine o le nuu.”
As the training program to support the economic empowerment of nofotane women continues, SVSG is humbled by the support it has gathered to date. “Thank you so much to SVSG’s trained village representatives for your patriotism and for your commitment to see this project through.”