Women in Gizo and surrounding island communities have celebrated a historic launch of their savings clubs over the weekend.
The one day programme that was held in Gizo brought together more than 300 women who have participated in various activities to celebrate the first six months of their savings clubs initiative.
Dr Alice Pollard who was the key speaker during the program told the women a new baby daughter has been given birth to therefore this baby has to be taken care of and fed properly to ensure the baby grows up to be a healthy and smart little girl.
Dr Pollard whilst congratulating the clubs such as Gizo Environment Livelihood Conservation Association (GELCA) and Nusatuva Environment Conservation and Development Association (NECDA), said the establishment of the clubs is like a mother giving birth to a new child.
“As mothers, we have to nature, fed and take good care of this child to grow strong and healthy. In the same manner that is what all women must treat this savings club. Women during labour a familiar word during giving birth is push. If women can push to deliver their child, I believe you can push to grow GELCA and NECDA to be a strong healthy child.
“I therefore encourage all our good women now that we have given birth to this baby daughter (savings club), we just need to continue to push and move forward,” Dr Pollard said.
She said creating such initiative gives rural women the opportunity to learn and enable them to make savings easier than going to the banks.
Adding, such savings club is like bringing the bank to the footsteps of rural women of which they have the confidence and courage to save than going to the banks.
Dr Pollard further stressed that economic empowerment of women can be achieved through such home grown financial initiative that improve and changes lives for the better.
Meanwhile director of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia Ghislaine (Gilly) Llewellyn expressed how proud they are to support the women’s financial inclusive initiative in Gizo and Nusatuva communities.
She said this is to encourage women to participate in micro-finance and give them skills to engage in banking, loans, savings and business development.
Ms Llewellyn said WWF is proud to see such an initiative having positive impacts on the lives of women and to provide economic empowerment of women.
Assuring the women of WWF, Australian Aid and John West’s support towards the program and expect all women to take responsibility to look after the initiative as it grows into the future.
Adding, every woman of GELCA and NECDA should be celebrating because the seed that was planted and natured over the years have grown and making positive impacts on the lives of women.
Meanwhile the launching celebration marked the partnership between WWF and members of women savings club of GELCA and NECDA which started a year ago.
By Daniel Namosuaia