John Pio of Tapurai village, Simo, Solomon Islands. Like many of the men of Simbo, John is supportive of the Madegugusu Women’s Association activities on the island.

April 20, 2017- Simbo for Change’ is a partnership between members of the Madegugusu Women’s Association (MWA), a development entrepreneur on Simbo Island- Esther Suti and the Samoa Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI). It aims to advance women’s economic empowerment and, in the process, address issues of gender roles and family safety on Simbo. WIBDI provides technical expertise and training in organic certification, product development and market access, while PLP provides a range of interventions including support for coalition building, action research and facilitation of learning exchanges to build networks and skills.

John Pio is from Tapurai village on Simbo. Tapurai was the most affected during the tsunami that struck Simbo and other islands in April 2007. His wife is a member of the Tapurai Women’s Association which is affiliated to the MWA.

Tapurai village was relocated from to a hill, at its current location, villagers said they are safer from storm surges, but relocating was not easy as it sounds, “Before the village is very bushy, when we settled here and we just stayed not doing anything, but when organic farming came up up everyone was motivated to clean up the village and everyone worked hard. Before we just stayed with rubbish all around the building,” said John.

“When we came here after the tsunami we experienced sicknesses like malaria and diarrhoea. One impact of the cleaning up I saw is reduced malaria and people are healthy compared to the past,” he added.

John was candid when he said that his wife involvement in the various activities organised by the Women’s Association is a burden for him at times as he has to look after the family, “But there is a benefit so we support each other now to participate in the program. I support her by cleaning up the village.”

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