Be creative and self sufficient, says Alisa

Businesswoman Alisa Iiga Mataua of Foailuga Savai’i has encouraged Samoan women to become more self-sufficient and use creativity to grow their families.

One of many success stories from the Samoa victim Support Group’s Nofotane Project, the 33-year-old mother of three of Foailuga said she produces her own handicraft which is sold to customers. 

“I love doing what I do in order to improve the standard of living for my family – by making jewelry with my very own hands – and selling it for money to spend on my kids, village and church obligations,” she told Samoa Observer, in a phone interview.

Her handcrafted products include ula lopa and lusiga and earrings which she sells for $50 after getting orders from customers.

“In a week I can make up to $500 when people order and that’s clean money for me and my family,” she added. 

The SVSG Nofotane Project strives to improve the economic empowerment of women, and increase women’s participation in domestic and community matters.

“I thank the SVSG program as I was in for the set of skills and knowledge they taught me, because now I am able to provide for my family.

“I love that I can determine what I can get from what I am making a day or even a week,” she said. 

She hopes her business will expand as she considers new ideas to improve her products. 

“For the future I am looking into new ideas to expand my business by looking into making jewelry – with not only lopa and lusiga – but also tamaligi and other things I can use,” she said.

Alisa is now a firm believer of self-employment and self-sufficiency through the use of resources from the surrounding environment. She urged women to use the resources to their advantage.

“We should be building our own families with our own hands; we can make clean money just by using our god given resources we just need to out in the work and use our skills.

“I get to earn up to $500 a week, which is more than most who are working in town and for companies who only get $100 or so a week. We should be taking advantage of this fact because basically it’s good money,” she added. 

She said she is looking forward to showcasing her handicrafts at the Nofotane market later this year.

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