Women rise up despite economic strife

The hard work and perseverance of women continues to pay off and carry their families through the economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus (Covid-19) global pandemic.

Non-government organisation Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.) highlighted the artistic skills and resilience of these groups of women recently in a media release, saying that amidst the economic downturn in Samoa brought on by Covid-19, women of Nofotane background are the exceptions as they continue to generate income from the various ventures they are involved with.

“Their hard work and perseverance have paid off because during this time of economic strife for most of our families, the earnings from the empowered Nofotane women are now providing for families wellbeing, paying for the utilities while supporting the children’s education,” the S.V.S.G. media release states.

As an example, the N.G.O. made reference to its economic empowerment program last week, which included a Nofotane woman participant Paula Alatise of Samusu.

She has earned over T$1,000 from selling cucumbers with her 10-acre land, the site of a vegetable garden and a plantation, which to date enables her family to sustain themselves through an income.

Another Nofotane woman, Mareta Vaeagi of Siumu, has been selling baked taro, palusami and other food items for two to three days a week outside of the office of the N.G.O. Mrs. Vaeagi earns between T$150 to T$200 a day from her vegetables sales in her front yard at Siumu.

For Uaine Aumuavaa Taumaloto, who is a Nofotane from Pata Falelatai, she specialises in weaving and sells colorful fala masi (woven mat) for T$80 to T$100 per mat depending on the size and design.

Earlier this month, one of her daughters, Siatuolo Taumaloto was recognised as the top student for the diploma in tourism Program at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S).

“It is through my mother’s weaving and encouragement that contribute to my achievement.  She is a hard working mother; inspiring me to work harder,” Ms. Taumaloto said. 

The S.V.S.G. continues to encourage such programmes which are supported financially by the European Union through its Civil Society Support Program. 

Over the next two years, the program will help Nofotane women like Paula Alatise, Mareta Vaegi, Uaine Taumaloto and many others who have gone through the  economic empowerment program to improve on the quality and market opportunities of their products.

“There is no better time for the empowered nofotane woman to rise up and provide for her family’s well being than here and now. It has been a joy to watch the women grow in confidence as breadwinners for their families, and we look forward to supporting them further in this new Project,” said the S.V.S.G President, Siliniu Lina Chang.

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