- CENTRES TO HOST FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY – Official celebrations will be held this week in major divisions across the country to mark the 43rd anniversary of Fiji’s Independence Day celebrations.
- BANK EXTENDS ASSISTANCE TO FINANCIAL LITERACY LEARNING IN SCHOOLS – More than 16,000 students from 162 secondary schools around the country are set to take advantage of a three-year extension of the Money Smart initiative from the Fiji Development Bank (FDB).
- FIJIAN HIGH COMMISSION IN NEW ZEALAND PLANS NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS – The Fiji High Commission in New Zealand will celebrate Fiji Day with guests comprising the Auckland Consular Corps, business community and the Fiji Diaspora.
- NASEGAI VILLAGE SCHOOL COMMENDS GOVT ASSISTANCE – A remote school in Kadavu is thankful to Government for responding to their request to improve the educational facilities for the students.
- FIJI NATIONAL SPORTS COMMISSION INTRODUCES NEW DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM – Last week the Fiji National Sports Commission conducted its ‘Educate the Educator’ program in Vunisea, Kadavu.
- AMBASSADOR TUILOMA PRESENTS CREDENTIALS IN VENEZUELA – Fiji’s Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr Cama Tuiloma, presented his Letters of Credence to H.E Mr. Nicolas Maduro, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as Fiji’s first Non Resident Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
- GOVERNMENT PROVIDES NEW INCENTIVES TO TAUVEGAVEGA WOMEN – The recent ministerial visit to Tauvegavega settlement in Ba has unfolded two new incentives for development in this multicultural community.
- DISASTER MANAGEMENT SHOULD INCLUDE THE NEEDS OF ALL FIJIANS – The inclusiveness of disabled persons in natural disaster management is an area that deserves a collaborative approach.
- BA WOMEN’S FORUM APPLAUDS THE NEW CONSTITUTION – The Ba Women’s Forum which is the umbrella body of all the women’s organisations in Ba has applauded the new Constitution.
1 CENTRES TO HOST FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY
Official celebrations will be held this week in major divisions across the country to mark the 43rd anniversary of Fiji’s Independence Day celebrations.
In Suva, the official celebrations will be held at the Albert Park with the trooping of the colors by the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces. His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will be chief guest at the event and will view the parade.
In other centres across the country, various activities have been organised. In Labasa, Lautoka and Levuka, celebrations will feature entertainment and displays by both government and the private sector. The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni will officiate at celebrations in Levuka.
As the 10th of October will be a public holiday, Government is calling on all Fijians at home and abroad to celebrate Fiji Day by spending it with friends and families. Government is also calling on both the public and private sector to celebrate Fiji Day by proudly displaying Fiji Flags outside their offices. Schools across the country have organised activities to mark the occasion.
Fiji TV will broadcast live the activities in Suva which will also be streamed live online at the following website: https://my.tfl.com.fj/index.php?route=stream&stream=fijigovt#
This year’s theme is “Moving together in Unity to ensure a prosperous Fiji”.
(Attached is the program of celebrations)
2 BANK EXTENDS ASSISTANCE TO FINANCIAL LITERACY LEARNING IN SCHOOLS
More than 16,000 students from 162 secondary schools around the country are set to take advantage of a three-year extension of the Money Smart initiative from the Fiji Development Bank (FDB).
Since 2007, the FDB has provided financial support to the Ministry of Education for the Money Smart initiative, a programme that supports financial literacy development in primary and secondary schools. With a new signing today, the program would continue to be taught in Forms 3 and 4 as part of the Commercial Studies curriculum till 2016.
The Ministry of Education permanent secretary, Dr Brij Lal said the partnership with and support from the FDB has contributed immensely to the development of financial literacy in schools.
“The aim of this program is to inculcate the attitude of managing the students’ finances at an early age. Since its inception in 2007, the students and teachers’ attitude towards the task has changed as they have experienced and witnessed the importance of savings,” Dr Lal said.
Dr Lal said parents had also supported the idea from the start and opened savings accounts for their children even before they were enrolled in schools.
“The idea of savings is now being introduced at Form 3 level to allow students to explore investing their savings in other financial institutions of their choices. Invest Smart Task at Form 4 level develops the students’ attitude of investing their savings for future financial well-being. Some students have even invested in the Unit Trust of Fiji,” Dr Lal said.
Since 2007, the FDB has provided close to $216,571 in funding for these two programmes. For the next three years, the bank will commit a further $73,584 for the monitoring and evaluation of the resource materials as well as the students’ savings and investment.
In addition, the bank’s chief executive officer Ratu Deve Toganivalu said they would finance the ongoing training and up skilling of the teachers who teach Money Smart and Invest Smart program.
“Each year between 14,000-16,000 children benefit from Money Smart. It encourages them to learn more about the financial markets and where their money can receive the best returns. Also, a further 12000-14000 students benefit from Invest Smart each year,” Ratu Deve said.
“The bank’s commitment to financial literacy stems from a desire to see our future generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, workers and parents show a level of competence when it comes to managing their personal or business finances”.
3 FIJIAN HIGH COMMISSION IN NEW ZEALAND PLANS NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS
The Fiji High Commission in New Zealand will celebrate Fiji Day with guests comprising the Auckland Consular Corps, business community and the Fiji Diaspora.
Heads of Missions accredited to Fiji and friends of Fiji will be hosted to a Fiji Day Lunch at Te Papa Museum where guests will view some items in the Fijian collection and will also be updated by the Counselor on Fiji’s political developments.
Acting Head of Mission at the High Commission Ms Mere Tora said the celebrations would also be an opportune time to inform guests on the preparations for elections in the country.
“The Fiji Day celebration will be an opportunity to update attendees on developments in Fiji and preparations for democratic elections in 2014,” she said.
Ms Tora also highlighted that as part of celebrations, a group of Wellington youth with connections to Fiji had a chance to explore what the nation meant to them in a one day-day Fiji Day Creative Workshop.
“The workshop allowed the participants, who were either New Zealand born Fijians or migrated here at a very young age, to express in poetry, drama and music what Fiji meant to them,” she said.
Titled “Viti Bahut Jalum” (Awesome Fiji), the event which was held on 3rd October allowed the youths to identify with Fiji in their own creative way and served as a lead up to Fiji Day which also fell within the inaugural Fijian Language Week from 7 – 13 October.
Fiji Day is set to be celebrated on 17 October at the Langham Hotel in Auckland.
4 NASEGAI VILLAGE SCHOOL COMMENDS GOVT ASSISTANCE
A remote school in Kadavu is thankful to Government for responding to their request to improve the educational facilities for the students.
Nasegai Village School in Kadavu has for years communicated to Government requesting assistance to improve the school classrooms and furniture. The school’s head teacher Mr Acura Kilawekana said she was thankful to the Prime Minister’s Office and Government for the assistance.
“Assistance began to flow into the school after the Prime Minister visited the school in 2010,”Mr Kilawekana said.
“The Prime Minister’s Office assisted the school through a brand new student’s dormitory worth Sixty Four Thousand dollars and soon after the construction of the dorm, the PM’s office gave the school forty double bunk bed for the students who are boarders at the school”, she said.
The School’s manager Mr Taitusi Mariwa said Government later assisted the school with 70 desks and chairs replacing the old furniture’s that were no longer fit to be used by students.
“In 2012 Government also assisted the school with the repairs of teacher’s quarters and school building. The repair was worth Twenty Thousand dollars,” Mr. Mariwa said.
He said that in the same year, Government also assisted the school with a generator after the school gave one third contribution.
The school was also assisted by the Ministry of Information, National Archives, and Library Services with library books and furniture for their school library.
Nasegai village school caters for students from 3 villages in Kadavu namely Nasegai, Tabuya and Solovola.
5 FIJI NATIONAL SPORTS COMMISSION INTRODUCES NEW DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Last week the Fiji National Sports Commission conducted its ‘Educate the Educator’ program in Vunisea, Kadavu.
The program focused on Athletics and also included generic Coaches Education workshops. The program was introduced to target ‘Physical Education’ teachers in primary and secondary schools. The aim is to raise the level of Sports Education in schools by empowering the teachers with the knowledge and skills to confidently conduct informed and relevant coaching programs. The two and a half day program was conducted at Namalata Central School and was attended by 31 teachers with every school in Kadavu represented.
The Fiji National Sports Commission Development manager Giles Smith stated “The foundations of Sports participation and performance starts in schools. The teachers are often the first to introduce children to structured Physical Activity and Sport and therefore are vitally important to the development of Sport in the country. The ‘Educate the Educators’ program has been created to up skill teachers where necessary to improve their delivery of Sports Programs in Schools”.
“The program in Kadavu last week was fantastic with every school on the island being represented. We could not have hoped for a better response from the teachers”, Mr Smith said.
The Fiji National Sports Commission traveled to Navunikabi, Namosi this week to conduct a ‘Sports Outreach Program’. 109 Youth from 19 villages in Namosi province converged today at Navunikabi village on Monday to begin the 5 day program. The Commissions development officers will conduct the program alongside Coaches and Officials from 7 National Sports Organisations.
The program will be the 4th Outreach Program conducted by the Commission in recent months and to date 332 Participants from 72 villages across 17 tikinas have taken part. At the conclusion of each program, sports equipment were donated to each village and all participants are awarded a Certificate. These programs not only help identify talented youth in the rural communities but also involve villages of all ages in physical activities and the promotion of healthy living.
6 AMBASSADOR TUILOMA PRESENTS CREDENTIALS IN VENEZUELA
Fiji’s Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr Cama Tuiloma, presented his Letters of Credence to H.E Mr. Nicolas Maduro, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as Fiji’s first Non Resident Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The ceremony was held earlier this month in the Simon Bolivar Hall at the Palacio de Mirafores, the Presidential Palace in Caracas, which was attended by twenty four Ambassadors.
In receiving their letters of Credence during the presentation ceremony, the President said that Venezuela was open to partnership in economic and social development for shared and mutual benefit, with the government, private sector companies and civil society in each of the countries.
He said he received the letters of credentials of each representative with special affection, with special love for each country, and appreciated the special history of people from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, who had come to begin this important work of strengthening diplomatic relations with his country. He made special mention of the island countries including that of Oceania and of Venezuela’s willingness to work with them to strengthen economic alliances and national development. The President described Venezuela as the land of many opportunities for development. He informed the Ambassadors that they were coming to a country that was undergoing dynamic transformation in the 21st Century through the leadership of the late Commander Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan leader pointed out that there was a horizon of unlimited possibilities to generate respect, coexistence and cooperation, which should be the basis and framework of international relations.
Ambassador Tuiloma congratulated the President on his victory in the presidential election and informed His Excellency that he was honored and privileged to convey the President of Fiji’s cordial greetings and the well wishes of the Government and the people of Fiji to His Excellency and his government and the good people of Venezuela. Ambassador said that Fiji looked forward to maximizing and expanding its cooperation in trade and investment, tourism, agriculture, fisheries and forest, education, health, energy, transport, IT, international peacekeeping and many other important areas of development and mutual interest, and Fiji stood ready to work with Venezuela to further deepen friendship and elevate cooperative relations to a higher level and make positive contributions towards the wellbeing of the two peoples as well as peace, stability and sustainable development in the two countries and their regions.
Ambassador informed the President that Fiji had just promulgated Fiji’s new 2013 Constitution and Fiji will be holding a free and fair democratic election by September 2014.
The President responded saying he wished Fiji success on its road back to full and genuine democracy and he was very happy that that Fiji an island country all the way from the South Pacific had come to establish formal diplomatic relations with his country, and he looked forward to working closely with Fiji in strengthening bilateral relations, cooperation, support and friendship. Ambassador then invited President Maduro for Venezuela to increase its influence in the Pacific particularly in relation to having closer dialogue, cooperation and economic alliances with the PIDF and the PSIDS.
Apart from being accredited to Venezuela, Ambassador Tuiloma is also Fiji’s Non Resident Ambassador to Argentina, Chile and Peru and is due to present his credentials in Colombia soon.
7 GOVERNMENT PROVIDES NEW INCENTIVES TO TAUVEGAVEGA WOMEN
The recent ministerial visit to Tauvegavega settlement in Ba has unfolded two new incentives for development in this multicultural community.
The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni visited Tauvegavega last week on Friday to officially launch the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign and address the challenges faced by the women.
Dr Luveni reiterated that the Campaign aims to strengthen community networking to eliminate violence against women and children.
“We thank the Tauvegavega residents for their commitment to join hands with the Ministry in creating a violence free environment for their women and children. Currently we have more than 60 communities that have joined this campaign.
“At the United Nations 57th Commission on the Status of Women held in New York in March this year, Fiji has also been acknowledged for its presentation on the priority theme “Elimination and Prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” The formation of gatekeeping committees that comprises of male leaders has been regarded as a unique approach in addressing violence,” Dr Luveni said.
She said the presentation of ‘certificates of commitment’ to the community is the first phase of the 10 phase program that incorporates 6 to 8 months of training and awareness to prepare this community for the declaration phase.
Mrs Mayotri Chand, the women’s representative in Tauvegavega said that the ministerial visit has provided a way forward for the women to improve their lives.
“There are over 2625 people here and most of the women do household chores while some of them work at the garment factories and we strive to support our families. Dr Luveni is the only women’s minister that has visited us at a level where we find it easy to communicate with a leader who is able to relate well to the challenges of the women.
“The violence free campaign is needed in Tauvegavega as there are women who are victimized by their husbands but they choose to keep silent as they don’t know where to go for help. Now there is going to be a revolution; women are determined to break the silence and work together with the Ministry and police to ensure our sisters, daughters and mothers are free from violence, ”Mrs Chand said.
Through their discussions with the Minister, the women have also secured a funding of $5000 from the Ministry to build the first women’s centre in Tauvegavega.
“Poverty is one of the key determinants of violence and through the women’s centre, the Tauvegavega women will be able to venture into income generating projects that will enable them to live confident and independent lives. The centre will be an incentive for them to work together to develop their skills and use the resources available in elevating their financial status,” Dr Luveni said.
8 DISASTER MANAGEMENT SHOULD INCLUDE THE NEEDS OF ALL FIJIANS
The inclusiveness of disabled persons in natural disaster management is an area that deserves a collaborative approach.
This was pointed out today by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni when she addressed guests and participants at the lead up event to the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) held on the 13th of October.
In her address, Minister Dr Luveni highlighted the significance of the day and the driving issues that leads up to the day.
“Persons living with disabilities are often doubly vulnerable to disasters; they have limited access to education, health care, shelter, food and work before crisis strikes”.
“The IDDR theme for this year “People with disability and Disasters” comes to our shores at an appropriate time when the government of the day has shown total engagement and commitment in making disability visible in this nation,” Dr Luveni said.
Dr Luveni affirmed that the formulation of new disability legislations will definitely change and alter the uncertainties and anxieties of persons living with disabilities in Fiji during trying times like disasters.
“All we need is to adopt a more collaborative approach and synergistic thinking with active involvement of persons with disabilities as we try to address disaster reduction together,” Minister Luveni said.
The Fiji Disability flyer (I DID), ‘Include Disability in Disasters’ was also launched by Dr Luveni which is aimed at informing Fijians about the importance of including people with disabilities through community awareness.
Head of UNISDR’s Sub Regional Office in the Pacific, Tim Wilcox said that this year the focus turned to the many people across Fiji and the Pacific who live with some form of disability.
“We want to ensure they are represented in all planning processes to reduce disaster risks, prevent disaster risks, prevent disaster risks, prevent disasters or build resilient societies and communities,” Mr Wilcox said.
The Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons Executive Director Dr Siti Yanuyanutawa said persons living with disabilities have unique contributions which are often overlooked, to help reduce the risk of disasters and build resilient societies and communities.
“To ensure disaster planning is inclusive, people with disabilities must be included in all planning at all stages of disasters, so there are systems and support mechanisms in place before a disaster occurs,” said Dr Yanuyanutawa.
9 BA WOMEN’S FORUM APPLAUDS THE NEW CONSTITUTION
The Ba Women’s Forum which is the umbrella body of all the women’s organisations in Ba has applauded the new Constitution.
The forum met recently with the Minister for Women DR Jiko Luveni and expressed their support when she visited Tauvegavega and Koronubu settlements in Ba. The Ba Women’s Forum president Dr Maria Doton reiterated that the new Constitution protects the women’s right to property ownership.
“The Ba Women’s Forum supports, Fiji’s new Constitution we had a few sessions before the Constitution was assented and we also had the opportunity to make our submissions. The members of the Ba Women’s Forum are happy with the new constitution particularly the incorporation of conjugal right to property ownership that was absent in other constitutions. The conjugal segregation between the husband and wife has changed in this new Constitution that recognizes and protects the property ownership of women. It has secured the conjugal right of every married couple,” Dr Doton said.
She said the new Constitution also addresses the needs of all the groups including women, children, disabled persons and the elderly.
“It has captured the voices of smallest parts of the society and I was fortunate to be present when the President gave his assent to the new Constitution. The constitution addresses all levels of the society and needs of every age group in the population,” Mrs Doton said.
Similarly, Mrs Mayotri Chand, women’s representative in Tauvegavega thanked the Ministry of Women for providing copies of the new Constitution to their communities.
“This is the first time for some of us to read a Constitution and even better it is available in the Hindustani language. It is encouraging to see that government has provided copies of the new Constitution to women including those in rural areas as well. We are proud of Fiji’s new Constitution, which ensures that there is no room for discrimination. Everyone regardless of their culture or religion is treated fairly and equally under the new Constitution,” Mrs Chand said.