Raising capital is very difficult for women at Mangaliliu village where they struggle every day carrying market produce in wheelbarrows from their village up to the road market near the main road at the top of the hill.

They do not have enough money to access the main market in town.

It was not safe when they were doing business outdoor. Two of them were admitted at the hospital with injuries- one with a broken leg, few years ago when the market fell on them in an accident.

Since then, they have been selling with fear, one of the vendors, Lily Kalotiti has stressed. Mangaliliu is a 40 minutes drive to Port Vila.

Providing a much bigger, safer and impartial environment for the local women was the idea for some generous individuals who instigated the establishment of a new market house.

Jeff Bryne, a long-time resident from Australia in Vanuatu and his family, Rebecca Olul and Karen Roberts who worked for the UN Women program before, voluntarily offered assistance for these low-income families. They helped secure over Vt3 million in a wheelbarrow push before cyclone Pam.

With the support of builder Bramley and his team, and major sponsors such as Kiwanis, Ridgeway Blake, Wilco, Law Partners, Klem Craig, Rotary and the Bank of the South Pacific (BSP), the women of Mangaliliu are accommodated in the new building starting yesterday (Monday).

A launching ceremony held last Saturday was attended by the Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu and MP for North Efate, Gillion William.

The donors were applauded for recognising the need of the community. While MP William told the women to make good use of the market, he also urged community leaders to take good care of it.

The new building will accommodate women selling cooked food, produce and handicrafts. BSP and Rotary also partnered to supply a water tank. READ MORE