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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
PMU to implement socio-economic strengthening programme in Solomon Islands
Rolland Gito
March 27, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] The Provincial Mothers Union office this year is undertaking a major socio-economic strengthening and capacity building project for its members in the dioceses in Solomon Islands.

President of the Mothers Union Mrs. Ethel Suri said the initiative is aimed at providing training in the areas of leadership, business management, and small-scale agriculture production and sewing.

She said it is an important initiative especially in assisting women members in the dioceses to become independent, creative and strategic.

It was felt that at the highest level of the diocese, problems have been around effective leadership and management of the diocese to become proactive to facilitate enough capacity for its diocese.

While much has been done, there is still room for improvements. As such the training will help to improve communication skills, develop awareness for communication and action; leaders will be able to generate visions, goals, strategies and actions for initiatives.

Mrs. Suri added that the dioceses have demanded too much from its members concerning finances to support on-going activities. This have resulted in members starting small income generating activities such as clothe dying, poultry, piggery, floral arts and sewing but with lack of basic knowledge on business trainings. Moreover members lack innovative ideas to fully utilize their group accounts for the benefit of the group.

With the programmes set for this year under this initiative her office is hoping to overcome these challenges.

While the dioceses will mostly be engaged in sewing, diocese of Central Melanesia and Ysabel will also involve in additional projects.Central Melanesia will be doing honeybee farming while Ysabel will be piloting the kava growing and production for its women.

Mrs. Suri said this is a one year project with funding coming from the Micro Project Programme of the European Union. The total cost for the project is $162,125.00.