Sewing machines donation for Afega
A delegation from the Chinese Embassy in Apia, led by Ambassador Wang Xuefeng, was at Afega yesterday to celebrate the donation of 20 sewing machines to the women of the village.
As part of an ongoing assistance campaign by the Chinese Embassy, Afega and four other villages received 20 sewing machines and will undergo three weeks of full-time training by experts from Hunan Province in China.
During an ornate and humbling ava ceremony, the Afega Village Council welcomed Ambassador Wang Xuefeng, his wife Tong Xin and their colleagues.
Mr. Wang said he hopes his Government can continue helping the people of Afega with assistance that touches ordinary people’s lives.
“We are trying to become your friends indeed,” he said, and was met with applause.
He said the Chinese national television channel C.C.T.V. was present to film the occasion and would broadcast their coverage in November, to millions of viewers in China.
This is the second year China has invested in training women in sewing, donating machines and expert training in Faleasi’u, Vaimoso, Lefaga, Vaimauga and Lotofaga.
The Afega Women’s Council members said they were really excited to be gifted the machines.
“Some of our women here they have no income at all,” said Televine Lou Masefao.
“So we are grateful to have this support for low or no income people, which will benefit everyone – the women, the men and the children.”
The 20 women selected to learn from the Chinese trainers will then be expected to train the rest of the women, and the machines will reside in a central place for everyone to use, said Televine.
The programme, facilitated by the Hunan International Business Vocational College costs China T$1.2 million, spent on bringing the 100 sewing machines to Samoa, and five groups of three experts and their English language interpreters as well as lunches during the three weeks of training.
Last year’s programme was warmly welcomed in the villages they chose, Mr. Wang said, so he was eager to continue.
With the help of his friends across the country and in consultation with the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, the embassy chose the villages to take part this year.
As well as learning how to use the sewing machines, trainer Su Qing Yu or Cherry, has brought spare parts and will teach the women how to repair and maintain the machines as needed.
Project manager from the Hunan College, Zhou Lihong said these machines will provide direct economic benefits to Afega and the other villages.