More women from Tina River catchment communities are attending a four-day life-skills which commenced on Tuesday at Mataruka village. A total of 35 women from Malatoha and Belaha in Central Guadalcanal will take part in training which forms a part of the Gender Action Plan (GAP) for the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP).
In the rural communities of Solomon Island, women often struggle with limited job opportunities. To address this, GAP is providing resources and up-skilling women to help earn a modest living and help financially support their family.
Much like the GAP training provided to 90 women in 2020, this GAP training will cover a range of life-skills modules that will aim to teach essential skills in a hands-on training environment.
The training will focus on similar skills, delivering a mix of livelihood and entrepreneurial activities that can translate into money making opportunities for rural participants. The courses will cover areas such as a basic introduction to sewing, tie-dying, coral printing, floral arrangement and an introduction to basic hygiene and baking.
Gender-Community Liaison Officer for TRHDP, Helen Dolaiano says the communities are very grateful and excited to have an opportunity to participate in the life-skills training.
“We have always had a great turn out and very positive interaction from women with this type training. They see real value by way of practicing and building on their skills, with the guidance of experienced and qualified facilitators,” she said.
Merrilyn Tuna of the Belaha Women’s Association said she is happy for more training for local women. “I am looking forward to learn more from this life-skills training and happy to return to share the knowledge learnt to members of our Association. As a mother that is involved in daily marketing in my community especially schools, this training will be beneficial for us and our families in the long run," Mrs Tuna stated.
Sungina Women’s Fellowship representative, Pricilla Salani also shared similar sentiments.
“I hope to return and pass on the knowledge to our women in rural Sungina. This lifeskills training is the first of its kind for the women of Malatoha. As beneficiaries of the Tina Hydro Project, the women in my community are also looking forward to benefit from such a training that will make a difference in their lives,” Mrs Salani added.
Rural women and girls play a key role in the development of their society and the Gender Action Plan encourages women and girls in Tina catchment communities to be a part of this change.
The Tina River Hydropower Gender Action Plan (GAP) Program, which has been running since 2019, has positively impacted over a hundred people through training and skill development, investing in the lives of rural women and girls.
GAP is an ongoing program facilitated through the Project Office of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE).
In 2020, over 90 women participated in the first lifeskills training program with many going on to use their newly acquired skills to start small businesses.