Hard work pays off for association head

Rakiraki Market Vendors Association President Varanisese Maisamoa won the President's Award during the Market Vendors Association Awards Night in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

VARANISESE Maisamoa may be a familiar face in the Rarkiraki Municipal Market but she does more than what a market vendor’s job entails.

The Kadavu woman is the president of the Rakiraki Market Vendors Association and her major contribution to ensuring the growth of fellow vendors saw her scoop the president’s award at the first-ever UN Women-organised Fiji market vendors awards.

“I feel happy and great about it and I know that our sacrifices have come through,” Mrs Maisamoa said.

“I did not expect it because I don’t know how other markets operate and all I know was how my vendors operate and I am so grateful about it.

“I guess this is the result of perseverance and dedication that we vendors have always fought for and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to fight for the truth for the sake of our vendors.”

Mrs Maisamoa said being appointed president of the association was no easy ride as she had to endure battles and challenges but she had not backed down from it because she believed God put her in that place to be a voice for others.

She also acknowledged the UN Women for introducing the Markets 4 Change program which had allowed a lot of women vendors to come out of their shell and share the hardships they went through in the markets.

Meanwhile, the Lautoka Market Vendors Association won the strategic planning award, teamwork while the secretary of the year award went to association secretary Filomena O’ Neill.

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