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 24th June in Namacu Village on Koro Island
· Thursday 2nd of July at Nawaikama Village, Sawaieke, Gau Island for the women from Gau, Nairai, Batiki
· Thursday 9th July, at Nabouwalu, women from Bua and northern division will participate in this show
· Wednesday 22nd and 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