The Auki Market Vendors Association members. Photo credit: Marni Gilbert.

The Auki Market Vendors Association members. Photo credit: Marni Gilbert.

The Auki Market Vendors Association (AMVA) were encouraged to dream big, share, learn from each other and plan together for a prosperous marketing environment.

Clera Rikimani from the Women’s Development Division of the MalaitaProvincial Government told AMVA members recently.

She said members of the association must collectively develop a strategic plan for improving their market environment.

The group of women and seven men took part in a three-day InformationSharing and Planning workshop in Auki last week as part of the UNWomen’s Markets for Change project.

The strategic plan formed as a result of the workshop is framed under the vision of a ‘healthy, safe, friendly, inclusive and organised market that supports economic empowerment for everyone’.

The plan will guide AMVA to work effectively with market management and other stakeholders in order to achieve this vision.

Meanwhile, during the workshop participants worked together to identify areas that need attention in the marketplace such as limited water, electricity and waste management facilities, as well as existing opportunities that could be strengthened to bring about positive change to the marketplace and market vendors’ lives.

An information exchange on the first day provided market vendors with an inspiring opportunity to hear from a number of organisations and institutions that are working in Auki and wider Malaita, includingKastom Garden Association, World Vision, WorldFish, Malaita

Council ofWomen, Women’s Development Division (MPG), and the Healthy MarketSetting Committee.

Participants described the information sharing session as a very valuable experience and acknowledged the value in forming friendships and networks with a variety of stakeholders.

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