A SINGLE mother's journey from making a living as a house girl to becoming a businesswoman bears witness to government initiatives to move the underprivileged from dependency to self-sufficiency.
Baullutra Rao Kasaitar of Ba successfully completed the Department of Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation's graduation program, an initiative designed to train single mothers receiving welfare assistance to developing income-generating projects, a project that literally transformed her life.
After completing training, Ms Kasaitar was assisted by the Social Welfare Department to start a cafeteria in Ba.
"I worked as a house girl for three years and was able to earn $30 per week," she said.
"I was also dependent on monthly social welfare allowance to support my child and I.
"When my husband died, I had nowhere to go and it was then that social welfare assisted me and aided my son's education.
"Though I struggled to support my child, I had faith that one day I would have a business of my own and little did I know that in the midst of all my challenges, my dream was just about to come true."
Operating her own business, Ms Kasaitar earns between $80 and $100 a week.
"This has enabled me to stand on my own feet and now I am able to employ another lady to help me run the business. I am not only independent, I am also an employer too." Social welfare director Rupeni Fatiaki said Ms Kasaitar was one of many single mothers who were economically empowered to live independent lives.