There was a confident smile from a survivor of violence and a former resident of the Campus of Hope shelter facility, as she serves the Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and delegation from New Zealand earlier this week.
The event was a market space organized by the Maua App, for the local artists to showcase the creativity their products.
Amongst the stall operators was a young woman survivor of violence, who sought refuge with the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) ten years ago.
With confidence, our young survivor walked the Hastings delegation through the Nofotane stall, comprised of colorful work of arts, woven and carved by the women survivors of violence under the Economic Empowerment Program by the SVSG
With confidence, she became the voice of the empowered nofotane women survivors of violence, which is her contribution towards changing the narrative on women’s participation and recognition in community matters.
Nofotane women referred to married women who live with their husbands in their husband’s family, often bearing a lower status within the traditional hierarchy.
Through the economic empowerment program by SVSG, unemployed women survivors of violence have become breadwinners in their families, their voices are heard, and their contributions in family and village matters are recognized.
Amongst the dedicated women involved in the Nofotane program and is volunteering at the Nofotane Shop as a shop assistance, is our girl survivor herseslf.
With a confident smile, she expressed her appreciation of the opportunity to be part of the women’s empowerment journey, stating, “It is worth it. This collection, handcrafted by the Nofotane women, not only reflects the beauty of a woman’s heart but also showcases their exceptional craftsmanship.”
“Recognizing the challenges encountered during the creative process, she adds, “Weaving, painting, and other tasks involved in crafting these pieces demand great skill and effort. However, the end result is truly exquisite and of the highest quality. Nofotane women are resilient and hardworking, going to great lengths to ensure the well-being of their children and family.”
According to the SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, “The survivor’s message resonates strongly that every Nofotane women’s products possesses uniqueness in the stories of hardship and perverance behind them. At SVSG, we promote the empowered women’s story of change, as much as the beautiful products resulted from their creativity.”
While the booth was a temporary display at the Samoa Tourism Fale and Cultural Village Ground, the main Nofotane Shop is located within the SVSG office in Apia. Visitors are invited to support the Nofotane women’s initiative by visiting the Nofotane Shop and exploring the range of exquisite handcrafted products.