China empowers communities

By Aruna Lolani ,

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HELPING HAND FROM CHINA: Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, Ambassador Wang Xuefeng with government representatives and members of the Faleasiu sewing school.

HELPING HAND FROM CHINA: Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, Ambassador Wang Xuefeng with government representatives and members of the Faleasiu sewing school.

China has given the village of Faleasiu in Upolu a tremendous helping hand to develop creative crafts and their sewing skills. This is just one of the villages it is helping.

It is doing this through a Chinese government short term training project for local unemployed women; providing them with technical skills and income generation opportunities.

The initiative is also in response to the government of Samoa’s Strategy for Development 2016/17-2020/21 as well as the Community Sector Plan on empowering vulnerable women and communities.

To make this possible, China provided 80 sewing machines and other necessary equipment including scissors, rulers, cloth as well as chairs, tables and blackboards for the training programme.

The training was opened on Friday. Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Talalelei, Ambassador of China, Wang Xuefeng, government representatives and villagers attended.

Mr. Xuefeng said is made possible with the assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.

Nine volunteers from China are driving the project in Faleasi’u, Vaimoso, Lefaga, Vaimauga and Lotofaga.

GOING TO WORK: Mothers and students at the Faleasi’u sewing school.
GOING TO WORK: Mothers and students at the Faleasi’u sewing school.

“Every year, over 200 Samoan people from government departments, private sector and other organizations go to China and attend various course covering a wide range of fields including information technology, tourism, journalism, medical care, etc,” he said. 

“This is the first time that Chinese teachers and volunteers have come to Samoa to offer on-the-spot training for Samoan women and the women from the four villages are the first group of people who benefit from this kind of programme.”

 “The Chinese government attaches great importance to this programme and have sent five teachers and four interpreters to Samoa to provide professional training on handicrafts and sewing to local women.” 

“There is a Chinese saying: Women hold up half the sky, which means women play as important the role as men in the society. I have been in Samoa for almost two years and I have observed with my own eyes that Samoan women also play a very important role in all aspects of life.”

Minister Tuitama acknowledged the government of China for their help.

“We feel that we have created a very close and very strong linkage to the Chinese government. We hope that this will grow as time goes on and that we will continue to have warm friendly relationship.” 

“May I also suggest; to consider, as a result of this workshop and other workshops, maybe grant the top two students from each 20 to take a visit to China, sponsored by China, to go and see for themselves how they are doing this in China. With this request, we wish you all the best.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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