Sewing and Elei Project Targets Low-Income Families

Display of Elei materials and clothing sewn by the Alataua i Sisifo Women.

SAVAII, 01 SEPTEMBER 2020: Forty-eight (48) women of Alataua i Sisifo district in Savaii participated in the Sewing and Elei project to improve their families livelihood.

The project was supported by the Government of Australia in partnership with the Government of Samoa through the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) under the Samoa Women Shaping Development Programme (SWSDP-Gender Fund).

The focus of this initiative was to empower women in the Alataua I Sisifo District by strengthening their capacities in sewing and Elei printing as a means of improving their livelihoods.

In addition, the project advocated gender equity with the efforts on encouraging the women’s involvement in the economic sustainability of the district.

The participants are all homemakers who despite being unemployed, their primary role is managing their households. The training provided an opportunity for the women to also establish economic independence through their contribution to financially supporting their families whilst tending to their domestic duties.

The 3 weeks-long training for the 48 participants was delayed until March this year in due to the measles and COVID-19 restrictions. The facilitators were two experienced sewers from the district who have extensive knowledge and 10 years of sewing experience.

Through the program, the participants were enabled to share ideas and work collaboratively in creating new patterns to boost their sales which provide financial support for their families and community.

Women of Alataua proudly displaying their elei and sewn clothing featuring sewing machines procured under the SWSDP Gender Fund.

“We acknowledge the funding assistance from the Government of Australia and CSSP. The grant has opened an opportunity to many of our unemployed women and youth in Alataua district to acquire sewing and elei skills to help earn extra income for their families,” said Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau, Member of Parliament for Alataua I Sisifo and coordinator of the District’s project.

The training have strengthened the unity of women in our district; it has brought them together through sharing ideas, feasting together and enjoying each other’s company and encouraging one another. The participants have testified about the impact of the training and even though many have attended similar trainings in the past but they have found this project more effective since it’s carried out by women of the district which made it easier for them to communicate and seek help when needed.

The cheerful faces of the Alataua I Sisifo women during the official closing of their project

The Women’s Committee of each village will host an exhibition to showcase their handicrafts and elei printings to strengthen their engagement and involvement in the village development to increase the sustainability of the project.

“We have decided that the main event for the whole district will take place at the end of every year to display our achievements throughout the year.” said Aliimalemanu.

The SAT$30,000 grant was made available to support this sewing and elei project for the district. The fund supports small-scale initiatives that highlight Gender Equality, and Women Empowerment, to eliminate all forms of discrimination against Women, with special recognition of the role of women in society, in terms of leadership, and their full participation in sustainable development.

The CSSP and its partners wish to congratulate the Alataua I Sisifo district for a milestone achieved in the completion of their sewing and elei project in June this year. The Alataua I Sisifo district comprises of three villages Neiafu, Falelima and Tufutafoe who benefitted from this grant.

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