Thursday, March 1, 2012

Portrait of a Sistas Savve Graduate

“Before I took part in Sistas Savve, I was afraid to speak up. But now I know that I’m free to talk to anybody.” Tina Ronson is 28 years old and the mother of two children – Wisdom and Zedey. She was a part of the Sistas Savve pilot programme, which ran in 2011 and worked with Kofiloko Community in Honiara, Solomon Islands. She gave birth to her youngest child, Zedey, during the 10-week programme, but returned to the training sessions only three days later. She even named Zedey after a Sistas Savve staff member.

Tina has no doubt that Sistas Savve has had a big impact on her life. Not just on herself, but on her children, parents, and community. Following the training, Tina has found the strength to leave an abusive relationship, and is now supporting her children and parents with the income she makes weaving baskets and making banana chips – two skills she learned during the course of the programme. “I sell the baskets for SI$40-50 (NZ$7), and bags of banana chips for $SI12 (NZ$2) around my community ”  Tina says. “If it weren’t for Sistas Savve, I would look only to my prayers for comfort.” 

Tina’s story  is a concrete example of how empowering a young women, while creating spillover effects for her family and community, has the ability to catalyze sustainable business opportunities in developing countries.

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