1. MINISTER KUBUABOLA IN INDIA FOR BILATERAL TALKS – Fiji’s Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in India this week for the biennial foreign office consultations where he will meet his counterpart, India’s Foreign Minister Shri Salman Khurshid on Wednesday, 12 February.
2. CENTRE TO CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR NADAKUNI – The recent opening of the Nadakuni women’s extension centre will accelerate economic development for the women of Nadakuni village, in Naitasiri.
3. REPAIR WORKS TO CONTINUE AT COURT FACILITIES – Fijians can look forward to better coordinated judicial services in the future with refurbishments and repair works continuing at various court facilities around the country.
4. HEALTH SURVEY TO ASSESS NUTRITION DEVELOPMENT – The National Food and Nutrition Centre will soon conduct a survey to assess nutrition development in the country.
5. COMMUNITY LEADERS APPLAUD DR LUVENI – Prominent women leaders, who are well known for their social work, have applauded Fiji’s Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni for her leadership and commitment to uplift the lives of disadvantaged and women of Fiji.
1 MINISTER KUBUABOLA IN INDIA FOR BILATERAL TALKS
Fiji’s Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in India this week for the biennial foreign office consultations where he will meet his counterpart, India’s Foreign Minister Shri Salman Khurshid on Wednesday, 12 February.
This year’s consultation will cover the tabling, negotiation and conclusion of a wide range of areas of cooperation, including agriculture, health, sugar, transnational crime, regional barefoot college for women, and youth and sports.
“With the two countries sharing a number of vested common interests, there are a lot of opportunities for cooperation and partnerships which ought to be explored fully to maximize the benefits of our relations”, Minister Kubuabola said.
He added that, ‘Fiji has benefitted a lot from India through its bilateral assistance programmes and projects and looks forward to the deepening its relations with India in the future’.
The ministerial engagement will be preceded by a bilateral meeting of senior officials on Tuesday, 11 February which will be led by Foreign Secretary, Mr Amena Yauvoli.
2 CENTRE TO CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR NADAKUNI
The recent opening of the Nadakuni women’s extension centre will accelerate economic development for the women of Nadakuni village, in Naitasiri.
Funded by the Ministry of Women, the centre was officially opened by the Minister, Dr Jiko Luveni. Speaking at the opening, Minister Luveni encouraged the Nadakuni women’s group to make good use of their new facility.
“Women are encouraged to make use of their talents like sewing, mat weaving and turn those skills into opportunities to earn income for their families. Given this new centre, the women now have a permanent place to conduct their weekly group meeting and income generating activities”, Minister Luveni said.
“For August this year, the Ministry has organised Fiji’s first National Women’s Expo and Rural Women’s Designer Awards Night. We would like to see some of the products made at these centres to be displayed and marketed at the upcoming national event,” Dr Luveni said.
Nadakuni Women’s Group president Mrs Talica Moliwaqa said there are 45 women in their congregation who will be able to share skills and acquire information to improve their lives through this centre.
“The women here depend on farming and every Friday we get a truck to take us to Suva market to sell the fruits and vegetables we leave the village as early as two o’ clock in the morning and return on Sunday after selling all our produce, we have to stay at the night shelter in Suva that has been opened last year.
“We are grateful to the Ministry for giving us this much needed facility that will enable the group to start activities like baking, tailoring, making handicrafts and weaving and sell these items in Suva market. We also hope to receive more information and awareness programs on women’s entrepreneurship” she said.
Expressing gratitude to the government, the turaga ni koro for Nadakuni, Mr Kolinio Namalo said the centre will bring positive changes to the lives of his people in the village.
“We are proud to see how the government has reached out to the rural areas in Naitasiri and especially we are grateful to Dr Luveni for her second visit to our village that has led to these new developments.
“The new centre is a gateway for women to earn income for their families and elevate poverty. Usually women depend on men to make decisions but the new centre has challenged women to contribute towards their family income which will foster positive changes into this community. We have realised that when we develop our women’s abilities, we are developing their families and also the communities,” Mr Namalo said.
3 REPAIR WORKS TO CONTINUE AT COURT FACILITIES
Fijians can look forward to better coordinated judicial services in the future with refurbishments and repair works continuing at various court facilities around the country.
Chief Justice Anthony Gates said that there will be a continuance of the court building programme in 2014.
“We will continue to repair and modernise our courts, to restore Government Buildings including the clock tower, to commence the new Lautoka High Court Building, and to press on with station courthouse improvements”, Justice Gates said.
The Government Buildings clock and its tower was built and assembled by the Cumbria Clock Company in 1939.
Justice Gates also said that works at the Magistrate’s Courts at Nadi, Ba, Rakiraki, Nabouwalu, Taveuni and Vunidawa is a priority.
“We will be working on improving our transcription services. These improvements are not only long overdue, they will transform practice at the Bar and facilitate a swifter service,” the Chief Justice said.
4 HEALTH SURVEY TO ASSESS NUTRITION DEVELOPMENT
The National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC) will soon conduct a survey to assess nutrition development in the country.
NFNC manager Ateca Kama said the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) is conducted every 10 years. This year will be the fourth time the centre is conducting a national nutrition survey.
“Other small scale studies are conducted in between NNS, for example in 2010 flour Fortification Study, 2008 Micronutrient Deficiencies in five-year-old children,” Mrs Kama said.
“The centre prepares a yearly food balance sheet, which presents a detailed picture of a countries food supple for a given period.”
This shows the quantity and types of food available for human consumption, sources of supple and the use of primary and processed commodities.
Findings from the 1993 and 2004 NNS showed problems of infant malnutrition, underweight children anaemia and overweight in many adults leading to heart diseases and diabetes appear to be worsening.
5 COMMUNITY LEADERS APPLAUD DR LUVENI
Prominent women leaders, who are well known for their social work, have applauded Fiji’s Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni for her leadership and commitment to uplift the lives of disadvantaged and women of Fiji.
The Fiji Women’s Federation (FWF) Advisory Committee Meeting held in Suva recently was chaired by Minister Luveni and provided an opportunity for women’s groups to voice out their opinion on the work carried out by the Ministry. More than 30 women leaders representatives from Catholic Women’s League, Soqosoqo Vakamarama, Assemblies of God (AOG) Women’s Ministries, Sanatan Dharam Nari Sabha Fiji, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Shrest Mothers Club and Stri Sewa Sabha spoke at this meeting.
Acting president for the (Assemblies of God) AOG National Women’s Ministries Mrs Rokosiga Morrison said it was important to understand the new programs that were organised for this year.
“The meeting gave us an insight into the Ministry’s Annual Corporate Plan and we were glad to hear about the National Women’s Expo to be held in August and also new Reproductive Health Unit of the Ministry will foster positive changes into women’s lives.
“With all the programs that has been implemented under Dr Luveni’s leadership for example women’s resource centres, violence free communities, solar electrification projects are some of the great demonstration of ways the Ministry has positively impacted the lives of women in Fiji. And this is one ministry that has strived to reach out to the grassroots communities, despite the challenges like geographical locations.
“I must say she is a role model for our women and for the organisation that I represent that is very important, she is a role model who has her values in place and she leads by example. Dr Luveni has proven her capabilities as a woman leader, that is why she has got the support of AOG women’s ministries,” Mrs Morrison said.
Similarly, Adi Finau Tabakaucoro, president of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama said that, “I don’t think there is any minister that can match up to her exposure throughout the country and she has been to all the provinces and islands, she has boldly reached out to the women in these communities.”
Representing the Fiji Muslim Women’s League, their president Ms Nisha Zinnatun Busksh said it is great to have an organisation like Fiji Women’s Federation that is aware about the challenges faced by the women.
“We are grateful to the government for prioritizing women’s issues through a organisation like Fiji Women’s Federation where our views are heard and we have leaders who are ready to take action to provide the needs of women whose contributions are usually go unnoticed. We are looking forward for the upcoming national women’s expo and it’s a commendable step by the government to promote development through empowering women.
“The unprecedented effort by Dr Luveni to help the women of Fiji inspires our organisation and the wide range of programs given to women now as never been seen before. We would like to have a leader like her to lead us both now and in the future,” Mrs Busksh reiterated.