Australian High Commissioner Da Rin visits ITC –WEAV handicraft training at VCCI

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HC Da Rin (4th from right) with WEAV members and ITC design team during training at the VCCI

Australian High Commissioner Da Rin paid a visit to the hat weavers trained by International Trade Centre (ITC) international consultants and design team in Port Vila. VCCI has been hosting several sessions of training offered by ITC to the women in handicraft affiliated with Women’s Export Association Vanuatu (WEAV).

The hats are made for export to create income for the weavers who need to supplement their family budgets for school and health fees.

“These hats are beautiful and the world must know about them and the creative skills of the Vanuatu mothers who make them”, said Torek Farhadi, senior adviser at the Geneva based International Trade Centre, an agency of the United Nations (UN). The project is financed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as part of a Pacific Women Economic Empowerment Programme.

Empowering women through highlighting and offering their creativity and products in global markets create a new stream of income for Vanuatu through exports. It also encourages potential tourists who see these hats in high end stores abroad to visit this beautiful country and meet the weavers in person. “In the future WEAV can also offer weaving classes to visiting tourists” said Farhadi.

“Vanuatu’s handicraft is too beautiful to be overlooked” said Farhadi. With this training, we have seen that younger and older generations learning new techniques. “The mothers make the hats and the younger generation is already thinking how to market them on line”, said Serah Tari, WEAV coordinator.

High Commissioner Da Rin congratulated the Mothers for their fine work and said she looks forward to purchasing her Vanuatu hat from a store in Australia soon.