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The new Namotomoto Women’s Resource Centre in Namotomoto village in Nadi was officially opened by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni over the weekend.
The government-funded centre is designed to create employment and income generating for the Namotomoto village. The Ministry also presented the Namotomoto Women’s Club industrial, overlock and electrical sewing machines.
In her opening address at the event, Dr Luveni said that Women Resource Center is one of the many programs of the Bainimarama Government to help alleviate poverty by banking on the skills and entrepreneurial roles of women.
“Women are indeed, convincing agents of change. Namotomoto Women’s Resource Center is special as it is centrally situated and accessible to all women of this community to sell their products to close by markets. It belongs to a group of extremely enterprising women keen to go the yards to succeed.
“Through this project, Namotomoto village and the surrounding villages of Nadi at large will have the opportunity to contribute to the economic development of our country. I have no doubt that the dynamic culture of Nadi will be a business boost to the women of Namotomoto. With new ideas, new skills and encouragement, we can provide those opportunities for the benefit of everyone
“This demonstrates government’s commitment to institutionalize women’s programs and services in communities such as yours. Government is very serious on empowerment of Fijian women and today’s event is a mark of this. Through Bainimarama government, an enabling environment for women to be free to live lives free of violence and free to pursue economic and political empowerment is uplifted,” Dr Luveni said.
The new facility will also be used by other government agencies and stakeholders to promote women livelihood programs, financial literacy training, sexual and reproductive health programs and others.
“The resource centre opens the window for women that will improve their lives and the lives of their families. It boosts their morale and it is indescribable the gainful benefits that will unfold. This year similar centres have been opened in Kadavu and Bua. Macuata, Qarani, Korovisilou and Ba are near commissioning to fully meet the planned women resource centres for 2014,” Dr Luveni added.
While speaking about the plans for this new Centre, Mrs Sereima Lutumailagi, president of Namotomoto Women’s Club says the core product will be sewing and selling school uniforms to assist children who come from disadvantaged families.
“Sewing is the major activity for our club, however we were in need of a centre through which we can operate in a more organised and consolidated manner. We have more than 40 registered members in the club who will be sewing school uniforms that will be supplied to Nadi District School, Nadi Primary School and Ratu Navula School.
“We have already taken some orders for school uniforms which will be sold at prices ranging from as low as $8 to $10. The club will assist the women members to open their savings account so that once they start earning money they can also save for rainy days. This centre is a great investment into the lives of the women and children of Namotomoto village.
“Apart from the uniforms we also hope to sew items like table cover, cushion and pillow cases. We are grateful to the government for providing this much needed facility in our village,” Mrs Lutumailagi said.
The women resource centres is a major capital project for the Ministry and todate it has built a total of 45 women centre extensions and 16 women resource centres in Fiji.