Empowering women through employment and education

The Women’s Empowerment project is implemented in rural villages across Samoa (Savaii, Manono and Upolu Islands) to encourage women to initiate income generating activities through sewing and elei making. And to raise awareness on basic health, child protection and other social issues.

Clothes hanging in Samoa

About the program

In Samoa, women are seen as the family’s ‘seed planters’. This project aims to provide opportunities for women so they can learn new ideas to cope with life and expose them to new techniques or methods to improve their standard of living.

Caritas Samoa HQ in a converted shipping container

Caritas Australia’s partner, Caritas Samoa, begun the Women’s Empowerment project not long after the 2009 Tsunami struck the country. In many communities it was the women who pioneered the clean up and the rebuilding, not only of the physical space but the communities spirit as well.

This project focuses on building the capacity of women in Samoa in remote and rural settings to earn a livelihood to increase the resilience of rural families, contribute to the wider community safety through provision of water tanks, and build their knowledge on basic health and wellbeing for themselves and their families.

As part of the project:

  • 15 women’s groups across Upolu, Savaii and Manono islands have undergone sewing, elei printing and flower arrangement training. As part of this activity, information on child protection, breastfeeding and other social issues have been disseminated and discussed.
  • 5 communities have been identified to build piggeries and access training on how to look after, breed and sell the animals.
  • 10 water tanks have been installed in community spaces.

Program details

  • Issues: Women and development; Water and sanitation
  • Partner Agency: Caritas Samoa
  • Funding in 2014/15 financial year: AU $55,000
  • Geographic location: Across Samoa
  • When established: 2010