From a housewife, to a self-employed mother, a 24-year-old tells her story of how she was able to help her husband support their family.
Sina Lagafuaina from the village of Faiaai, Savaii stays with her husband’s family at Faleu’ Manono Tai.
“My husband was our income provider but it was still a struggle when you have extended families, churches, village responsibilities to fulfill. The income earned was not enough to cater to all our needs,” Mrs. Lagafuaina said.
She said when the Nofotane project was introduced to her district, Salega, she was determined to learn new skills so that she can contribute to the development of their family.
“I joined in May this year in Savaii. It was all new to me, the training offered was very difficult for me but I endured thanks to the support from God and my husband,” Sina said.
“I believe that with using plastics to create handicrafts, it helps reduce plastic wastes and make them long lasting.”
The mother of one said she is grateful to God for being her source of strength.
“I am proud to say that I can get $500 from making five bags a week. Imagine that a person like me could have the chance to earn that kind of income. I cater to our village members and hotels. Nowadays it’s all about money and that is a struggle for a lot of people,” she added.
Her husband, Lagafuaina Amosa said she is amazed by his wife’s will power and determination to fight and be someone of great talent.
“Handicrafts seem to be something so many have so little faith in for how insignificant they appear to be, but it is a hidden treasure for us. I say that in a way that it is our bread and butter. It has granted us a stable and secure livelihood.
“My role is to collect plastics from all around shops and villages, then measure and cut into pieces so that it is easy for my wife to sow them together to make any size of bags.
“We work together as a family and we truly believe that being united lessens any burdens, it makes any journey worth taking,” he added.
The Nofotane project was an initiative of the Samoa Victim Support Group, which focused on economic empowerment of nofotane women in rural Samoa.