1. MSG COUNTRIES WORK TOWARDS PRESERVING CULTURAL HISTORY – Plans are underway for the formulation of a treaty for the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) traditional knowledge and expression of culture.
2. TOBACCO CONTROL ENFORCEMENT TRAINING FOR HEALTH INSPECTORS – The Health Ministry in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted an enforcement training workshop for health inspectors based on the Tobacco Control Regulations 2012 and Tobacco Control Decree 2010.
3. NEW PROJECTS TAKE SHAPE IN ONO, KADAVU – The Ono Island in Kadavu is gearing up for economic development through two new projects that have been initiated by the Bainimarama government.
4. KOROVISILOU CHALLENGED TO BECOME, “VIOLENCE FREE” – The village of Korovisilou in the province of Serua has become the latest beneficiary of the government’s program to create violence free communities in Fiji.
5. KADAVU WOMEN VENTURE INTO VIRGIN OIL PRODUCTION – The women of Kadavu have taken up the production of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) as their new source of income.
6. CONTINUE TO DEMONSTRATE GOOD LEADERSHIP: PSC – School Principles occupy important positions of Leadership and need to continue to serve and demonstrate all attributes to be good role models.
1 MSG COUNTRIES WORK TOWARDS PRESERVING CULTURAL HISTORY
Plans are underway for the formulation of a treaty for the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) traditional knowledge and expression of culture.
To pursue this, a national consultation on the “Melanesian Spearhead Group Framework Treaty on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture” was opened this morning.
Fiji’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Heritage deputy secretary Mr Apisalome Movono delivered the opening remarks at the consultations and pointed out the need to protect and promote the cultures of MSG member countries and groups. He reminded participants that a strong need exists to protect those cultural traditions that are unique to MSG nations or groups.
“This consultation will explore the issues of intellectual property rights transmitted through generations by way of traditional knowledge and cultural expression, the ownership of these rights, practices and challenges faced due to globalization,” Mr Movono said.
The objectives of the treaty entails protection and safeguard traditional owners and custodian against abuse, mismanagement and misappropriation of their TK and EC, support MSG member Government to implement their own national TK and EC legislation and establishment of a National Competent Authority.
A resolution will be presented to the Minister responsible forming the basis for Fiji’s ratification or prepare itself for Fiji’s own national TK and EC legislation which is currently being drafted by the State Law office.
The two day workshop held in Suva will discuss on issues of regional agreement and its link to Fiji, linkages of the Treaty to international Convention which Fiji ratified such as the 2003 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, objective of the MSG treaty and its relevance to the National Legal Instruments currently being developed and Competent Authority which will manage the TK and EC Treaty for Fiji.
2 TOBACCO CONTROL ENFORCEMENT TRAINING FOR HEALTH INSPECTORS
The Health Ministry in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted an enforcement training workshop for health inspectors based on the Tobacco Control Regulations 2012 and Tobacco Control Decree 2010.
Workshops were conducted in the central and western division, comprising of health inspectors from the rural local authority and town and city councils.
This workshop was necessary as part of capacity building ensuring health inspectors are able to carry out and enforce what is mandatory under the tobacco regulation and decree.
While the tobacco regulation and decree has been in place, the time has come for a much more improved and stricter enforcement.
This is in line with the initiative of declaring certain areas within the Suva Central Business district and Nadi Town smoke free zones.
The Health Ministry also wishes to advise the public that the Tobacco Control Regulation 2012 empowers authorized officers to enforce penalties on persons smoking in smoke free areas.
Persons found smoking in smoke free areas will incur a spot fine of $200. Smokers are being reminded to comply with the law and refrain from smoking in smoke free zones.
Owners of workplaces, restaurants, retail outlets, bus stations, nightclubs, pubs, bars, taverns, etc which the public have access are required by law to place No Smoking signage in any conspicuous part of their premises.
They will receive a much hefty fine if a smoker is caught smoking in their premises and that is $1000
Meanwhile the tobacco enforcement training will also be conducted in the northern division.
3 NEW PROJECTS TAKE SHAPE IN ONO, KADAVU
The Ono Island in Kadavu is gearing up for economic development through two new projects that have been initiated by the Bainimarama government.
These government projects were made possible following the requests made by Waisomo and Narikoso village to the office of the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation and include the construction of women centres in each of these two communities. As per part of the requests, Minister Luveni had to visit these two communities on Ono Island, on Thursday last week.
Mrs Wainikiti Cagicaucau, president of soqosoqo vakamarama Waisomo said that the new facility once opened will benefit 21 women in Waisomo village.
“The opening of the new women’s centre will bring great relief to the Waisomo women, as they will own a permanent place to coordinate their day today income generating activities like weaving voivoi, mats and making variety of handicrafts. Currently we don’t have a place to conduct these activities and sometimes when there is a social event in the village, these women don’t even have a place to organise the catering.
“Through the new centre, we will be able to make handicrafts and sell it to the tourists and nearby hotels and resorts on Ono Island. The women have also networked with their friends and families in Suva who are also going to help them to sell these products. With availability of a spacious place, women will have the freedom to do as much activities as they can, which means more products and more income for their families,” Mrs Cagicaucau said.
The Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said these centres will also hold workshops and create capacity building trainings opportunities for women and youths.
“The trainings will range from financial literacy, business management, quality production and women’s leadership. These centres will also disseminate information and provide exposure on issues relative to women and youth’s reproductive health, addressing violence against women and children. Development such as these strengthens the Ministry’s networking with women’s groups that are located in maritime areas,” Dr Luveni explained.
While acknowledging the government’s assistance, the turaga-ni-koro (village headman) for Narikoso village, Mr Sakeasi Bola said the new women centres will be resourceful in prioritizing women’s projects to uplift the lives of ordinary Fijians.
“The people of Narikoso are grateful to the Bainimarama government for reaching out to maritime communities that were neglected in the past. Dr Luveni is the first minister to set foot on the soils of Narikoso village and we are impressed with the timely response received on our requests.
“The opening of the two women centres will boost economic development on Ono Island, especially in capitalizing the tourism sector in Kadavu. These centres will continue to remind the present and future generations on the need to empower women and young girls as the key to thriving economy,” Mr Bola reiterated.
The Centres are expected to be completed and ready for opening by August, 2014.
Meanwhile, the government delegation that was present at this event also attended to several queries on social welfare and women programs.
4 KOROVISILOU CHALLENGED TO BECOME, “VIOLENCE FREE”
The village of Korovisilou in the province of Serua has become the latest beneficiary of the government’s program to create violence free communities in Fiji.
The community which has a population of more than 500 has joined hands with the Ministry of Women and the Fiji Police Forces to safeguard the rights of women and children to instill a culture of a violence free society.
Village elders were this week presented with a certificate of commitment by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni. This marks the beginning of 10 months awareness programs and trainings that will be conducted in the village.
In her message to the community, the Minister Dr Luveni said that through increased awareness the communities will be in better position to make informed decisions.
“The campaign aims to inform the women and young girls if they are faced with any case of violence or abuse -what are the procedures for reporting these cases. They also become aware about their rights and laws that protect them,” Dr Luveni explained.
Korovisilou Village spokesman Mr Apimeleki Bosoka said the campaign would challenge the men to relook at their attitude and behavior towards their families.
“The villagers are happy that Korovisilou has been chosen for this campaign-often the women’s contributions go unnoticed and through this campaign, it will challenge the men and young boys to understand and appreciate the role of women and also to reflect on their own behavior. It’s also an opportunity for women to openly voice their concerns in village meetings and to equally participate in decision making concerning their families and village matters.
“We acknowledge the Minister for Women Dr Luveni for her great effort and courage to come right down to our village and openly discuss about the issues on gender equality and the need to eliminate discrimination against women. The very topics which affects our daily lives and yet we have not talked openly about it till the time we had our first consultation with the Ministry of Women and Fiji Police, early this year. The Minister’s speech has motivated the villagers to complete all the 10 phases of the campaign and achieve the vision of a prosperous community” Mr Bosoka explained.
Korovisilou Women’s Group president Mrs Anareta Ru said that a gatekeeping committee has been formed and will monitor the impacts of the campaign.
“The launching of this campaign has given a fresh start to Korovisilou women, there are some of them who are suffering in silence due to fear, however, the culture of silence will be broken. The campaign is here to shake those old traditional beliefs that kept women captivated into their homes, limiting their freedom to participate into economic activities.
“We have also been assisted by the women’s ministry to start a vegetable farm and earn income for our families. The campaign promotes the social and economic empowerment of women, this is a new movement, where the male leaders are seen championing women’s right and freedom in their communities”, Mrs Ru said.
5 KADVAU WOMEN VENTURE INTO VIRGIN OIL PRODUCTION
The women of Kadavu have taken up the production of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) as their new source of income.
This new development was made possible through funding provided by Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation. The funding of this project is aimed at allowing communities to establish and sustain small income generating projects.
During a recent visit to Kadavu, the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni presented the VCO equipment and materials to the women from 4 villages that come under the Sanima district namely Drue, Navuatu, Naikorokokoro and Naivakarauniniu.
While thanking the government officials for their visit to Drue village, the Sanima district women’s representative Mrs Fane Cavalevu said the project will provide a financial boost for the women.
“There are over 50 women in these villages who are mostly depend on fishing, selling handicrafts and also assisting their husbands with subsistence farming to earn cash for their families. In 2011 the women in Sanima district were trained on VCO production by Ministry of Agriculture and since then we had produced VCO but at small scale as we didn’t have the required machines and materials.
“Now with these equipment provided by the Ministry of Women, we will expand our VCO production as there is a good demand for this product, we also receive orders from urban areas. The oil is packed in bottles and sold at prices ranging from $7 to $15. Through this project we aim to uplift the lives of women who face financial difficulties and we are determined to produce finest quality VCO to get a good market price,” Mrs Cavalevu said.
Dr Luveni acknowledged the contribution by the women of Sanima district and encouraged them to make maximum use of the assistance provided.
“I am delighted to be here today, to meet you and present you with these much needed tools that will enable you make use of the resources available to earn income for your families. As women you have great potential to make positive changes in your communities and this is an opportunity opened up by the government- for you women to work together and contribute towards the development of your villages,” Minister Luveni said.
“VCO is a lucrative business in Kadavu as we have plenty of coconuts and also good marketing through hotels that buy our products. The women of Sanima district are grateful to the present government for fulfilling our much awaited request and we thank Madam Luveni for being the first women’s minister who has visited us and her message that women are agents of change has greatly inspired us to work hard and become financially independent,” Mrs Cavalevu added.
6 CONTINUE TO DEMONSTRATE GOOD LEADERSHIP: PSC
School Principles occupy important positions of Leadership and need to continue to serve and demonstrate all attributes to be good role models.
These were the comments by the Public Service permanent secretary Parmesh Chand as he addressed the 113th Conference of Fiji Principals Association this week.
Mr Chand said that the responsibilities and expectations of School Principals have far reaching impacts and results for the entire community they are posted to serve in. “You are there to set highest examples of leadership in all aspects of behavior, code of conduct, education and professional development, looking after welfare and interest of your staff, undertake asset maintenance and upkeep and overall do everything to portray yourselves as excellent role models.”
Given the rise in Non-Communicable Diseases, Mr Chand suggested that principals, in their leadership roles become more actively involved in the health and wellness of their students, for their families and communities.
“With the increasing instances of NCDs and the recent outbreak of dengue (as two examples), I am sure School Principals and your Association for that matter have an important role to play in reaching out to communities on Government’s programmes to help fight such diseases or outbreaks.”
He also addressed Government’s Free Education Policy stating that given this policy, Principals have an important role to “reach out with information on the economy, investment, development of industry & trade and how they all shape up the career opportunities for the students in your respective schools.” Mr Chand says emphasized this point as many students stream themselves into fields of studies that may not match their educational capabilities or prospects in lending a job to sustain a livelihood.