A HIGH Impact Tourism Training (HITT) for women and girls was successfully held at Taro, Choiseul Province last week.
Fifty-six participants (50 women and girls, and 6 men) attended the three-day training workshop.
They came from Taro, Supizae, Polo, Rabakela, Sirovanga, Poroporo, Barabarakakasa, Vurango, Moli, Luimuni, Koloni, Gazakeo villages.
Apart from Choiseul, a group of 11 women and girls came all the way from Kariki village in the Shortland Islands, Western Province to attend the training.
In his keynote address during the opening ceremony held at the United Church Hall last Wednesday, the Choiseul Provincial Minister of Tourism Paul Telovae informed the participants and officials that his government welcomed the initiative taken by Green Tourism Solomon Islands Ltd and organizers at Taro to hold the training workshop for women and girls in Choiseul.
He also assured the participants that his government fully supports the development of tourism in Choiseul Province.
The training coordinator at Taro and owner of Microns Guest House Mr. Cleophas Rooney said that he was very pleased with the trainers from Green Tourism Solomon Islands Ltd finally made it to Taro although there were some hiccups that delayed the training to start by one day.
During the first day, the participants learned how to make banana cake, chocolate cake, and fish-in-lolo. The skills gained are expected to help women and girls add value to their family meals as well as for their guests.
The skills will also allow them make and sell surplus cakes and fish-in-lolo to earn extra income to support their families.
In the second day, they learned how to do icing on the cakes they made the previous day. For the rest of the day, they learned how to dye and print fabric using different colours and methods.
The skills gained are expected to help women and girls improve their homes and guesthouses with island style bed covers, pillowcases, and wall decorations. The skills will also allow them make and sell surplus materials to earn extra income to support their families.
On the third day, the participants learned how to conduct basic landscaping, arrange flowers, boutique, and wreaths designed to beautify their homes, guesthouses, church alters and halls, and decorate birthday cakes, and coffins. The skills will also allow them make and sell surplus floral to earn extra income to support their families.
Also on the third day, the workshop participants had the opportunity to listen to a presentation conducted by Green Tourism Solomon Islands Ltd about the company and the tourism products and services they offer to clients and the rates they charge for their services, followed by products demonstration.
“The workshop was really an eye-opener and a great opportunity for all of us to learn new skills and also how to add value to improve our homes in the villages”, said Mrs. Aqasea Katovae a participant from Supizae Island, Choiseul.
“I would not have gained the knowledge and skills in basic cooking, dyeing and printing, floral arrangement had I not attend the training so I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” Mrs. Mandalene Kimasaru from Taro said.
The group leader from Kariki Village, Shortland Islands Mrs. Francis Kamelea said she really appreciated the opportunity they had in attending the workshop even though they had to travel all the way from Shortland Islands.
“Our women group paid our own fares and fees just to attend the workshop because we know we will gain a lot from the workshop and use the skills to organize our fundraising activities in preparation for our United Church Centenary at Kariki in July 2015”, she said.
In May this year, Green Tourism Solomon Islands Ltd conducted the first High Impact Tourism Training workshop at Nagho-Roderick Bay in Sandfly Passage, Ngella, Central Province.
Taro was the second location it conducted the workshop this year. In both locations, the workshops had been a great success.