grantees » Margaret Rimoni-Yoshisa

Margaret Rimoni-Yoshisa, Samoa

This grantee is still in the process of their leadership development with the JWH initiative.

Margaret is an enthusiastic Samoan woman working to tackle issues of sustainable community development and environmental conservation and management in Samoa and the Pacific Islands. With hundreds of small islands and over 500 language dialects, this region presents significant barriers to networking and information-sharing that environmental groups must confront. Margaret does so successfully in her work with Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) and Pacific Environment Consultants (PECL) to build capacity for community organizations, promote community-driven sustainable resource use and management, increase environmental awareness through community education, and advocate for appropriate environmental public policies. With the support of organizations like these, and with traditional leadership structures and small grants, communities are coming together and taking action against social and environmental injustice.

Margaret has maturity, composure, initiative, and a great capacity and keenness to learn. Equipped with these admirable leadership qualities, Margaret will use her JWH Initiative grant to pursue a master’s degree in Sustainability Science at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba campus. After completion of her university work, Margaret hopes to attend the National Environmental Forum of Samoa, to immediately put to use her newly gained theoretical knowledge and insight by sharing them with other professionals in her field of interest. Finally, and most impressively, Margaret will use her JWH Initiative grant to help her realize one of her lifelong goals- “my long term personal goal is to establish and operate an environmental NGO in Samoa. From 8 years of work experience in the environmental sector, I realized a huge potential for environmental NGOs in Samoa”. The NGO she envisions will be called JuST Environmental Foundation of Samoa, and its aim will be to promote awareness of environmental issues, perform environmental monitoring, and encourage compliance with environmental legislation. Her work will begin by following proper government procedures to form the NGO, recruiting qualified and enthusiastic members for the organization, and finalizing the constitution and rules for the NGO. Margaret believes that her work with the JWH Initiative represents a significant milestone in her personal and professional development towards being an influential environmental leader in Samoa and the Pacific Islands.