Women encouraged to apply for seasonal work
Overseas seasonal worker placements are usually dominated by men, but one woman is encouraging her female peers to seize the economic opportunities they present.
Kuini Fata, 41, of Siumu told the Samoa Observer that she is very grateful for the opportunities provided by the seasonal employment scheme overseen by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.
‘’This is my second time since I first went in 2018 where I returned after six months. Then the Covid-pandemic happened,’’ she said
‘’It’s indeed a great opportunity for us and it does help our families more, not only with self-development but learning more on the job."
Ms. Fata said she had been looking for work and someone suggested she should apply for the seasonal work, so she did.
‘’I’ve seen it on TV, and it was always photos of men. I thought, are there any opportunities for women? So I decided to go for it."
For her first experience as a seasonal worker in 2018, Ms. Fata said leaving her family, especially her children, proved a wrenching experience.
‘’We all know the feeling of left behind, but when my application was successful and they informed me, it was a day of thanksgiving for me and my family," she said.
The income she made was stable enough to inspire hope for her to take another chance to participate again in the scheme.
"It covers all my needs and wants of my family, especially the school fees of my children," she said.
She also added that most of the accidents that happen including one where someone had to return to Samoa, wasn't the fault of the Government.
‘’It is us (seasonal workers) who should be blamed, not the Government’’ she said.
‘’The Government gave us opportunities to work and earn money for a living but some people do blame them, it’s all wrong!"
She is one of six women who will be travelling on 13 April to Australia and will take up work picking cabbage in Brisbane.
Ms. Fata says girls and women continue to be grossly underrepresented in seasonal worker schemes but that the imbalance can be addressed.
‘’There are other jobs for us (women) in the scheme," she said.
‘’No matter how old you become, there’s a way to conquer everything in life. If you do not cooperate with work, you don’t get what you aim for and that is becoming successful in life.