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Women Trained In Jewellery-Making

Women Trained In Jewellery-Making
Sainimere Niasa and her husband, Waisele Vateitei, selling souvenirs in Suva during the arrival of Majestic Princess ocean cruise liner on September 21, 2018. Photo: Wati Talebula
September 20
07:52 2014

A partnership between the Ministry of Women, the Ba Women’s Forum and Mother of Pearl Value- Adding Project has opened new windows of opportunities for women through the emerging pearl industry in Fiji.

Through this project, 11 women representing Ba Women’s Forum have already been trained in the production of jewellery made from pearls and tapa. Earlier this month, the products were displayed and sold at TappooCity with prices ranging from $30 to $250.

Project manager Theo Simos said this project was part of a $10-million project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Development.

“The project is part of a research that is being done in Fiji and is part of the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development,” Mr Simos said.

“We found that there were significant numbers of shells and pearl products being imported from Asia and Pacific into Fiji.

“This was impacting our local producers, so our effort is to focus on building the capacity of Fiji’s pearl industry through value adding,” he said.

“The idea of the project is to establish women’s groups that are able to value-add the shells and this project has taken 12 to 18 months to develop and it involves working very closely with the Ba Women’s Forum and the Ministry of Women.

Permanent Secretary for Women Dr Josefa Koroivueta said this project had created a new platform to develop local skills and talents.

“The ministry is glad to contribute towards this wonderful project and we thank all the stakeholders for making this project a reality for the women of Fiji. It is a great incentive for women from all walks of life to develop their skills and become self-sufficient; we hope in future many more companies would come forward to support such projects aimed at empowering women,” Dr Koroivueta said.

Vani Tera, 54, of Namosau, Ba, who was once unemployed now enjoys earning income through designing jewellery from pearls and shells.

“I was only a housewife at one stage, but now I am able to create ladies’ necklaces and jewellery using pearls of different designs.

“I believe this is a great opportunity to empower the housewives and grandmothers. Through this project we have also learned to make salusalu, pottery, tapa design and creative pearl necklaces,” Mrs Tera said.



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