Training run to empower women

An organization called the “Hut” from Australia ran a workshop yesterday to empower women of the Nofotane project at the Eden’s Edge in Apia.

The February 19-21 workshop is attended by 20 women with eight from Savaii, one from Manono and 11 from Upolu. They are all involved with the Nofotane project under the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG).

Founder of the Hut organization, 19-year-old Jada Fa’anana-Schults, said that the project is called susu and meli (milk and honey) which is a biblical reference towards God’s blessings or promises.

“The significance of this workshop is for Nofotane women to create their own designs, save their money and invest it for sustainable income."

“They already know how to weave but we help them create new products and designs of hats, mats or bags, but something you never find in a market that can cater to Australian markets."

“We always find people who have the skillset, and mobilize them, like Nicole Penman and Harriett Goodall along with two other volunteers,” she said.

The 19-year-old from Australia said that they fundraised to pay for the project like costs of fares from boat rides, accommodations and meals for participants.

“The workshop focuses on every individual to go through training with the hope to come up with their own unique designs of hats, mats or bags, but a new design that you never find in a market."

“All the women are staying at Eden’s Edge and hopefully after the three days they can be their own unique designers."

“It is also with the hope they can teach the rest of the 400 Nofotane women in Samoa and grow this initiative,” she added. 

She said that her future plan is to continue working with SVSG.

“The Hut is an organization made up of overseas living Samoans who come into to the group with the hope of creating change in Samoa.”

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