Twenty-one women across Fiji’s Southern Division participated in the OFC’s Women’s Capacity Building Programme workshop from March 30-31 in Vatuwaqa.

The aim of the programme is to develop personal and professional skills of women in Pacific Island communities who are interested in working or volunteering in football.

The two-day event was facilitated by Lavenia Yolovi, Vani Buadromo, Maraia Waqairatavo and consisted of representatives from Navua, Lami, Suva, Nasinu, Rewa, Tailevu  Naitasiri and Tailevu North.

Fiji Football Association (Fiji FA) board member Susan Wise was also present alongside the organisation’s technical staff and the OFC Just Play team.

Participant Filomena Liki said she left the workshop empowered.

“It provided me with time to reflect on myself, my family and leadership role in the community,” she said.

“While I’m currently unemployed, it was motivating to know that there are other employment options for me.”

Laisani Matele acknowledged how the activities helped her identify areas she needed to improve on.

“In terms of my leadership, I’ve learned how to delegate responsibilities to ease pressure on myself,” she said.

“It also showed me different ways to balance my family, work and personal life.”

Fiji FA Media Officer Avikash Chand said the style of workshop is beneficial for women’s development.

“To specifically have a capacity building workshop for women and facilitated by females is a blessing in itself,” Chand said.

“The atmosphere of the event has allowed the group to share, laugh and openly express in a safe environment, while learning how they can best contribute to girls’ development in life through football.

“We would like to thank the OFC and Women’s Football Development Officer Emma Evans for supporting us with this initiative.”