Expo an eye-opener for Levuka women

Twenty-seven women from villages in Levuka wore matching bright green sulu as they gathered for the women’s expo at the Vodafone Arena on Wednesday.

“The Ministry of Women wanted us to wear purple and green as those are colours that symbolise being free and alive, they represent the trees and leaves that we make our handicrafts with,” Sera Bainikea, a women’s co-ordinator said.

Ms Bainikea has been the women’s co-ordinator for six different villages in Levuka for the past two years.

“Every month I go to the villages and encourage the women to make handicraft items to help provide for their husbands and children, ” she explained.

As this was the first women’s expo, Ms Bainikea was surprised with how much she had experienced.

“I thought my group was very experienced, but when I came here I realised that some of the crafts are even better than I imagined,” she said.

“I have been able to learn new skills including different ways to make mats. Instead of buying wool there are ways to make them using resources from trees.”

“We have sold some items today, but expect to make most of our sales on Thursday (yesterday) and Friday (today).”

Ms Bainikea’s village got involved when they received a letter from the Ministry of Women.

“We registered under the Ministry of Women’s club, they then sent us a letter and encouraged us to show our handicrafts at the expo,” She said.

“If we would have stayed in Levuka we wouldn’t have realised how many different kinds of handicraft there were, so I’m glad we got together with other women to experience this.”

The arena will be open until today with women from villages all over the Pacific selling their handicraft items.

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