Market day gets thumbs up

By Adel Fruean 09 March 2019, 12:00AM

Canadian High Commission counsellor Nicolas Sabourin has described the Nofotane Women's Project that his government supports as money well spent.

Women participants in the Nofotane Project joined other entrepreneurs at a market at the Malaefatu National Park last Friday to sell their locally made products, when Mr. Sabourin and a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians caught up with them to see their development cooperation assistance program in action. 

The opening of the market at the Malaefatu National Park coincided with the celebration of International Women's Day last Friday in Samoa and around the world. 

Mr. Sabourin, who works with the Canadian High Commission in New Zealand which has accreditation for Samoa, said the Canadian government currently funds the Nofotane Women's Project through the Canada Fund. 

“We are in Samoa with a small delegation of Canadian parliamentarians to have a look at the work that our country has been doing with local partners.

“It is such a great opportunity that we are here during the celebration of International Women’s Day, because we have this great program with Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG), about empowering the Nofotane women by providing economic opportunities for them. 

“We have worked with SVSG before and this current support started implementation last year for a period of one year, and is all about empowering the Nofotane women provide economic opportunities for them,” he said. 

The Canadian diplomat said he and his delegation were impressed with the results and progress of the Nofotane Women's Project. 

“It is such a good chance to witness that the money that our parliament votes every year for international assistance has been put into good use.

“The selection process is done through proposals from various partners and selected based on merits and alignment with our priorities.

“When we saw the project, we were impressed for the fact that it not only addressed like women’s rights but also combining economic opportunities for women and also work on discrimination on Nofotane women face in their daily lives,” he added.

He also spoke about how powerful the initiative is and how it has ticked the boxes for the women participants. 

“We would look at supporting them in the future if they would apply again - SVSG can count on Canada’s support as well through the Canada Fund.

“The length of the period for support is for one year but there are cases that it can be extended – and of course we also monitor closely the progress and the implementation of the funds.

“When spaces are created for women to thrive in utilizing their talents and capacities they can accomplish great and marvelous things.”

By Adel Fruean 09 March 2019, 12:00AM

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