HELLEN Samo holds an Australian qualification from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in Painting and Decorating, joining the many women unveiling their potential in Solomon Islands’ trades industries.
Hellen, an APTC alumna from Malaita province, has a Certificate III level qualification in a field that is rare for Solomon Island women to explore.
She is one of 10 Solomon Island women with a qualification from APTC in painting and decorating, and aims to encourage other women in trades to take up the challenge.
An amateur who first learned the tricks of the painting and decorating trade from her uncle, Hellen decided to take her skills to another level through training at APTC in 2018.
For Hellen, much has changed when it comes to delivering skills and outputs of high standard and quality.
She says demand for her products has increased and since studying at APTC, she feels more confident about what she has produced through her newfound skills.
“I have better knowledge and skills for painting and decorating. In the past, I didn’t know the correct formula for mixing colours; but now I have that knowledge, including the different types of paints to use depending on the surface,” Hellen said.
Before encountering APTC, Hellen worked with her uncle, who like her, is also an artist and painter.
She started out helping with mixing paint and printing on T-shirts, finessing her skills as time went on.
The opportunity came when she heard about APTC from friends and on social media.
From that moment, her eagerness to learn pushed her to apply.
After being offered a place at APTC in 2018, she ventured into her studies with determination.
“Before encountering APTC, I didn’t have much knowledge about trades and lacked skills in painting but through APTC, I fully discovered my hidden talent,” she said.
For now, Hellen’s biggest priority is to gain more skills and knowledge to develop herself and her community.
For her internationally recognised qualification, Hellen is determined to make the most of her training at APTC and the opportunity given to her to study in Fiji, saying it has boosted her skills and confidence enormously.