Caption:Rural women who had the opportunity to participate in the financial literacy workshop organised by the Ministry of Women and Westpac in Suva.Photo:SUPPLIED
The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with the Westpac Banking Corporation organised a financial literacy workshop in Suva today.
The three-hour workshop held at the rural women’s centre in Suva provided the opportunity for 38 women to acquire skills on effective management of their finances. Present among these women were also those who used to earn their living through street begging, but were recently assisted by the Ministry through the market vendor projects in Suva.
Westpac Head of Marketing, Ms Nirmala Nambiar, said the workshop will empower rural women to build a better future for themselves and their families.
“Westpac is proud to be working alongside the Ministry of Women to be able to build a strong and profitable future for the citizens of this country. One of Westpac’s sustainability goals is to bank the unbanked and empower women through financial education.
“We don’t charge anything to provide these workshops through which you will be able to learn about saving money, managing your budget with confidence. We also look forward to provide another level of workshop on business basics, through which we will equip you with tools to sustain and expand your businesses,” Ms Nambiar told the women.
Ms Jasma Wati Paal, a 52 year old from Wailea settlement said the workshop was informative and interactive. Ms Paal along with two other women, who used to beg on the streets, now operate a vegetable stall in Suva market.
“I am grateful to the Ministry for giving me this opportunity to learn about the basic skills in managing my money. I am also thankful that I was given the market stall through which I am able to earn a daily income, without having to beg.
“This is a new start for me and today’s workshop today has given me the confidence to use my money properly and to save money regularly so I can become financially independent,” Ms Paal said.
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar said the Ministry will continue to provide opportunities for women to venture into sustainable livelihood projects.
“It is the Fijian Government making a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate, empowering them with opportunities to live a self-reliant life. The Fijian Government has made inroads to their livelihoods by using a humanistic approach. It means giving them the tools and skills they require to venture into livelihood programs. We thank the stakeholders like Westpac for their cooperation and look forward for similar support from other agencies”, Minister Akbar said.
“Similarly, in collaboration with Fiji Muslim League, the Makoi Women’s Vocational and Training Centre will also be a first of its kind facility to be opened in April this year. It will create opportunities for skills training and employment for thousands of women, including those who have begging on the streets for long. The beauty about this Centre is that it will give the opportunity for any woman from any background to be accommodated and skilled in wide range of programs,” the Minister added.