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Fundraising For Schools, Levy Help: Banivanua

Fundraising For Schools, Levy Help:  Banivanua
Women from the Methodist Church of Fiji Suva Division, performing a traditional meke during the opening of the Festival of Praise and Gift Giving at Furnival Park in Suva on August 13, 2017. Photo: Karalaini Tavi
August 14
11:00 2017

The money that would be raised from the weeklong Festival of Praise and Gift Giving that opened yesterday would be to help with the connexional levy and to assist the church’s schools, said Methodist Church President Reverend Tevita Nawadra Banivanua.

“This year however, the Solevu (festival) is specifically to help with the Methodist schools and connexional levy,” Reverend Banivanua said.

Reverend Banivanua was speaking to over 10,000 members while officially opening the Annual Methodist Solevu – Festival of Praise and Gift giving at Furnival Park in Suva.

The 58 divisions of the church from around the country gathered with an international audience through live-streaming from around the world.

Last year the church launched their decade of Methodist Education with the bulk of the funds collected allocated for various schools and training institutions.

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Reverend Banivanua said last year whatever was collected and presented by the various ex-student fellowships, and alumni of a particular school or institution was earmarked specifically for that institution and kept in their President’s Trust Account for that specific purpose.

However, Reverend Nawadra said the origins of the Solevu went back to the history of the Methodist mission in Fiji.

As the lotu, he said the mission, began to grow and new circuits, and mission posts grew with the appointment of what was then called native teachers and native ministers.

He said local fundraising became important to supplement the Fiji mission long before the decision to work towards having an indigenous and autonomous church.

Last year he said the Methodist members struggled to contribute towards the connexional funds because of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“We were so touched when some of the affected divisions overcame such difficulties to make their contributions to the work of the church which in turn was providing material, psychological and spiritual support for them.”

He said he was touched by the divisions who gave out of their difficulties to make their contributions.

“Our hope is that we can complete this Solevu with collecting enough funds to operate for the rest of the financial year,” he said.

He said the church founder Englishman John Wesley was very much in their thoughts when they talk about fundraising and the three rules that went with it: “Gain all you can; save all you can; and give all you can.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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