Twenty out of twenty-four women graduated from the 12 week training and work experience programme, Salamasina-Tausala o Samoa this month. The attendance of Samoa’s Prime Minister Hon.Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi at the graduation ceremony was not only a highlight for the participants, but also shows something of the esteem in which the programme is held.
Salamasina-Tausala o Samoa is a capability building initiative that grows the skills and knowledge that unemployed Samoan women possess and are already applying to everyday tasks (for example housekeeping, cooking, childcare and basic safety), but enables them to deliver professional domestic services for which they get paid. The training combines practical skills with teachings on the ILO Domestic Workers convention (which includes human rights and gender issues). Of the twenty graduates, six have already secured employment as domestic workers in hotels or in private homes.
Barbara Williams, Director of the International Development Group’s Pacific Division was at the ceremony. She said it was particularly apt that the graduation took place at Papauta Girls College, a Congregational Church school for girls, where the students entertained the guests with singing and dancing, as successes were celebrated.
““This training was funded by AusAID through the Pacific Leadership Programme, and was delivered by an impressive group of Samoan women community leaders. Various projects targetting women’s leadership are being supported throughout the Pacific through the Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership programme managed by the American NGO Vital Voices. The role of New Zealand Aid programme Head, Amanda Ellis, who has been particularly instrumental in promoting the programme, was warmly acknowledged by the leaders of Salamasina-Tausala o Samoa”, she added.
Salamasina-Tausala o Samoa is part of the Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership Programme, supported by New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the World Bank. It is building women’s economic empowerment and leadership capacity in 12 Pacific countries, including Tonga, Nauru, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Niue and Cook Islands, through improving women’s formal labour force participation, increasing opportunties in entrepreneurship, and increasing younger Pacific women’s leadership prospects. The New Zealand Aid Programme has contributed US$800,000 to the Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership Programme so far, and AUD$25,000 to Salamasina-Tausala o Samoa through Vital Voices.