A group of mothers from Eratap and Teouma have revived their skills to be able to produce handicrafts that will enable them afford their children’s school fees.
A sewing and painting workshop which took place for three days, ended yesterday (Wednesday) with a showcase of creative painting of T-shirts and island dresses, as finished products that were sewn by the participants under the coordination of Ruth Makikon and Dana Gerke of the Open Door Foundation.
Ms Gerke conveyed that one of the goal of the Open Door Foundation was to support predominantly education for children in the South Pacific and is predominantly focused on Vanuatu.
“We are currently working with the communities of West Ambae and Eratap on Efate, based at the Eratap Etariu Kindergarten,” she said.
“We are promoting education at the same time find avenues to train the local women to able to do something to earn money that will help them afford and support their children in school.”
Ms Gerke said that there will be other workshops in 2019 that will include men and the Open Door Foundation is looking forward to sharing more ideas and skills to improve the livelihood of people living in the rural areas.
“We have workshops that target women, men and youth in the rural areas and are mostly considered displace so we trying to provide a space for them to talk and share ideas that will not only bring income but also sustain their livelihood,” she said.
“The workshop is not exclusive thus we have women from Teouma and a few from Freswota who have come all the way to Eratap to attend the workshop -they are amazing and they have skills that only need reviving and recognition.”
Workshop Coordinator on site, Makikon said that there was progress in participation compared to the last workshop in 2017.
“We are engaging women to use their natural creativity to produce these colorful products,” she said. “We have a grant approved by the Government of New Zealand that is used to purchase three hand machines and one electric sewing machine that the women can use for sewing.
“We have a total of 22 children attending Kindy here and they will be able to keep them in school, we have encouraged their mothers to attend this workshop to learn and upgrade their sewing and painting schools so they earn money and sustain their homes and community.”
The Open Door Foundation has collaborated with the Department of Education, Department of Agriculture and Shefa Tourism in initiatives to aid the rural communities.