MORE than 40 market vendor representatives from Auki, Gizo and Honiara central market vendors associations have gathered in Honiara for the three-day inaugural Solomon Islands Market Vendors’ Association (MVA) forum which begins today.
Since the establishment of these MVAs through UN Women Markets for Change (M4C) Project, this will be first time that Market Vendor representatives from the different provinces will gather to network and empower each other through sharing and learning.
The forum, also organised by UN Women Markets for Change (M4C) Project will focused on the theme ‘Let’s Talk Markets for Change: Empowering through learning, sharing and teambuilding’ with the aim to strengthen existing MVAs by providing a platform for open discussion and learning. It also aims to create an opportunity to reflect and express challenges faced by and successes of the MVAs.
“We see that the Associations are really unique, each with their own strengths. Through the Forum, MVA executive members will learn from their counter-parts in other provinces as well as receive technical and strategic support from M4C staff,” said Markets for Change Program Manager – Solomon Islands, Ms Kristy Nowland.
Nowland further commented that “They will reflect on the status of their respective MVAs and identify areas for improvement”.
Issues that market vendors will discuss includes MVA updates, achievements and challenges. They will also have the opportunity to listen to presentations and discussions from other NGOs and government partners.
“I’m looking to meet and learn from other market vendor leaders from Auki and Honiara Central Market Vendors Associations. For me personally, because we (Gizo Market Vendors Association) are very new, I look forward to learning from HCMVA and AMVA sharing so that we can strengthen our work with GMVA and our members,” Gizo Market Vendors Association President, Ms Lauretta Nasala.
UN Women’s M4C project is a multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
A UN Women project, M4C is principally funded by the Australian Government, and since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada. UNDP is a project partner.