This was the first 5-O project in the South Pacific. The project, known as Home Economics, is based at St. Mary’s School in Apia. Girls and women are taught the basic skills of sewing, cooking, housekeeping, child care and handicraft. Baking of fruit cakes and wedding cakes for sale contribute to the project’s income, as does the sale of school uniforms and church vestments as well as clothes for women, men and children. Students will be trained to the standard from which they can train other women and girls, also in outlying villages in both islands. The project provides skills that the students will be able to use to gain employment and thus contribute to the welfare of their families and villages, but especially for their own personal satisfaction, accomplishment and financial independence.
A Samoan kitchen is an important part of the project as many Samoans still live in traditional villages. Now that the Samoan islands have access to electricity, it is also necessary to promote the use of electrical appliances, both for cooking and sewing, to train effectively for the future.
Students are charged a training fee to help with the running of the course and the provision of materials; thus the Centre generates its own funds through sales of their labours, at the same time exposing students to earning an income from their skills, and a greater understanding of the concept of employment and financial independence.