Women in Vatukacevaceva village in Ra while listening attentively to the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni during her visit to the village today.
The Vatukacevaceva village in Saivou district in Ra has commended the Bainimarama government for implementing programs which is bearing positive results for the community.
The village which has a population of 575 is one of those communities in the Ra province that has successfully completed the nine months of awareness programs and has been declared as the 87th violence free community in Fiji..
The official declaration took place today at the Vatukacevaceva village where the Minister for Women and Social Welfare Dr Jiko Luveni unveiled a billboard commemorating this development.
The turaga ni koro (village headman) for Vatukacevaceva, Mr Samuela Sema revealed that since the awareness programs began, positive changes have been witnessed in the lives of his people.
“A gatekeepers committee that has been formed and it continues to work with the police to keep a close watch and ensure that all the homes in this village are violence free. Everyone in the village is well aware about the laws like Domestic Violence Decree and it has awakened the youths to champion the violence free initiative.
“We would like to thank the Bainimarama government for also assisting with the free education system and free bus fare that ensures quality education services for our children. Dr Luveni is the only minister who has reached out to us and has even created development projects for the community,” Mr Sema said.
In her opening address Dr Luveni reiterated that women are key agents of change in their communities and the government stands ready to assist the women’s groups through various programs provided under the Women’s Plan of Action (2010 to 2019).
“One of the key components of the violence free initiative is the socioeconomic empowerment of women’s groups whereby we also assist them with various income generating programs. They are also given training programs to develop their skills and resources which will help them walk out of poverty.”
“Economically vibrant and confident women are able to effectively participate into decision making and carry out their leadership roles in their homes and communities,” Dr Luveni emphasized.
While speaking on behalf of 200 women members, Mrs Ateca Nabusa, president of Vatukacevaceva Women’s Group thanked Dr Luveni for the timely assistance provided to help them with their first ever women’s project.
“It is through Dr Luveni’s initial meeting with us last year; we had secured the financial assistance of $5000 from the Ministry to start our poultry project which is near completion. We will be harvesting 100 layer birds and for the first time, the women are managing the economic project which will boost their income earnings.
Through the violence free campaign, women and children in this village are now better protected from issues like violence and we have also been assisted to exercise our economic rights through a poultry project with which we have been assisted this year,” Mrs Nabusa explained.