NATION

Artisans From Outer Islands Maximise At Expo

Women from the eastern division have thanked the Government for the marketing opportunities provided to them through this year’s National Women’s Expo. Of the 600 women artisans who were fully
19 Oct 2015 10:06
Artisans From Outer Islands Maximise At Expo
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with women representatives who participated at the National Women’s Expo last week.

Women from the eastern division have thanked the Government for the marketing opportunities provided to them through this year’s National Women’s Expo.
Of the 600 women artisans who were fully sponsored by the Ministry of Women, 194 were women from the Eastern Division which included, Rotuma, Lau, and Lomaiviti Group.
The Minister of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar said that reaching out to women in maritime areas remained a key priority for her ministry.
“The ministry ensures that no one is left out when it comes to providing opportunities for empowerment,” she said.
“I am pleased to say that my ministry has intensified efforts to strengthen networks with women in maritime and outer islands through its income generating and livelihood programmes, leadership trainings, financial literacy trainings, women centre projects, violence free community awareness and solar electrification projects to name a few.
“Through the ministry’s Reach Project, we will continue to increase our reach to the communities in rural and maritime zones.”
Representing the women from Gau Island, Anaseini Togoca has acknowledged the Government for its commitment to develop the women in maritime islands.
“More than 30 women from Gau Island have participated in this year’s Expo. Finding market can be a challenge for us women living on the islands. So we are lucky that Government has given us this direct marketing access. I couldn’t even believe that I have earned $1900 in just two days by selling the mats and handicrafts,” she said.
“This Expo is a great boost to the women from outer islands, for most of us, it is the first time to come out like this.
“For years, we have been waiting for an event like this, and we thank the government for making this possible for us. Not only are we able to go back home with money in our pockets, but we receive first-hand information regarding social welfare programmes, child protection and legal aid services.”
Expressing similar sentiments, representative of Rotuma Women’s Association Tue Iane said the Expo enabled women to socialise and network.
“We thank the Ministry for sponsoring us to come this far and sell our products. There are 12 of us who came to Suva, we had spent 3 days in the boat,” she said.
“Usually on the island we sell these items from door to door and to the tourists.
“This Expo has enabled us to get more money by selling our handicrafts. Each of the women made around $300 to $500 per day. We usually don’t get to receive this much income in a day, so the Expo is the only platform where we get to maximise the opportunity to sell all our products.
“We really like this Government because it recognises women’s talents and the support given to Rotuman Women’s Association and likewise to other women from eastern division is truly commendable.”



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