- EVACUATION CENTRE NEARS COMPLETION – The construction of the Vunidogoloa Evacuation Centre in the Northern Division is expected to be completed thismonth.
- FIJIAN TEACHERS GRADUATE FROM INDONESIAN UNIVERSITIES – Years of tireless study and commitment have finally paid off for a Fijian schoolteacher from Wainikoro in Labasa.
- FIRST DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OPENED IN VUNIMOLI – A new government project for Vunimoli settlement in Tamavua-i-Wai, Suva has been welcomed by the women living there.
- FIJI’S EDUCATION SYSTEM ACHIEVING GOALS – Fiji’s education system continues to show progress in terms of quality and curriculum in comparison with other Pacific countries.
- FCS AIMS TO PROMOTE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM AT AGRICULTURE SHOW – The Fiji Corrections Services is promoting the “Yellow Ribbon Project” at the 2014 Agriculture Show.
- GREAT OUTCOMES ACHIEVED FOR FIJIAN WOMEN AT EXPO – Fiji’s recent Women Expo provided an opportunity for the women that participated to be empowered financially.
- PROGRAMS TO RAISE THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITIES – Government is implementing development programs through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to raise the status of women in our communities.
1 EVACUATION CENTRE NEARS COMPLETION
The construction of the Vunidogoloa Evacuation Centre in the Northern Division is expected to be completed this month.
This is the second phase of the Vunidogoloa Village relocation project where the first phase was opened by the Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama in February this year.
The first phase in building the 30 homes for 30 households has been welcomed and commended by the villagers. Close to $200,000.00 have been set aside by government for this project.
Village Headman Sailosi Ramatu, 54, said they are trying to complete all works needed and the evacuation centre will be completed first.
“The second phase also involves the construction of drains, footpaths and landslide mitigation and is expected to be completed in October this year”.
He said the construction of an evacuation centre is a government–funded initiative that will assist villagers during times of natural disasters.
“We are grateful to the government of the day for looking into our needs, especially at a time where our homes, our village was being affected by the rise of sea water levels.”
2 FIJIAN TEACHERS GRADUATE FROM INDONESIAN UNIVERSITIES
Years of tireless study and commitment have finally paid off for a Fijian schoolteacher from Wainikoro in Labasa.
Ravinesh Rohit Prasad graduated with Master ofArts in Geography Education at the Malang State University in Indonesia in the weekend.
A secondary school teacher, Rohit was one of 3high school teachers that were awarded scholarships to pursue a Masters Program by the Indonesian Government for the 2011 – 2014 academic year.
Since 2002, the Developing Countries Partnership program or better known as Beasiswa Kemitraan Negara Berkemban (KNB) is a scholarship offered to postgraduate students (Master Degree) from developing countries to study at one of the universities in Indonesia for 3 years, consisting of one year of Indonesian Language and Preparatory Programs and 2 years of Master Program of their field or choice.
“I am thankful to both Indonesian and Fijian Government for his opportunity which has allowed me to further my studies and also experience a lot of good lessons in life that have prepared me to facemore challenges’ he said.
Mr Rohit, plans to take back the knowledge he has learnt both in and outside the university life and share it not only to hisfellow colleagues but to also help in any way he can to develop his students as far as education is concerned.
The Fijian Embassy in Jakarta has always been in touch with Fijian students studying in Indonesia to provide support and guidance during their studying period.
Early last month another schoolteacher Ashneel Chand graduated in the Master in Science programme at the Bandung Institute of Technology.
Mr Chand from Bua studied in Bandung for threeyears from 2011 – 2014 under the same scholarship program.
3 FIRST DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OPENED IN VUNIMOLI
A new government project for Vunimoli settlement in Tamavua-i-Wai, Suva has been welcomed by the women living there.
The new women’s project, a canteen, was funded by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation and is called the “Kaleli Women’s Canteen.” The project is designed to provide an income for the 40 women who belong to the Kaleli Women’s Group.
In opening the new canteen project this morning, the Minister for Social Welfare Dr Jiko Luveni presented groceries worth$2000 to the Women’s Group
The Ministry in partnership with Westpac Banking Corporation will also provide financial literacy training for the Vunimoli women. This project has emanated through women’s Advisory Committee to the Minister for Women; a special committee dedicated to the empowerment of women in Fiji.
The Minister said the new project would promote the economic empowerment of women and improve their lives in Vunimoli.
“The Ministry is glad to respond to the request of this group by helping them to establish this new canteen project. It is a great incentive for them to work together, use their time wisely and develop new skills to become financially independent. Apart from earning daily income through selling the basic food items the members will also receive bonus at the end of every six months.
“Projects such as this are instrumental in alleviating poverty in informal and squatter settlements. With an increasedbudget of $1.3 million, my Ministry has been able to assist more than 1702 women’s groups in Fiji. The Kaleli Women’s Group is encouraged to use this new project to create positive changes in their communities,” Dr Luveni said.
Representing the Kaleli Women’s group, their president, Mrs Miriama Ledua Yasi commended the Bainimarama government for being the first to initiate this project.
“There are around 300 people living in this settlement and women are backbone of their families, most of them do domestic duties. Most of these women were left to depend on their husbands, but when we formed our women’s group this year, we were determined to earn income for our families.
“We are proud that through a swift response from Dr Luveni’s office, this project has come to reality and will help women to earn income. The women and children in Vunimoli settlement no longer have to worry about walking all the way to the service station to buy food items.
“We are inspired by this new project opened in our community, as I said it is the first time for us to meet a women leader who is so enthusiastic and adamant to assist us and has shown faith in our abilities to earn income for our families,” Mrs Yasi said.
4 FIJI’S EDUCATION SYSTEM ACHIEVING GOALS
Fiji’s education system continues to show progress in terms of quality and curriculum in comparison with other Pacific countries.
This was highlighted by the Ministry of Education’s Acting Permanent Secretary Mrs Basundra Kumar at the opening of the National Seminar on Quality Teacher Development and Quality Learning.
Mrs Kumar outlined the Pacific Education Development Framework (PEDF) in 2009, which was drawn from the two global frameworks; Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that Fiji has aligned itself with.
“This provides a holistic view, that is covering all sectors of education (ECE, Primary, Secondary and embraces TVET also but excludes higher education. With the focus on education and training, the PEDF provides a vision of a regiongrounded in peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity where people can lead free and worthwhile lives.
Mrs Kumar further said that Fiji has achieved over ninety percent in its EFA targets.
“The regional education and training agenda is based on the underlying imperative of quality education for all and ensuring access and equity in educational provision.
“There is clear evidence that Fiji has made the biggest progress in access to formal education when compared to the other Pacific Island countries,” Mrs. Kumar said.
Mrs Kumar said that as Fiji develops a framework for basic standards for teaching development through the seminar, the focus of the post 2015 Education Agenda will now “shift from equitable access to access with quality education.”
“Quality education is associated with learners, environment, process, content and outcomes. The mastery of cognitive skills and behavioral traits in learners is usually the measure of quality and a collective product of quality in environment, process, content and outcomes.”
5 FCS AIMS TO PROMOTE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM AT AGRICULTURE SHOW
The Fiji Corrections Services is promoting the “Yellow Ribbon Project” at the 2014 Agriculture Show.
The Project aims to provide assistance to inmates and their families. It also taps into their potential and allows them to engage in commercial activities such as farming. From here, most inmates that are part of this project are able to earn an income.
FCS Staff officer Jale Vosadrau said through this annual event, the Project is able to showcase what products the inmates have produced as part of reforms within the FSC. Most of the products on show include agricultural produce which are later sold in markets.
“We have variety of display from furniture, clothes and handicrafts that is being sold at the stall, indirectly 40 percent in contributed to the inmates while 60 percent is given to the corrections department,” Mr Vosadrau said.
“The other aim for our participation to educate families that they will need to generate “acceptance” of the ex-offenders after serving their time in prison,” Mr Vosadrau said.
The corrections department has participated in major events like the Hibiscus festival with the aim of promoting Yellow Ribbon and how it has transformed the lives of inmates and their families.
He added one of the department’s initiatives this year is to target schools and youth groups for our Yellow Ribbon awareness programmes.
“In doing so, we are being proactive in our efforts to reduce the increasing youth population at our centres,” Mr Vosadrau said.
6 GREAT OUTCOMES ACHIEVED FOR FIJIAN WOMEN AT EXPO
Fiji’s recent Women Expo provided an opportunity for the women that participated to be empowered financially.
The Ministry of Women director Mrs Arieta Moceica highlighted that initial analysis of the expo revealed a positive outcome from a forty percent response rate of the 1900 women who participated.
Mrs Moceica said that from the responses, $143,000 was collectively made by the women after the sales of their products at theevent.
“Women from the most challenging places geographically in the Eastern division made up to $46,000 collectively withwomen in the North making $39,000 from their sales. Those from the west made $40,000 while women in the central division made less than $20,000.
“Also, women from the Eastern division returned to the islands taking back materials to complete their houses,” Mrs Moceica said.
She highlighted that when women are empowered economically, their families and their communities will benefit.
The women’s groups at the expo were those who had been funded by government’s income generating projects through the women’s resource centers.
7 PROGRAMS TO RAISE THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITIES
Government is implementing development programs through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to raise the status of women in our communities.
The Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni said since 2011, the ministry has provided 115 sewing workshops and training sessions in rural and maritime communities across the country.
“We have trained 1565 women, 79 men and 68 youths through sewing workshops organised as result of the availability of these sewing machines,” Dr Luveni said.
“The Ministry has also extended its operation to having project officer who provides training recipients of these machines on how to properly maintain their machines and they also provide sewing training skills for women,” Dr Luveni said.
Dr Luveni highlighted that the sewing machine program has raised the profile of those women living in our rural and remote communities.
The National Sewing centre at the Fiji National Council of Disabled Persons(FNCDP) where regular training for more than 26 women is provided every three months. These groups include disabled persons, women under the social welfare graduation scheme and representatives of women’s groups.
The Minister said that the sewing centre to date has trained at least 67 disadvantaged women who have ventured into self-employment of open market opportunities and 28 women with disabilities have taken up jobs in garment factories.
With the vision to empower women in every community, Dr Luveni is adamant that this program provides a gateway to providing employment opportunities and income generation for able-bodied recipients.