Resilient mothers in Fiji set a new path for themselves. - Mary MacKillop Today

Resilient mothers in Fiji set a new path for themselves.

In a rural community in Fiji, a group of single mothers experiencing mental health challenges struggled to create a better life for themselves and their children. Their lives had been marked by obstacles. Burdened with the sole responsibility of raising children with no tangible skills or access to employment themselves, these women were desperate for change.

Picture of Participant of Economic Empowerment Project
Participant of Economic Empowerment Project

Generous people like you are helping to provide an opportunity to change the path these women face.

One of our newest projects in Fiji is the Economic Empowerment Project, led by our local partner, Psychiatric Survivors Association. This project aims to help people who are living with mental health issues and are in vulnerable situations, create financial independence and a better economic future for their families.

Women who participate in this project gain tangible skills like:

  • Basket weaving
  • Mat weaving
  • Making wreaths for functions
  • Jewellery making
  • Fabric art printing

Among the many skills introduced, one has resonated deeply with the group – the art of weaving traditional Fijian baskets. Rooted in centuries-old tradition, the craft speaks to their cultural heritage, offering a tangible connection to the land and its people. As they weave, they create opportunities to rewrite the trajectory of their own stories. For these women, the journey does not end with the completion of the training program.

With these new skills, many women have gone on to start their own businesses, providing an income for themselves and their children. Some women, especially those who weave baskets and mats, have come together to sell their products, and earn an income collaboratively. Others have started their own screen printing and jewellery-making businesses.

Under the guidance of skilled instructors, the women have gained a range of new skills and knowledge. As part of this project, women have also been provided psychosocial support. They’ve learnt about the importance of mental health, emotional regulatory skills, and coping mechanisms to help them handle the stress of day-to-day life.

For the incredibly resilient Fijian women involved, being a part of this project has done more than just provide new skills and a way to provide for themselves. It has become a safe space. It has become a place of reflection, community, and life-changing transformation.

This is just one example of the impact your kind partnership has on the lives of people in need around the world. Our work at Mary MacKillop Today simply would not be possible without you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

If you’d like to support more inspiring communities like these, please partner with us and donate now.