Two organisations have been equipped with new income livelihood tools provided by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.
In an official event at the Ministry’s headquarters, the Ministry presented 5 sewing machines to Kaba Women’s Group from Tailevu and Dilkusha Girls Home in Nausori. The request for assistance was made directly to the Hon. Minister’s office, earlier this month.
The machines were presented to the groups by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
Minister Akbar said this assistance aims to support the skills development and income livelihood for women and young girls.
“Sewing machines are working tools, through it we instill in them the talents and skills of sewing, which become a source of income for families. The Ministry continues to provide livelihood programs to economically empower women, to raise their self-confidence and lead them towards the pathway of self-reliance and self-employment,” Minister Akbar said.
“Women are good agents of change, when we equip them with business mind-sets they will to get the job done well. The outcome will greatly impact the livelihoods of our children and families. The Ministry will continue to reach out and assist families through such initiatives.”
Minister Akbar said such opportunities are also open to individual women, particularly those who were from underprivileged families.
“Since 2009, the Ministry has so far distributed 3077 sewing machines to 1709 communities and 25 individuals. We expect the skills to be taught with solidarity and in partnership we want to pass those skills to individual women, especially those from deprived families.
The Ministry looks after 10 percent of Fiji’s population who are also known as the poorest of the poor and by helping individual families, we will be making a greater impact on their households,” Minister Akbar reiterated.
Most of the women groups who have been presented with sewing machines by the Ministry have also been selected to participate in the upcoming National Women’s Expo 2015 that will be held in October.
While thanking the Ministry, Kaba Women’s group head, Mrs Maca Toronikaba said the donation will benefit the women and children.
“We are impressed with the swift response from Madam Minister in assisting us. We will be able to sew school uniforms for some 73 school children in our village.
“The women also do weaving, make handicrafts which are sold to the tourists who visit the village every fortnight. Through these sewing machines, we will be able to sew sulu jaba, ladies dresses, men’s wear and sell it to the tourists and nearby villages. We don’t have to travel long distances now to buy school uniforms as these machines will also save us money and help our women earn an income for their families,” Mrs Toronikaba said.
Home Manager for Dilkusha Girls Home, Leba Laveti said the donation will enable the vocational students to learn sewing.
“It will be a great help to the children particularly 3 of our students who are undergoing vocational training in sewing and catering. This will also include 4 boys and currently we have a total of 34 children at the Home. These children are good with practical skills and these donations are an incentive for the students to learn sewing,” Ms Leveti added.