Finding independence through hardship

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BY ELLISON VAHI

HAVING felt bad to depend on relatives to assist them and their children, as they to have a lot of their own problems to deal with, is where many people throughout Honiara and out in the provinces, would find ways to generate money by using skills that they have or skills they acquired through workshops.

Despite losing her husband many years ago and having felt bad to depend on relatives to assist her, Mrs Rosalie, through her hard work full of determination and trust to herself, Sasali is now one amongst the very hard working women’s, though having no formal job but is really sup portative in assisting her children as well for herself.

Mrs Rose Sasali, who comes from Small Malaita, Malaita Province said she started her business when she became a member of SIWBA (Solomon Islands Women in Business Association).

Mrs Sasali lost her husband many years ago, and without any financial help, she began to attend workshops and trainings organized through SIWBA.

“I went to all the trainings on offer because it was free for members, I learnt how to dye cloths such as lava lava print, print t-shirt to sewing dresses, to hand made necklaces, ear rings, and false flowers made of plastic foam, and bangles.

“I started by selling to friends and family, they became popular, so I built the courage to go out to the market as a vendor, the sales really encouraged me.”

Mrs. Sasali said that she used to be shy selling to tourists but “they have been very supportive, always curious to know more about my craft and myself.”

Mrs. Sasali started building her own network of suppliers, sourcing from trusted individuals, and from the provinces where some of the raw materials such as shells were a lot cheaper.

“I had to really teach myself everything, because it is more than just being able to make handicraft, I had to also understand the business side of it.

“You have to smile even though things are hard, you have to build good relations with people you depend on for supply of what you need, that is all very important.”

Mrs. Sasali says that while her initial motivation was to support her children and grandchildren she now sees it as a business, “so I try to teach myself the business side of things every day and whilst, it has been fun and very rewarding.”

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