MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 08/04/14 5:00PM

1?FIJIAN ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH NEPAL PRIME MINISTER?- Fiji?s Non-resident Ambassador to Nepal, Yogesh Karan recently met with the Prime Minister of Nepal, the Right Hon. Sushil Koirala in the nation?s capital, Kathmandu.

2?WOMEN PREPARE FOR UPCOMING NATIONAL WOMEN?S EXPO -?Preparations for Fiji?s biggest women?s event, the National Women?s Expo and Rural Designer Award Night 2014 is in progress, with various women?s groups gearing up for the national event scheduled for August this year.

3?FIJI-NEPAL RELATIONS HIGHLIGHTED AT NEPAL MEET -?Fiji?s non-resident Ambassador to Nepal, Yogesh Karan met the Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Mahendra Bahadur Pandey in Kathmandu during his recent visit to Nepal.

4?NEW NURSING STATION TO EASE BURDEN FOR NAGATAGATA VILLAGE?- Travelling on foot or either horseback for more than 15 kilometers to access medical assistance will now be a thing of the past for some 200 Fijians living in Nagatagata and nearby villages.

5?FIJI EYED AS GAP YEAR DESTINATION AT SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL?-?Fiji has been rated highest as a GAP Year destination?in?the South African Pretoria Boys High School Bulletin.

6?AUSTRALIAN ASSISTANCE TO EDUCATION WELCOMED?-?The Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) will support up to sixty-one rural, remote and very remote schools in Fiji.

 

1?FIJIAN ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH NEPAL PRIME MINISTER

Fiji?s Non-resident Ambassador to Nepal, Yogesh Karan recently met with the Prime Minister of Nepal, the Right Hon. Sushil Koirala in the nation?s capital, Kathmandu.

The meeting took place at?the?office of?the Prime Minister?in?Singha Durbar. Fiji?s newly appointed Honorary Consul in Nepal, Mr Parash Shakya accompanied Ambassador Karan to meet the Prime Minister.

During their talks, Prime?Minister Koirala highlighted that Nepal will have a new constitution in a year’s time and stated that all?government authorities?are working?with rigor?to achieve it.

In response, Ambassador Karan briefed the Prime Minister on Fiji?s economic and political developments including the scheduled election to take place on?September 17?this year. He further informed the Prime Minister on the progress Fiji has made on key issues regarding climate change and?took this opportunity to?extend an invitation to?the?Prime?Minister to visit Fiji.

Fiji and Nepal established its Formal Diplomatic Relations in June 1986 and during these twenty-seven years of cordial relations, both countries have mutually benefited.

Ambassador Karan told the Prime Minister that both Fiji and Nepal could collaborate on? areas such as manufacturing industry, health, defense, and tourism.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said that both?the?countries should work closely with each other to boost current relations.

(Photo of this meeting attached)

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2?WOMEN PREPARE FOR UPCOMING NATIONAL WOMEN?S EXPO

Preparations for Fiji?s biggest women?s event, the National Women?s Expo and Rural Designer Award Night 2014 is in progress, with various women?s groups gearing up for the national event scheduled for August this year.

The event was officially launched in January this year by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.

The Noco Women?s Group in Rewa along with Lovu hart Home Women?s Club in Lautoka are a few of the many women?s groups that are excited to participate in the women?s expo. The 2014 National Women?s Expo and Designer Awards will be held at Vodafone Arena from 6th?to 8th?of August 2014.

The Lovu Hart Women?s Club in Lautoka has already started to put together products that they will be selling at the Expo. Mrs Paulina Aditagilala, president of this group said that their major product would be handicrafts and ladies wear.

?This is the first time for us to be given an opportunity like this and we are looking forward for the expo. We have started to make items like mats, fans, baskets, soya sauce, home-made dish washing paste, sulus, bedspread with pillow cases. These items will be sold at prices ranging from $15 to $20.

?Some of the items are made using the two sewing machines that was donated by the Department of Women and we will also participate in the Rural Designer Awards Night.? We hope to earn some cash by selling our products and the expo is a great platform to learn new skills and ideas from the other women?s group who will be coming to the event,? Mrs Aditagilala said.

Mrs Kereni Wati Tukuna, president of the Nacuru Women?s Centre in the district of Noco, Rewa said that they have a permanent place to coordinate their plans for the women?s expo.

?We are looking forward for the expo, in fact we have made products that we would like to sell at the event, things like embroidery bags, pencil cases, ladies handbags, mobile carry cases, table cloth, apron and kitchenware products. We are already making profit by selling these products and the expo will give us an open market to sell our products.

?And we are lucky to have a women?s centre in Noco village which has been funded by the Department of Women in 2013. The centre has provided us with a place all to ourselves, we now have the freedom to do our daily women?s activities from this centre. It is a great source of strength and incentive for women to work together a group, to use their time wisely into making products to make money.

Minister Luveni said that the National Women?s Expo and Rural Women?s Designer Awards 2014 will be the biggest celebrations for all the women in Fiji.

?The event will provide women with a unforgettable experience to be celebrated at Vodafone Arena. The Ministry?s divisional officers are already working with the various women?s groups around Fiji to fine-tune the handiwork to sell on a mass scale at the women?s Expo. We are expecting around 3000 women all over Fiji to participate in this national event and rural designer awards will also be a significant event- at the expo,? Minister Luveni said.

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3?FIJI-NEPAL RELATIONS HIGHLIGHTED AT NEPAL MEET

Fiji?s non-resident Ambassador to Nepal, Yogesh Karan met the Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Mahendra Bahadur Pandey in Kathmandu during his recent visit to Nepal.

The meeting took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Ambassador Karan conveyed his appreciation on behalf of the Fijian Government to Minister Pandey for all the support provided in establishing Fiji?s Consulate Office in Kathmandu. He further discussed with the Minister on strengthening the bilateral relations between both countries and exchanged?views on?the?visa requirements for both countries. Karan proposed to establish a memorandum of agreement on development cooperation between both the countries.

Whilst in Nepal, the Fijian envoy met the Honorable Minister for Industry, Mr. Karna Bahadur Thapa in Kathmandu at the Ministry office in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Karan briefed the Minister on Fiji?s tourism activities and its contribution to the economy.

Minister Thapa was impressed with Fiji?s achievements and stated that Nepal could benefit from Fiji in promoting its tourism to the world. Ambassador Karan also discussed on the possibility of establishing a memorandum of agreement in Tourism between the two countries

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4?NEW NURSING STATION TO EASE BURDEN FOR NAGATAGATA VILLAGE

Travelling on foot or either horseback for more than 15 kilometers to access medical assistance will now be a thing of the past for some 200 Fijians living in Nagatagata and nearby villages.

This after construction work at the newest nursing station began this week at Nagatagata village, in the Nadarivatu ranges.

The Divisional Commissioner Western Joeli Cawaki says leveling work has almost completed and preliminary construction work has begun.

?The opening of a nursing station in Nagatagata?is in line with government commitment towards fulfilling its obligations as stipulated in the Constitution which guarantees adequate health care to all citizens and improving service delivery of essential government services in rural areas,? he said.

?The station will be able to serve villagers while easing congestion to the health centre in Nadarivatu.?

Villagers of Nagatagata currently travel more than 15 kilometers on foot to visit a doctor in Nadarivatu and are lucky if they are able to meet a passing vehicle to get a lift.

?The village is quite far from Nadarivatu and villagers have to travel on foot to get treated but with the opening of the nursing station at their doorstep, will save a lot of time and effort,? Commander Cawaki said.

Government?s vision in building more health facilities in rural and the most remote of places has been welcomed by many.

Health centers in Cuvu and Korolevu in Nadroga is almost complete while extension work at the Sigatoka Hospital began last month.

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5?FIJI EYED AS GAP YEAR DESTINATION AT SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL?

Fiji has been rated highest as a GAP Year destination?in?the South African Pretoria Boys High School Bulletin.

The gap year is a year between completing the High School Examination, Matric, and enrolment at university. Many students spend a year or two travelling around whilst making the decision on courses and where to study.

The three destinations featured in the publication were Thailand, the Australian Outback and Fiji. Fiji received the highest accolades. The paper rates Fiji as, ?one of the world?s biggest gap year destinations offering not one but a handful of perfect experiences, perfect pristine beaches with blue water from shore to horizon and palm trees gracefully swaying in the gentle coastal breeze?. The paper also said the hardest part of making Fiji one of your gap year destinations is leaving this magnificent place.

Fiji?s High Commissioner in South African, H.E. Beniamino Salacakau expressed his optimism on the effects of this article in promoting Fiji as a tourist destination to South Africans. He said that because it is coming from the students themselves, there is obviously a lot of talk about Fiji and its attributes as a place to visit.

He also said that the circle that the publication reaches is an important one as these are potential future travellers. Young people do not travel alone. They will take someone along, in the very least. More often there is a group as it is an extension of High School camaraderie.

Nathaniel Kilaimailagi, the son of Fiji?s First Secretary, Sisalo Otealagi, in Pretoria, attends Pretoria Boys High School. Fiji?s visibility in Pretoria is certainly growing.

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6?AUSTRALIAN ASSISTANCE TO EDUCATION WELCOMED?

The Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) will support up to sixty-one rural, remote and very remote schools in Fiji.

This was endorsed by the members at the Fifth Program Coordination Committee (PCC) meeting late last week.

?I am happy about AQEP?s partnership with the Ministry of Education in providing better access to a quality education to schools with a smaller roll and the most disadvantaged children in Fiji,? said the Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal.

Of the sixty-one schools, thirty schools are from the Northern Division, seventeen are from the Eastern Division, thirteen schools from the Western Division and the remaining one school from the Central Division.

?The main criterion for selection is poverty in urban, rural and very remote locations,? AQEP Team Leader Dr Puamau said.

?There are two packages for school support – up to?31 schools will be assisted with the full package of Social Protection and Infrastructural support and the remaining 30 schools will only be assisted with infrastructure support,? Dr Puamau added.

The Social protection package would encourage students to have access and quality education through training, mentoring and grant allocation for improving student?s attendance and performance at school while the infrastructure package includes renovations, water, sanitation, capacity development and maintenance training.??

MINFO