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Empowering Rural Women In East Choiseul Constituency Towards Self-reliance

More than 300 women from East Choiseul Constituency (ECC) have successfully completed their two-week of intensive life-skills training on 27 June 2023 at the ECC Development Centre in Kerepangara Ward 15, Choiseul Province.

The training on sewing, sewing machine troubleshooting, bakery, floral and other important life-skills training for mother and girls was facilitated by Madam Emmy Sogavare through ECC Office with funding support from the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).

Described as the first ever big event for women in the constituency, ECC Women’s Coordinator Joy Madada said the training will have a lasting impact on the lives of women in ECC.

Women from Turuana to Rokoso attended the training which aimed at empowering and encouraging rural women in the constituency to be self-reliant in their communities and also help improves their livelihood.

“Without the support of Madam Emmy Sogavare, our Member of Parliament and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the ECC office this training would not be possible,” Ms Madada said.

She also expressed profound gratitude to PRC through its Embassy Office in Honiara for the funding support and also for supporting their rural women life-skills with the donation of the equipment sets.

The highlight of the event was the donation of eight (8) brand new 40 horsepower Yamaha Outboard Motor Engines (OBMs) with each fibreglass boats, more than 30 new sawing machines and more than 30 new second-hand cloth bales officially handed over by Mr. Ding Yonghua, Minister-Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in Solomon Islands to the women groups in the constituency.

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Mr Ding also witnessed how ECC women utilised the funding provided by PRC to train their rural women during the handing over ceremony.

Madam Sogavare who was very instrumental in seeking additional funds for the training also acknowledged Mr. Ding and his office – PRC Embassy for the generous support.

“One of the existing problems faced by our rural women in ECC is transportation.

“Over the years our women used mostly dugout canoes as the means of transportation. In some communities’ women uses dugout canoes to go to their gardens, transport their children to schools and sick people to clinics.

“They have risked their lives traveling in these dugout canoes during bad weather. But today thank you PRC for supporting our rural women in ECC with these new OBMs & boats which will make transportation fast and more efficient for our rural women,” Madam Sogavare said.

Recipients of these transport assets are different women groups representing their communities from the four (4) wards in ECC.

Other women's group also received their brand-new sawing machines under life-skills initiative (income generation) to start up their sewing business and training in their various communities.

Madam Sogavare also helped to pull together a very experience team of facilitators to facilitate the trainings.

Meanwhile, ECC Constituency Development Officer (CDO) Collin Bemama Qalokisa in his remarks during the official closing program on 27 June, said apart from other sectors/programs supported by PRC in the constituency, this was the first ever women program that is funded by PRC under its rural development assistance.

Mr Qalokisa thanked PRC for its continuous support towards rural development in the country and more especially towards rural women programs in East Choiseul Constituency.

“ECC Development Center also known as Kumanibae was established in the early 2000 and slowly grows to what it is today and thank you PRC for your most valued support to our constituency.

“This is the administration center of East Choiseul Constituency Developments and it is also our distributing center and a place we provide trainings for our constituents,”Mr Qalokisa said.

He also acknowledged PRC for its lavish support towards ECC community development programs and its education sector since 2019. ECC have received $SBD4 million worth of support to our constituency budget from PRC since 2019 and we are grateful for that.

“On behalf of our Member of Parliament and Prime Minister Sogavare and the people of ECC we thank you indeed for supporting our rural women and girls,” CDO Qalokisa told Mr. Ding of PRC and Mr. Gua Hao the PRC Embassy Attache’ who attended the closing program.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Dr Samson Viulu congratulated ECC and their rural women and girls for the successful completion of their trainings and believe that, they will go back to their various communities and make a difference to improve the livelihood of their families and the community as whole.

MRD’s vision is to ensure all rural Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.

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