Koro Island women turn trash to cash
Women on Koro Island are picking the pieces of debris scattered by Tropical Cyclone Winston and turning it into cash. The programme, spearheaded by the Integrated Human Resources Development Programme (IHRDP) and funded by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is meant for women to be able to use any recourse to its maximum advantage. The IHRDP has identified weaving as one of the key aspects for women who can do more than meets the eye for fast returns of cash from leftovers.
Strips of pandanus leaves, once discarded during the years of abundance can be churned to create the most beautiful decoration, the most unique purses and clutch folder holders commonly used at workshops. At a time where the scars left by the ‘Monster Storm’, is still evident, weaving has given these women and girls a sense of hope knowing that not all is quite lost in tradition.
Sixteen-year-old student of Koro High School, Siteri Navunidakua, was earnest while weaving flower patterns and purses. “I knew how to weave mats, but this programme has given me an advantage to add other items to the mats woven by women in the village,” Siteri said.
“I am now looking at this initiative as a cash earner for me in the future.” Year Eight student of Navaga Village, Marica Valata, said she left all her designated holiday chores just to attend the workshop at her village on Saturday afternoon. “My mother knows how to weave, but I will surprise her now,” she said. Meanwhile, 13 villages on Koro Island have been identified for relocation plans, except Vatulele Village, considered to be a safe haven against threats from storms, big storm surges and tsunamis. Edited by Naisa Koroi
Aditui Turauni carries niece, Adi Tukana Buluwalenaui, in front of their tent erected on the foundation of their home which was wrecked during Tropical Cyclone