It’s a brave call to ask members of a Village Women’s Committee to work towards ensuring that by the end of the year, every family in the village should have a vehicle.
But the Women’s Committee of Asau has done it and they celebrated the achievement on Tuesday.
The brain behind the initiative is Utaga Mu’a. She understood the value of a car to the development of each family and it is why she pushed for it at the start of 2017.
But it met some resistance.
“It wasn’t easy,” she said. “Concerns were that the cost of a vehicle is too expensive as we all know some families could not afford to buy one pound of sugar because there is no money.”
But Ms. Mu’a encouraged them. During a second meeting, another member of the Committee, Teleasau, raised the issue.
This time the idea was supported and the rest is history.
“We have 27 extended families in our village. Four families did not participate because they do not have a family member in the Asau Village Women Committee, which left only 23 families involved in the project.”
Ms. Mu’a said she was very happy with the end result.
Sixty-seven vehicles were counted.
“This reflects that every family can afford to do greater things for their own families despite the high cost of living.”
The vehicles were paraded at Sināfanani where a special service was held on Boxing Day.
The whole village was invited, said Ms. Mu’a.
“I would also want to thank the Honourable Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi for allowing so many vehicles into the country which has given the variety of selection to our people to buy their own car from different car dealers within the country,” she said.
And with every family in Asau now having a vehicle of their own, Ms. Mu’a said: “It helps a lot to transport the elderly to church, hospital or even go for a ride around the island.”
Away from vehicles, Ms. Mu’a urged the Prime Minister to set up a company in Samoa that can build wheelchairs because it is much needed by the old people.
This is not the first project by the Women’s Committee. In 2015, the goal was for every family to build stronger brick houses.
“If you drive around Asau, you will notice that there are no more timber houses but only brick houses,” said Ms. Mu’a.
Come next year, they will set another target.
Ms. Mu’a wouldn’t say what that is. Only time will tell.