BY JOY OFASIA
BETTY Gwaliasi has been employed as chef assistance at the Honiara Hotel over the past two decades, she admitted that her journey through employment as a mother and simply being a woman is a quite challenge she had progressively endured yet manageable.
In the early 1990s, before Betty was employed at the Hotel, she initially worked as a housemaid for the late Solomon Sunaone Mamaloni governmental residence in Honiara. Solomon Mamaloni, another pro-independence leader in the Solomon Islands, served as prime minister several times in the 1980s and 90s.
20 years on, the mother of five fondly reflected on the moments, assisting the chef in the kitchen – Looking back at her life, she says kitchen work was hardly on her choice but she grew to love it over time; there was a time when Betty was a school dropout, not even finishing a top-level in education. She was young when she got married and the only means of survival in the Honiara was to earn a job for a living.
Betty from Malaita province said not many women from the country have had the chance to be selected to work in hotel kitchens at the time due to low-level background in education, however, she was lucky to be selected for employment.
“My main role in the hotel’s Kitchen is to assist the chef with the preparation and cooking of various hotel food and recipes. I am grateful to have this job because I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills in food preparation and cooking,” she said.
Betty now, 54, is still living her dream, commitment and responsibility towards the welfare and survival of her family.
“Over the years, I have extremely tried my best to do whatever that is necessary for the future of my children. My husband is unemployed and I am the only one trying my best to keep the family going despite enduring so many social and economic challenges in life,” she said.
Betty had gone through many challenges over the past years, especially as a working wife, mother and the only provider for her family.
“The pressure upon my responsibilities is sometimes unbearable to handle but I slowly managed to overcome my challenges with the moral support from my husband, children and close relatives as she went through this tough journey.
“The challenges she encountered over the years have helped to mold her confidence, strength, and determination to move on towards the right direction,” she added.
She also encouraged unemployed women to apply for food catering and life skills training provided by local trainers in Honiara, such training can motivate them with a new set of skills and knowledge on how to make money out of food preparation and recipes.