Record 940 Graduate In Village
A record-breaking 940 villagers and people from rural areas in Ba have been urged to become active contributors to the economic growth of the nation regardless of the level and capacity of their involvement.
The Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala made these comments yesterday as chief guest during the graduation ceremony held at Sorokoba Village.
The participants had gone through a two-week course in 14 different fields before being handed their certificates yesterday
The participants consisted of 534 females and 406 males.
Mr Bala, who was overwhelmed at the vast number of graduates, said this was the “icing on the cake in a two-week long period of awards for secondary schools around the country.”
The two week course, Sustainable Livelihood Project, was implemented in 2012. It was carried out by the Fiji National University and was Government-funded.
It started with the objective of delivering technical and vocational training to rural and maritime communities here and to upskill school leavers from the age of 14 and above.
“I am so humbled to be a part of a history which has just been created.”
He said the significance was greater considering the large number of participants.
“This has also set a new record for the number of participants at one single venue for the 2016 schedule.”
“This year however, with the carnage left by Tropical Cyclone Winston, participants will have had and will continue to put their skills learned to good use and provide all necessary assistance to homeowners wherever their skill sets may be applied,” he said.
“Although many home owners in Sorokoba and Bukuya have received their house building materials, they seemed to lack skilled technicians or tradesmen or the finance to hire them to begin re-construction of their homes.
“This is where this two-week training programme, be it the wooden house construction, or domestic electrical installation, or household and sanitary plumbing, will come in greatly handy.”
Mr Bala said this went in line with reducing the socio-economic disparity between the poor and rich, the rural and the urban.
“All Fijians through the proper and sustainable use of land resources are being and will be assisted with planned and sagaciously funded livelihood programmes.
“My ministry implements the Sustainable Housing and Income Generation Projects as a progressive response to the situation on the ground,” he said.
“This is to combat the deterioration of socio-economic, health and physical living condition of villagers and rural communities and informal settlements.”
Mr Bala said his Ministry was currently implementing the Sustainable Housing and Income Generation Programme in eight villages in eight provinces in Fiji.
Edited by Jonathan Bryce