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Women benefit from training

The village of Salailua, Savai’i hosted a workshop recently for Nofotane women from four villages to assist them improve the quality of their products to cater for the overseas market.

The women had set up their business through the Samoa Victim Support Group’s Nofotane Project, which enabled them to learn new designs that would make their products more attractive to buyers. 

According to a Nofotane women, Taufao Loli Matauaina of Vaipua, she said she strives to improve the quality of her products to be competitive on the market. Her business makes hand bags and purses made out of plastic. 

A total of 60 per cent of the participants in the workshop are suppliers of siapo or tapa cloth, recycled woven bags, and elei – they get orders through the S.V.S.G. from customers in New Zealand, Australia and America.

Local business woman and a Nofotane herself, Tuaoialii Tuato of Salailua, encouraged the new entrepreneurs to persevere despite the difficulties.

“There is nothing in life that comes easy – you have to go through a lot of challenges – in order for you to become stronger,” she said. 

The workshop is funded by the Canadian government through the Canada Fund for Local Initiative Project, and is implemented locally by the S.V.S.G. The objective of the workshop is to enable sustainable income generation and self-employment of Nofotane women in Samoa. 

S.V.S.G. President, Siliniu Lina Chang, praised the women participants on the good work.

“Let me remind you all that the project is not trying to change this particular aspect of our culture, but merely aims to ensure sustainability of being empowered.

“It is because a strong, proud and successful community does not tolerate any form of violence against women,” she added. 

A total of 16 workshops in Savai’i and Upolu will be held this year. 

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