Waisomo Village Women’s Group (aka Naibati Women’s Club), based in Kadavu, comprises of around 50 members from rural and urban areas. The club is involved in several projects, including running a mini bowser, selling fishing gear and operating a credit facility for members. Individually, the members sell mats and fabric art locally to earn money. The urban members of the club assist the group through advisory roles and financial support for implementing projects. The club’s mission is to explore women’s potential through income generating projects to alleviate poverty and to elevate women’s leadership roles and economic status in the community.
Project date: 9 months (October 2020 – June 2021)
Grant: FJD 17,000 Focus area: Strengthening leadership, livelihoods and networks
According to the Waisomo Women’s Club, women in their community are often isolated and lack capacity development opportunities. Due to their isolation, the community has limited access to information and empowerment opportunities and government services are based in Vunisea which is quite a distance from Tuvuki where the club is located. Getting to Vunisea can cost around $120-$140.00 per trip and without a steady source of income, the women are unable to afford regular trips to take up opportunities available for women in Kadavu. While the women of Waisomo have three small scale income generating projects, without much guidance and financial literacy knowledge, they are unable to grow these businesses to its full potential. These challenges have forced many families move to Viti Levu or to send their children to live with families in Suva for further education.
The women are also concerned that their lack of written and collectively approved governance rules may affect the sustainability of the club. They would like to develop of governance structures and a better understanding of the roles of various club positions held by the members. They also hope to develop and sustain livelihood opportunities for women in the village, disaster preparedness and mitigation and also foster networks with stakeholders in Kadavu and Suva. The club also hopes to collaborate with civil society organisations and relevant government departments to implement this project.
The club will begin by supporting its members with financial literacy and leadership workshops.