Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. Nelson Mandela

Seini wins the Businesswoman of the Year Award

December 14, 2016

A few months ago our friends and supporters at Xplore for Success visited our programs in Tonga. If you were following their trip, you might remember they were particularly inspired by a meeting with Seini Mafile’o (73) who runs a small sewing business with her son.

We have some great news. The prestigious SPBD Tonga 2016 Business Woman of the Year Award has been presented to Seini!

David accepting the prestigious award on behalf of his mother

David accepting the prestigious award on behalf of his mother

The highly-anticipated ceremony began with a colourful parade from the main wharf attended by SPBD members and family, many wearing outfits that had been specifically designed for the day. Following Tupou College’s marching band, the women proudly walked (and danced) their way to Queen Salote Hall with many onlookers stopping to watch the parade and cheer them on. The official ceremony was opened by HRH, The Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku’aho, who has been an ongoing supporter of SPBD Tonga, Good Return’s program partner.

Seini is a widow with six children and her hard-work and dedication in running a successful sewing business with her son David was celebrated by the crowd. Sadly, Seini suffered a stroke the day before the ceremony and was unable to attend. Her son David accepted the award on her behalf in what was a very emotional presentation. We are relieved to report that Seini’s health has been steadily improving and she is on her way to making a full recovery.

Awards were also given for the Best Financial Education Facilitator, Best Centre Chief, Best Centre Secretary, Best Centre (Savings) as well as Best Individual Saver. It was a very successful event accompanied by a lot of dancing and applauding by the attendees, and a great opportunity to recognise the commitment and achievements of all SPBD members.

We send her our heartfelt congratulations to Seini and David. And we thank YOU for helping us support women like Seini who are working hard to change their lives.

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