Purses for Change

All proceeds of the sale of these purses will go back to the women involved.

Read Pacific is eager to share the beautiful story of the Vanuatu women who weave these unique purses from recycled materials to pay for their children’s school fees. 

Stelline Tari is one of these women.  She is unemployed and lives in a rural village near Teouma on the island of Éfaté.  She first started selling her purses at the local handicraft haos a few years ago.  The money she has raised has helped fund her two children’s primary school fees to keep them in education.

Each purse is totally unique, handcrafted using recycled materials.  Materials are sourced, cleaned, dried, measured, cut, and weaved together, mimicking the traditional methods of weaving handicraft, but with recycled materials instead of plants.  The weaving takes around an hour per purse and the only sourced component is the zip which is then sewn into the purse.  Every purse is colourful and completely unique.

Purses for Change is a small but growing movement, empowering women by giving them the ability to earn an income and invest in their children.  Nettie Viranamanga has organised a further three women in the Tagabe community to make the purses; Dorothy, Lucy and Daphane, with all earnings being used to pay for their children’s education and other essential household goods.  School fees are a major outlay for many families in Vanuatu and the women are looking for more orders to sell the purses, which are affordable and fun for everyone.

In a country that has been devastated by the economic impacts of Covid-19, these women have found a unique way to earn income.  There are so many positive outcomes in the local community, in terms of being creative and thinking outside the box to earn income, as well as the positive environmental impacts of reducing pollution and having a clean environment.  The initiative is a strong message of hope and empowerment for the younger generation.

Purse dimensions range from 21cm x 12cm to 15cm x 10cm.

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