The Fijian Government?s outreach program to rural and remote communities is opening new opportunities for employment and economic growth.
The Nasomo village in Vatukoula, Tavua has become the latest beneficiary of the Government?s program on women empowerment and poverty alleviation.
This development has come through the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni?s official visit to Nasomo village last Friday.
Her discussions with the community unfolded two new development projects that will benefit the ordinary Fijians.
Dr Luveni also presented a certificate of commitment to leaders in Namoso who have formed a gatekeepers committee to work closely with the Ministry and Fiji Police to take the villagers through 10 months of awareness programs focused on eliminating violence against women and children.
Speaking on behalf of Nasomo Women?s Club, president Mereoni Ranui said the timely assistance from the Government will provide economic boost for Nasomo women, most of whom are market vendors.
?The talanoa session with Dr Luveni has been very fruitful, it is through her visit here today that we have secured the government?s assistance to build a much needed facility for our women?s club. Currently there are 200 women in our club and we don?t have a permanent place to conduct our weekly income generating activities,? Mrs Ranui said.
?We have received the good news that the Ministry will provide us with the funding to build the Nasomo Women?s Centre-that will enable the unemployed women to participate in clubs activities and earn money for their families.
?Once opened, the Centre will provide a place for our members to organise activities like baking bread, cakes and pies and also producing and selling home-made items like peanut butter, jams and chutney. These items will be sold to the mine workers and also in the nearby villages, we already have the market, however we need the Centre to consolidate all the operating processes under one roof,? Mrs Ranui explained.
?We praise Dr Luveni for her humble and approachable personality and we are motivated by the message she has shared with us today-to always believe in ourselves and to be actively involved in the women?s activities,? she added.
Expressing similar sentiments, Nasomo village headman, Viliame Rokoraiba said that new incentives to uplift the standard of living in Nasomo has also been created by the Government.
?Nasomo has total of 250 households with a population of more than 1000. Farming is the major source of livelihood while some work at Vatukoula mines. This year through the Bainimarama government?s assistance we have formed the Nasomo Land Use Club through which we have also received farming assistance. Lately we have planted 5000 tomato plants which will bring us good revenue,? Mr Rokoraiba said.
?This Land Use Club is a great incentive for Nasomo farmers to utilize the 1062 acres of free hold land-the initiatives like free bus fare, free education and improvement in the road conditions around Nasomo has demonstrated the Bainimarama government?s commitment to deliver quality services for rural dwellers.
?We are also looking forward to fully participate in the violence free campaign, which I believe is also a worthwhile investment to accelerate development in Nasomo,? Mr Rokoraiba said.