The Canadian Government has given the Samoa Victim Support Group a generous 30,000.00 funding boost to help the organisation continue it’s successful ‘Nofotane women in Samoa’ projects.
The funding was given as part of the ‘Canada’s Fund for Local Initiatives’ (CFLI) program, through the High Commissioner of Canada to New Zealand, Nicolas Sabourin.
SVSG had recently completed the successful Nofotane Projects together with the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality which spanned two years .
The projects were carried out in villages across Samoa to help upskill and empower Nofotane women to create sustainable income by helping them to set up and run their own businesses. 5000 women in Samoa were trained, 500 new entrepreneurs established and 237 villages reached.
Nofotane women of Samoa are commonly known for marrying into families and living with their in-laws often away from their own families and villages. This can often result in isolation for women and many more prone to domestic violence and abuse.
The Canadian grant will offer assistance and guidance for the newly self-employed nofotane who have been economically empowered by the projects.
In July this year, SVSG recognised 20 nofotane women as ‘star earners’ with some making over 1000 tala weekly from what they were able to create during the nofotane projects.
Prior to the project completion with UN Women, SVSG had to move quickly if they were to continue the project in the short term.
A lack of support from local donor agencies meant that SVSG pursued assistance internationally.
The additional six month project with the CFLI will mean participants and high earners of the program can continue with their small business ventures through self-esteem workshops, mentorship with village representatives, women to women support networks, the opening of savings accounts and linkages to local and overseas markets.
The project will include 16 workshops conducted for the nofotane earners with inspirational speakers attending each of the sessions to further boost the new entrepreneurs’ confidence.
To ensure that its programs are representative of the interests of the direct beneficiaries, the trainers for the self-esteem workshops in particular, have been recruited by the star earners themselves.
Adding to their achievements of sustainable incomes, the women have also been trained as advocates for the economic empowerment of women in Samoa.
President of SVSG Siliniu Lina Chang says that there are exciting times ahead for nofotane earners as the organisation continues to seek out funding to support the women and their new business ventures.
“We would like to thank the Canadian Government and especially the High Commissioner of Canada to New Zealand, Nicolas Sabourin, for their part in economically empowering the women of Samoa,” she acknowledged.