BUYING expensive clothes from second hand clothing for Tikopian women in the Far East of the country could be a thing of the past after a month-long training on sewing organised by Ms. Freda Tuki ended successfully.
This came after the women attended a sewing training organised by their Member of Parliament (MP) Ms. Freda Tuki in Honiara recently.
“It has been a problem for us due to our remoteness from Honiara, thus clothes are very expensive once sold in our island,” says Ms. Freda.
She said Tikopian women back in the island have to work hard to support their husbands to make sure children wear clothes.
Ms. Freda says the situation is difficult for them when they send children to schools, because they have to send money over to relatives in Honiara to buy uniforms for their children.
“And this is the practice that has go on for decades now for the people back in the island to send money over to Honiara to buy not only uniforms but clothes for their families,” she remarked.
She said at the provincial headquarter, Lata clothes are very expensive.
However, to address this long persisting burden for the women there, the MP decided to organise a one month sewing training for some of the Tikopian women who reside with her in Honiara.
“Up to 10 women attend the training and successfully complete it. Most of them are permanent resident of Tikopia who never attend school since childhood,” says Ms. Tuki.
“I came up with this idea to help them so that they can sew clothes for their families once they go back to the village,” Freda Tuki told the Sunday Star.
She added that these women know nothing about education and this is why she want to help them with this training, to at least equip them with sewing skills to help them sew clothes for themselves and their families and to earn a little income from the sale of their sewn clothes.
Tuki added for so long the women of her constituency depend on second hand clothes outlets in Honiara to provide clothes for their families which is too expensive for them.
“So, I have to buy the rolls of clothing materials which they can use to sew them in whatever style for their families,” MP revealed.
Ms. Tuki, who is also the Minister for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, said she is happy with Ms. Hellen Hilli who came to train the women at her residence in Honiara.
Ms. Hilli then said the month-long sewing training is just the beginning of more training to come.
“We will continue to provide more training for women in the future,” she assured.
She went on to thank the MP for Temotu Vatud for engaging her to train women in her constituency, who are now able to sew their own clothes.
Moreover, Ms. Tuki said she is happy with the women since she can learn from them after the training that enable them to sew beautiful dress and skirts for themselves.
“This is a real breakthrough that I am happy with, even though the women never attend formal education what they learn during the training helps them with the skills to contribute to their families, communities and the their country.
“Clothes they wore now are samples of what they have learnt so far,” boasted the MP.
“Like I said it is much cheaper for them to make their own clothes rather than going to buy from the second-hand outlets that is too expensive for our rural women,” she reiterated.
She said her aim is to improve the skills of these women to sew their own cloths and this is just the beginning since there are more training to come to educate the rural women.
Minister Tuki further revealed that she had bought sewing machines and calico rolls for the women to help themselves sew their own dresses, skirts and pants.
By LESLEY SANGA