CAPTION: Acting Minister for Education Commander Viliame Naupoto visits Tavarau Primary School in Ba.
1. NORTHERN DIVISION TO HOUSE WOMEN REGIONAL CENTER – Fiji will soon see the establishment of a training centre that will accommodate the training needs for women in Fiji and for women from across the region.
2. YOUTH CLUB PRIORITISES WASTE MANAGEMENT – The “Mission Empowerment Solo West” Youth Club in Lautoka received project materials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports this week as part of Government’s Peer Mentoring Programme.
3. SCHOOLS TO INCLUDE DISASTER AWARENESS INTO CURRICULUM – An emergency and disaster awareness curriculum is being prepared by the Ministry of Education and will be implemented this year.
4. NEW MEDICAL STAFF BOOST NUMBERS – Shortages of nurses and doctors will become a thing of the past as the Ministry of Health pursues plans to improve capacity building for 2013.
5. FIJI PROPOSES STRENGTHENING OF FIJI-TIMOR LESTE RELATIONS – Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with H.E. Dr Jose Luis Guterres, Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste.
1 NORTHERN DIVISION TO HOUSE WOMEN REGIONAL CENTER
Fiji will soon see the establishment of a training centre that will accommodate the training needs for women in Fiji and for women from across the region.
The proposed site for the development of Fiji’s Barefoot College is at the Naleba Youth Training Centre in Macuata province in Vanua Levu. The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni visited the site yesterday and had discussions with the Barefoot College proposal.
Accompanying the Minister on the site visit was the Roko Tui Macuata Mr Sitiveni Ialibuli and informed the Minister that it was encouraging to know that government has decided to bring such a significant development to northern division.
“It’s being proposed to develop the barefoot college here in Naleba would mean many more opportunities to be created for rural communities. Macuata is a big province its starts from Dreketi and goes right up to Udu point. Villages and settlements are scattered and most of these villages don’t have electricity, so having barefoot college would mean most of this villages using solar electrification it would make a huge impact in the lives of the people here.
“Macuata needs development of this nature as this project will bring hope to the rural communities. We are thankful to the government for its look north policy which promotes development in rural communities,” Mr Ialibuli said.
The Northern Division Head for youths and sports Mr Jone Soko said that the Barefoot College would empower women and youth in the northern division.
“The Naleba Youth Centre was established in 2001 and so far around 500 youths have been trained into agricultural production. The establishment of the barefoot college will further boost the vision of the centre and will provide employment to women and youths. And because it is a regional centre it will see the arrival of people from pacific countries. This will lead to strengthened networks and opening of new opportunities for development in Fiji,” Mr Soko said.
He said the next step is to have discussions with the landowners to extend land boundaries to build the Barefoot College.
“This is the biggest and most promising development northern division will ever see,” Mr Soko said.
Minister Luveni said that, “During the site visit, pictures of the infrastructure have been taken and will be sent to the Barefoot College in India to give them a fair idea on the infrastructural development.”
The world renowned Barefoot College is a powerful education institution that has trained more than 15,000 women in jobs ranging from construction work, solar engineering and has transformed the lives of millions of people across the world.
2 YOUTH CLUB PRIORITISES WASTE MANAGEMENT
The “Mission Empowerment Solo West” Youth Club in Lautoka received project materials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports this week as part of Government’s Peer Mentoring Programme.
The club whose project focuses on waste management received two brush cutters, twenty new rubbish bins and a large square bin.
Club President, Mrs Mereia Bogitini was thankful what she described as a timely assistance that would effectively service the Sawene Settlement, in Lauwaki, Lautoka.
“This assistance is timely as we are recovering from the wrath of cyclone Evan,” said Mrs Bogitini.
“The community does not have regular rubbish disposal services because it is out of the Lautoka City boundary,” described Mrs Bogitini.
The twenty rubbish bins will be strategically placed in the community for easy access by different households and a large square bin for whole collection will be collected by Fijian Holdings Logistics on a monthly basis when full.
The general outline of the project is for the club to generate income from grass cutting services in the community and then pay for the monthly rental fees of $150-00 for the big square bin that will be collected by FHL Logistics.
Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Mr Joseva Sania is urging youth groups to work on projects that are of worthy causes and beneficial to communitie and the environment.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports Peer Mentoring Programme continues to assist Youth Groups in their project proposals.
3 SCHOOLS TO INCLUDE DISASTER AWARENESS INTO CURRICULUM
An emergency and disaster awareness curriculum is being prepared by the Ministry of Education and will be implemented this year.
Acting Minister for Education, Viliame Naupoto revealed this today with schools in the Yasawa Group being the first to try it.
“This is the first time that the emergency curriculum will be implemented and schools such as Bukama Village School in the Yasawas will be one of the first to use it,” he said.
The curriculum has been a result of natural disasters which have become a norm now for the country.
The curriculum has been developed over the years and Minister Naupoto said that it would be helpful during times of natural disasters.
4 NEW MEDICAL STAFF BOOST NUMBERS
Shortages of nurses and doctors will become a thing of the past as the Ministry of Health pursues plans to improve capacity building for 2013.
Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has reassured members of the public that doctors and nurses numbers are “increasing quite substantially”.
“35 new doctors have joined with fifty four nurses also coming on board and with additional two hundred expected to join in March,” Dr Sharma said.
Dr Sharma adds that currently sixteen nurses are undertaking short term courses in India undergoing neurology courses.
The Minister also highlighted that the ministry have put in place better management skills ranging from the improving shortage of medication to minimising wastage of medication.
“Wastage of medication has decreased to 1percent compared to the previous years with escalating number but we will be monitor and evaluate these issues to ensure that efficiency is prioritised,” Dr Sharma said.
5 FIJI PROPOSES STRENGTHENING OF FIJI-TIMOR LESTE RELATIONS
Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with H.E. Dr Jose Luis Guterres, Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste.
The meeting provided a platform for both the Ministers to pursue bilateral discussions on important issues of mutual significance that will foster further economic, trade and international relations between the countries.
At the outset, Minister Kubuabola informed H.E. Dr Guterres of the positive steps which Fiji has undertaken to ensure the restoration of democracy in Fiji. On the development of the new constitution, Minister Kubuabola informed Minister Guterres that Fiji has successfully completed its constitutional consultation process and a first draft of the Constitution has been submitted to H.E. the President. He further clarified the fact that the current draft will be amended to ensure a more balanced outcome is obtained. In other words the new constitution will ensure sustainable democracy for all Fijians. A finalized dossier is expected to be ready by March 2013.
Hon. Minister Kubuabola also informed on the unprecedented progress that Fiji has made in its voter registration process. He added that to date, more than 50% of the population are registered under the electronic system of voting. “This will be a first time in the history of Fiji where the concept of one person and one vote will be applied, reflecting true democracy” added Hon. Minister Kubuabola.
H.E. Guterres acknowledged the mile stone achievements made by Fiji towards parliamentary elections. He informed Minister Kubuabola of Timor Leste’s full confidence in Fiji and provided his unwavering support to Fiji in this regard.
On the bilateral front, Minister Kubuabola informed H.E. Dr Guterres of areas of interest where both countries could benefit significantly. Minister Kubuabola offered to Timor Leste the consideration of a Reciprocal Waiver of Visa for Visitors between the two countries under possible “Reciprocal Visa Waiver Agreement”. Furthermore, Minister Kubuabola has also invited Timor Leste to join the Fiji Volunteer Scheme which will aid Timor Leste in meeting its labour demands and technical capacities.
Minister Guterres welcomed the offers made by Fiji and further suggested sector specific technical assistance. “Timor Leste wishes to learn from the experience of Fiji in sectors such as Tourism, development of own Air lines and Fisheries”, added Minister Guterres.
Minister Kubuabola has offered Timor Leste “to consider a Development Cooperation Agreement with Fiji, similar to those which Fiji has with other developing partners such as Indonesia. The Development Cooperation Agreement is an overarching agreement constituting an array of areas of cooperation which Timor Leste could capitalize on including the areas of interest mentioned”, added Minister Kubuabola.
In addition to this, Minister Kubuabola thanked Timor Leste for its continued participation in the Engagement with the Pacific Meeting and encouraged its ongoing involvement under the predecessor the Pacific Island Development Forum. The Pacific Island Development Forum, he added, is a unit which will be in the interim based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Both Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further the issues discussed today over the next few months with a view for a Development Cooperation Agreement to be concluded to by both countries.