Empowering Malampa women in the tourism market

Vanuatu Trade Commissioner, Donald Pelam and Chad Morris, Tourism and Investment Manager, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) Australia visited the Malampa Handicraft Centre in Lakotoro to see firsthand the benefits of a PT&I Australia impact grant.

The Malampa Handicraft Centre opened in October 2014, providing a safe and central location to support women from Malakula, Paama and Ambrym to develop, showcase and sell their handicraft products. The Centre now provides income for over 280 Mamas from across Malampa province.

In partnership with Scope Global, PT&I Australia provided an impact grant to the Malampa Handicraft Centre. With guidance from a volunteer under the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, Jade Brockley, the funds have been used to design and print a product catalogue, business cards and product tags. The impact grant will increase the Centre’s ability to professionally market their products to retailers.

Mr Morris said the business cards and catalogue reflected the high standard of goods available through the Malampa Handicraft Centre.

“The tourism sector is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and in Vanuatu it is recognised as an important driver of economic growth and employment opportunities.”

“The professional catalogue and business cards provides the Centre with a selling tool to engage directly with retailers in Port Vila and Santo with the goal of increasing sales.”

Ms Brockley has already noticed a positive change in the Mamas since the business cards and tags were produced.

“You can see a real sense of pride in the Mamas, the cards and tags have empowered the Mamas to approach retailers and customers with confidence.”

The PT&I Australia and AVID funding partnership was launched this year. It provides grant funding to Scope Global AVID volunteers across the Pacific in the area of tourism development.

Since its inception, the Malampa handicraft centre has benefitted from Australian aid to support the economic empowerment of women.