The program involved sharing of gifts, as well as learning and interacting amongst women from the Haunasi community and their village folks who are based in Honiara.
The theme of the event was “Strong women lift each other up”.
Around 60 women participated during the three-day program.
The program started on a cool breeze Saturday morning at around 5am of June 11th, when 30 women from Haunasi village, Maramasike Passage; South Malaita, set foot at the Honiara wharf.
They brought with them local items and foods such as yams, sea food/shells, pigs, shell money, woven baskets as gifts to exchange with the Haunasi women who were based in Honiara.
In return, Honiara-based Haunasi women prepared goods such as kitchen utensils, beddings and other basic goods which are aimed at assisting the upbringing of the livelihood for the women in the community.
Upon their arrival, the Honiara-based Haunasi women received them warmly at the Honiara wharf and later hosted a welcome meal for them.
On the 12thof June, the activities of the second day occurred at Piaru Beach, west Guadalcanal, in a more natural setting.
There were various guest speakers who gave inspirational talks and advices to the women and also present were men, youths and children.
Kama Darcy Tupou, an educationist, spoke about the importance of both formal and informal education.
She highlighted that mothers are the first teachers in their respective homes, ensuring that their children are well nurtured in order to excel in education.
Ms Tupou also stressed that even though children are not successful in formal education or sector, they can still use their hands and brains to become self-reliance.
Rachel Masiha, another guest speaker, brought to the fore that as individuals,everyone must be able to support our women spiritually, physically, financially, socially, emotionally and culturally, to give them courage and confidence to step out of the misery or predicaments and lead a life of peace with men.
Grace Konia gave words of encouragement by stating that “women must respect themselves and will be capable of doing many things given if they have the courage”.
Ms Konia added: “Women are also the candle light and flower that blossoms or the mirrors that reflects.”
The other guest speaker Chris Apairamo, a Haunasi elder catechist, encouraged women to submit to their husbands as life these days is challenging.
He also echoed the same advice to husbands.
One of the representatives from the Haunasi men, Sammy Awasi, also delivered his speech in acknowledging the importance and presence of women in the family.
During the event, the Haunasi women performed a drama showcasing the role of being a mother.
The Word “MOTHER” stands for Monitor, Organiser, Teacher, Helper, Educator and Responsible.
These words summarised well the role of mothers and it was certainly an eye-opener for women in understanding the reality of motherhood.
Entertainments followed by and then concluded with a delicious meal, shared together by everyone as one big happy Haunasi family.
The program ended at Maria & Collin Ruqebatu’s residence at Tasahe, with the Haunasi women and the Haunasi Honiara-based women exchanging gifts to each other.
Also the Honiara-based Haunasi women contributed $8,480 to the Haunasi women’s group. Singing band.
A thanks giving prayer ended the successful friendship exchange program.
– By Margaret Ruqebatu