AUSTRALIA’S Head of the Office of the Pacific, Mr Ewen McDonald, and Assistant Secretary, Mr Jeff Roach, recently visited Honiara Central Market to learn more about Markets for Change, an Australian funded project delivered by UN Women in collaboration with the Honiara City Council.
Mr McDonald told the project’s staff that he was glad to see and hear the changes that have occurred in the market since the establishment of Markets for Change.
“There is a great credit to everyone who has been involved. From my point of view, I am not only interested in the operation of the market, but the safety and the security of vendors and everyone who comes to the market. You should be very proud of the change that is taking place. The Australian Government will continue to support this change,” he said.
Moreen Sariki, President of the Honiara Central Market Vendor Association, said the project worked very closely with Honiara City Council to ensure the market is safe and clean for vendors.
“Honiara Central Market accommodates market vendors from all the provinces so spacing is a challenge. We support Honiara City Council by talking to our market vendors about sharing spaces equally,” she said.
Mr Eddie Gaza, Honiara City Council Works Manager and Acting Market Manager, said the council had benefited tremendously from the Markets for Change project
“We thank the Australian Government for its funding support to the UN Women Markets for Change Project. The project uses a collaborative and consultative approach with us as well as with the market vendors – and we are impressed,” he said.
Market vendors have also been encouraged through the project to understand that a collective voice is necessary, particularly in strengthening the roles and influence of women as market vendors.
“Working in the market is challenging but we are thankful for the support from the project. The leadership training has really helped us to strengthen our work with the association and in the marketplace,” said Grace Rani, Executive Member, Honiara Central Market Vendor Association.
The Australian Government supports market vendors in Honiara, Auki and Gizo through the Markets for Change project, which is implemented by UN Women, with additional support from the Government of Canada. UNDP is an implementing partner.