Women empowered to lead pandemic response

An initiative to address the impact of the global pandemic through an improved response in health, education, agriculture, food security, and safety in the community, has been launched.

The Australian Awards Initiative was launched last week on Friday at Faleasiu in the presence of Women in Business representatives, the Australian Alumni and Women Leadership and Faleasiu villagers.

The Australia Awards is a newly established Women's Leadership Initiative support Award alumni to lead the COVID19 response.

As part of the programme, Australian High Commissioner in Samoa, Sara Moriarty, launched the first of eight COVID-19 preparedness workshops which targets the empowerment of women in the rural areas to take care of themselves, families and villages.

The workshops are designed to equip mothers on planting their own food to provide for their families so that they are not dependent on store bought supplies, education on proper hygienic practices at home to help protect families from disease and helping mothers become more aware on protecting themselves and the children when accessing the internet. 

"The Australia Awards Women Leadership Initiative was launched in 2016 and it is a five year, $5.4 million initiative committed to building Pacific women’s leadership skills through learning, networking and mentoring," the High Commissioner said.

She added that the initiative is a targeted and coordinated approach to see women's leadership flourish, helps scholars build their skill, networks and readiness to take on leadership roles in their workplaces, communities ad countries but also more importantly forge links between women leaders in the Pacific and Australia. 

"I think we can all agree that these are unprecedented times as Covid-19 has brought a lot of challenges particularly socio-economic difficulties for families and communities today," Ms. Moriarty added 

"However, chaos in the world may bring uneasiness but it also allows opportunities for creativity and growth. And that is the intention behind the Women Leadership Initiative COVID-19 Leadership Fund."
The Women Leadership Initiative COVID-19 Leadership Fund will promote collaborative working between alumni of the Women Leadership program and communities on team activities.

Such activities include the workshop that was launched last Friday to address a range of COVID-19 related issues while at the same time encourage ideas of gender and development while consolidating personal and collective skills and ambitions. 

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