Everyday People PNG : Eunice So'on Song

“My name is Eunice So'on Soong. I am of mixed parentage - mum from Angoram in East Sepik and dad from the South Coast of Manus, Pelipowai Village.”

“I come from a family of 5, including my adopted brother. There are two girls and three boys in my family. I am married with 5 children, and 4 grandchildren.”

“I am a full time teacher with the International Education Agency for over 20 years and I teach at Gordon International School, but I have been using my free time and holidays to teach basic life skills, especially sewing to beginners.”

“I take my sewing students through simple instructions on how to use a sewing machine, be it manual or electrical and I tutor on a one on one basis for meri blouse with different necklines like the spaghetti and sundress etc. I learnt my sewing skills from my mum, and while at school decided to take further interest in blending these skills into an SME, should I consider retirement.”

“It is truly a blessing to impart a skill to another, just to impact a life and empower young people, and older men and women. I have travelled out of Port Moresby to places like Alotau to teach my classes and I am planning to go to Popondetta, Madang, Lae and Buka in the coming holidays to help those who have requested. For these, I charge a fee to cover my costs of travelling, food and accommodation for myself. I am sometimes assisted with accommodation from my family in the places I go to. Sewing has been a major skill I have mastered.”

“Apart from teaching classes, I also sew and sell. This side hustle helps me to make ends meet as I have many responsibilities, being the only bread winner for my family.”

“Currently, my daughter and my mum take care of our Kiosk at 4 Mile where they also do crafts and help with sewing. Together we sew curtains, shirts, skirts, blouses, dresses, pillows cases, mending clothes and so alterations on request for things like cushion covers and bean bags.”

“I concentrate on teaching as that is my personal core value, I love that I can impact lives with a God given talent.”

“When I am not teaching, especially holidays I do what I love to do. My husband, David Soong, also plays an important role in what I do. He is responsible for taking all measurements and drafting patterns. He is the man behind the looks of what I intend to sew. Same goes for my mum. These two people keep my eyes on the right stuff. I wouldn't be able to do as much without them .My daughter contributes to the selection of fabrics and the matchings to her handmade crafts, such as her earrings. It is really a family effort.”

“In the coming future, I hope to turn this side hustle into a constructed classroom of Technical and Vocational Skilled Based Activities by involving a Cross Trade with partner and many locals who are doing what we love to do together in Arts and Crafts, which is now my new brand called "JUDS SEW-LUTION".”

“When COVID-19 hit PNG, it gave me that boldness to take on the idea of SME. That was how I got a Kiosk with my mum and my daughter.”

“It is a challenge to work with my mum and daughter, but our goal is to continue to impact lives as they bless ours in return. I am taking the COVID-19 pandemic as a real challenge to use my God given gift to help others who have returned with their fees to keep my side hustle going and that extra income helps to meet my family's needs.”

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