- CRAFT SHOW ATTRACTS OVER 700 PARTICIPANTS – More than 700 women from the provinces of Ba, Ra, Nadroga and Navosa will participate in one of the biggest divisional craft shows to be officially opened tomorrowat Shirley Park in Lautoka.
- GOVERNMENT PRESENTS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMES – Government today presented more than $60,000 to Residential Care Institutions to assist them with services for older persons.
- PARTICIPANTS ENCOURAGED TO SHARE IDEAS TO STRENGTHEN CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS – Government representatives, civil societies and the private sector were urged to use a two-day workshop to formalise a relocation guideline as a last adaptation response to the effects of climate in Fiji.
- SUSTAIN SOILS FOR HEALTHY LIVING –With the aim of promoting the importance of soils to our daily living and at the same time promoting sustainable land management for healthy living and soil and food security, the Ministry of Agriculture recently conducted awareness programs across the divisions.
- CRAFT SHOW ATTRACTS OVER 700 PARTICIPANTS
More than 700 women from the provinces of Ba, Ra, Nadroga and Navosa will participate in one of the biggest divisional craft shows to be officially opened tomorrow at Shirley Park in Lautoka.
The one-day craft show has been organised by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with Westpac Fiji and the Fiji Arts Council. The event will begin at 8.30am with a march from Shirley Park to Lautoka town and will follow with the craft show will be open to the public from 9am to 5pm.
Minister Hon Rosy Akbar says the craft show provides great marketing opportunities for rural women. The products upon assessment will be selected for “Fijian Made” labeling and will be showcased at the National Women’s Expo with potential marketing prospects both locally and internationally.
“A total of 595 women’s groups have registered for the event which is based on the theme, Connecting Women to Markets, Making it Happen. The Ministry has made arrangements for women from Ba, Tavua Rakiraki, Lautoka, Yasawa, Nadi and Sigatoka to showcase their products, which ranges from traditional handicrafts, homemade products and food items.
“We encourage the public to come forward and support this craft show that aims to empower rural women. A similar craft show has also been organised in Namacu Village in Koro Island. More than 40 women groups have also registered for the event and the Ministry acknowledge all the stakeholders who have assisted us in organising this first ever craft show for Koro Island,” Minister Akbar said.
The Ba Nari Sabha president Mrs Armila Devi said it will be the first time for her members to participate in a craft show.
“There are 40 members in our group who are all domestic workers and we are very excited about this event. We have made items such as pearl jewelries, ladies dresses, handicrafts and homemade products. We hope to sell all our products at the craft show and to be further selected to showcase our talents at the National Women’s Expo this year. We thank the Ministry for giving us this opportunity to market our products and network with other women groups,” Mrs Devi said.
Ms Ana Maria a single mother from Rakiraki Hart Women’s Group also shared similar sentiments adding that she is looking forward to earning an income from the craft show.
“I will be selling items made from coconut and bamboos and through the training by the Ministry. I have learnt to make products such as lamps, photos and mirror frames. I hope to get some new customers for my products,” Ms Maria said.
The Divisional Craft Shows have been organised throughout the 4 divisions as a build up to the National Women’s Expo 2015 that is scheduled to take place at Vodafone Arena (Suva) from the 14th to 16th of October.
The dates and venues for the other Divisional Craft Shows 2015 are as follows:
- Wednesday 24thJune in Namacu Village on Koro Island
- Thursday 2ndof July at Nawaikama Village, Sawaieke, Gau Island for the women from Gau, Nairai, Batiki
- Thursday 9thJuly, at Nabouwalu, women from Bua and northern division will participate in this show
- Wednesday 22ndand Thursday 23rd July at Civic Centre in Suva, will see the participation of women from Tailevu, Rewa, Naitasiri, Namosi, Serua, Beqa, Navua and those living along Suva corridors to participate in the Central Division Craft show
- GOVERNMENT PRESENTS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMES
Government today presented more than $60,000 to Residential Care Institutions to assist them with services for older persons.
This follows a grant agreement signing of the 2015 National Council for Older Persons Grants worth $66,708 to four established institutes for senior citizens by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Poverty Alleviation.
While handing out the cheques, the Minister for Social Welfare, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar said that age is a crucial stage of human life cycle that “we all have to embrace.”
“The traditional family support systems that we rely on are becoming increasingly strained because Fiji’s family size continues to decline with a high dependency on cash based economy,” Minister Akbar said.
“The future might see an increase in the number of older persons being forced out of their homes and being cared for under state run residential homes for the elderly.”
According to the World Health Organization (2011), Fiji’s population will increase by 11.3% over the next two decades, reaching 958,000 by 2030 and the population aged 60+ is projected to exceed the younger population around 2050.
“The signing of the official grants today strengthens the government and stakeholder partnerships to formalize and elevate our service delivery platforms to serve our senior citizens,” Minister Akbar added.
Suva Relief Trust and Pearce Home residential manager, Ruci Kava said this is the second time the home was assisted by government.
“We are fortunate that government is being so generous with their assistance which has really boosted the development of the home and we have upgraded it to a higher standard,” Mrs Kava said.
“We have six people in the retirement home and this grant will boost the morale of the residents especially the care that we give.”
The Ba Senior Citizens received $15, 000 while Channel Home of Compassion, Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) and Suva Relief Trust and Pearce Home received $17, 000 each.
- PARTICIPANTS ENCOURAGED TO SHARE IDEAS TO STRENGTHEN CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS
Government representatives, civil societies and the private sector were urged to use a two-day workshop to formalise a relocation guideline as a last adaptation response to the effects of climate in Fiji.
Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the workshop which began today is a follow up to the February consultations workshop which focussed on sharing thoughts and experiences on how participants can work together to address relocation as the last adaptation option for Fijian communities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acting permanent secretary Luke Daunivalu said Fiji’s climate change adaptation measures which try and deal with the current and future impacts of climate change include a wide range of actions.
“Relocation is probably the most drastic step one can take, as people rarely do move from places where they have grown up and which provides them with sustenance,” Mr Daunivalu said.
“If the risks are too great and will impact not just on the livelihoods but on the very existence of communities, relocation becomes the most sensible option,” Mr Daunivalu said.
Mr Daunivalu highlighted that in 2012, Fiji launched its National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) to guide Fiji’s responses to climate change. One of the main objectives of this guide identifies strategies that reduce vulnerability and enhances the resilience of Fijian communities to climate change and disasters.
Narikoso village traditional head Bulou Katarina said the workshop will help her village better understand the effects and impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is directly affecting Fiji and these workshops enable us to learn and be part of the work on relocation plan for villages that have been affected by climate change,” Mrs Katarina said. “Climate change has had an impact on root crops and vegetable farms and I have adopted practices from the past to adapt to the change in weather seasons,” she said.
Mrs Katarina is adamant that with the formalisation of the national guideline on climate change, communities will become more aware of the changes in weather patterns and steps they can undertake to mitigate these effects.
- SUSTAIN SOILS FOR HEALTHY LIVING
With the aim of promoting the importance of soils to our daily living and at the same time promoting sustainable land management for healthy living and soil and food security, the Ministry of Agriculture recently conducted awareness programs across the divisions.
At Vunaniu in Serua, men, women, youth and children gathered with officials and stakeholders to commemorate World Day to Combat Desertification as well as celebrate the 2015 International Year of the Soils.
The observance calls for a change in our land use practices through smart agriculture and adaptation to changing climate especially in the dry fragile parts of the world where food shortages are becoming more and more severe.
The Ministry’s deputy secretary corporate services Maca Tulakepa who was chief guest at the event said that the impact of land degradation and climate change has become a major concern in the global environmental agenda.
“The United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification/Degradation [UNCCD] was born out of these concerns and motivated by the recognition of the growing scarcity and loss of natural resources,” she said.
One of the most compelling arguments for the negotiation of the UNCCD she said was the acknowledging of climate change and land degradation because it represents one of the greatest challenges to sustainable development.
She said that these are issues that transcend national borders and require action on national, regional and global fronts to address the critical inter-linkages between climate change, land and food security.
Maria Elder-Ratutokarua, the Sustainable Land Manager (SLM) Adviser of Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said that soils are important for food security and essential eco-system functions.
“Most people don’t realize that just beneath our feet lies a diverse, complex, life-giving ecosystem that sustains our entire existence andI believe very often we tend to take soils for granted, just like we take the sunshine and rain for granted.”
She said many people believed that the topic of soil is not a very exciting one but is essential for growing food, yet few people speak out for them.
Ms Ratutokarua added many people speak a lot on the importance of sustainable food systems for healthy lives but little do they know it starts with soils.
“Soils constitute the foundation of vegetation, agriculture and forests need it to grow but now soil are at risk from deforestation, urbanisation, bad agricultural practices such as leaving fields uncovered, farming on slopes, burning, over-grazing and mono-cropping in which all accelerate erosion, reduce biodiversity in soils and reduce organic matter.
“There is a need to protect soils in order to produce food, feed, fiber, fuel, clothes and cultural purposes shelter and energy.
“Soil store and filter water are needed to be kept and protected as they are essential for our well-being,” she said.
The challenge she said is to ensure that growing rural and urban populations have access to safe and nutritious food at all times and healthy soils are critical to sustainable agriculture and whole ecosystem.
The WDCD day is observed worldwide on 17 June annually. The focus this year is “attainment of food security for all through food systems,” with the slogan “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil.”