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Panel Discusses Adoption Of Descendants Of Indentured Workers

Panel Discusses Adoption Of Descendants Of Indentured Workers
Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa (second from left) poses for a photo with some students at the University of the South Pacific on September 13, 2017. Photo: Ashna Kumar
September 15
10:00 2017


A Rewa Peace Process panel on Wednesday discussed the implications and the future of the Vakatokayaca ceremony that was held at Nabudrau Village in Noco, Rewa in May.

Explaining the discussion that was held in the iTaukei language at the University of the South Pacific, the Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa said the discussions included the future of the event where the descendants of the indentured labourers were adopted into the vanua of Rewa.

“What some of the thinking was in terms of questions as to maybe why this is happening and what’s going to happen in the future,” Ro Teimumu said.

“I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of people that turned up and how they stayed throughout the discussions.”

It was organised by the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) and Pacific Dialogue and included Ro Teimumu, Turaga na Ratu na Tui Noco, Ratu Isoa Damudamu; Ratu Meli Vesikula from Initiatives of Change (I of C) Fiji; FRIEND’s Associate Director Dr Jone Hawea and two students from the University of the South Pacific.

Ro Teimumu said what people were concerned about was what had happened during Rewa day and also what Vakatokayaca meant.

“Today the panel discussion was to elaborate on what it meant for the Luvedra na Ratu and for us from Rewa particularly the people from Noco,” she said.

“What this new relationship meant to both of the groups and how we are going to take it forward. What I liked about the discussion was what everyone’s views were and were reflecting the views of their peers.

“For us and the Luvedra na Ratu (children of the chief) the new relationships, we are working in different ways in terms of what they can offer us and what we can offer them.

“One of the big things that is needed in our province is in terms of the youth population that we have is about 70 per cent; many of them do not have any marketable skills.

“And Friend Fiji has started with the sustainable livelihood project training that we value because that will provide some sort of livelihood for our young people as they grow up.”

The peace process is in line with the International Month of Peace which is designated for the month of September.

Edited Rusiate Mataika



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