The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia (CSM), more commonly referred to as the Sisters of Melanesia, is a religious group of women formed in 1977 as a sister group to the Melanesian Brothers. “Over the years [the Sisters of Melanesia] have been instrumental in carrying forward women’s work within the church and the community.” (The Church of Melanesia)
The CSM undertake various income generating projects which work towards self-reliance. These include sewing and vegetable farming, poultry and piggery projects and a small canteen shop. The Sisters have a simple lifestyle and have been gardening for years to provide themselves food. They now look at expanding their gardens (and other projects) to sell in order to fund the other living costs of the Community such as transportation for their missionary work. Due to the rising costs of living expenses, there is pressure for the CSM to set themselves up to raise money so they can continue to afford the goods and services required by them in everyday life in the Solomon Islands.
Over the previous years, Anglican Missions has provided some funding support for the sewing and vegetable farming projects.
This year (2018) we are providing a grant towards the sewing project providing opportunity to support the Sisters to buy additional sewing materials and much needed sewing machines and/or maintenance costs.
Fom the latest report from ACoM (Anglican Church of Melanesia):
CSM now has a new leader in Sister Glenda Hapuara who has been mandated by the community to manage and take the lead in any sewing project activities. She reports: “We sewed all season Clergy vestments, apparels and other uniforms based on orders.” Her assistant, Sister Heather Meithegna highlighted – “Should we have further financial assistance, we are planning to expand the marketing of our products to all our dioceses and CSM houshold throughout Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.”
Sister Glenda advises “We have been trained on basic life skills and sewing, therefore, we can sew just like any other tailors do....Our biggest challenge is to secure a room purposely for this project so that sewing can be done at anytime whenever the demand is high. A proper set-up is vital for the smooth operations of our sewing project and long-term sustainability.”