Island News

Celebrating Tuvuca Day in a big way

Written By : MARAEA WAQALEVU. Family, friends and villagers from Tuvuca, Vanuabalavu in the Lau Group gathered in Suva for the past two celebrate ‘Tuvuca Day’. Head of the mataqali
30 Aug 2008 12:00

image Written By : MARAEA WAQALEVU. Family, friends and villagers from Tuvuca, Vanuabalavu in the Lau Group gathered in Suva for the past two celebrate ‘Tuvuca Day’.
Head of the mataqali Tabukena residing in Suva Taniela Bese said this was the first time ever the village has decided to hold such a function that would benefit its students attending tertiary institutes in the city and would also help go towards the salary of their church minister.
“We have three mataqalis, here today (Friday) and also members of the yavusa who’ve come from Vanuabalavu to be part of the occasion,” Mr Bese said.
He said each mataqali, Tabukena, Vuniuto and Rara are expected to give $5000 each to the occasion and he and members of the village remained optimistic of meeting their target.
“We informed each mataqali to present $5000 each towards this the Tuvuca day and as I speak, the money given by the villagers seem to be overflowing and I for one am very happy about it,” said Mr Bese.
He said that some members of the village had started to notice the hardship faced by children of Tuvuca who wanted to study in tertiary level but whose families encountered difficulties in paying for tertiary fees because they were too high.
It was also noticed that villagers were finding it difficult to pay of their divisional church minister and so the idea of holding a fundraising drive and calling it the ‘Tuvuca Day’ arose.
“In this way, we’re also able to gather with friends and family, some of them we haven’t seen in a very long time and enjoy the day together and also fundraise for our scholarship fund and a separate fund to pay for our church minister,” he said.
“This is the first time ever for us to gather here and the first for such occasion as well and this has been one event that we’ve looked forward to for a while.”
Mr Bese said some of those attending the event came for the Methodist Church conference and have been here since in time for the ‘Tuvuca Day’ and some just came especially for the occasion, while others that here live in Suva.
“Some of our villagers came to attend the conference and have been here since while others have come especially for this event.
“And its so great to get all the support that we can get from those residing here in Suva and to know that at the end of the two day function, we would have been able to raise enough to cater for the two things that we need,” Mr Bese said.
He said most of the livelihood in the village is derived from coconuts which the villagers sell and since business is not always booming, those residing back in the islands have to find other means to survive and meet the needs of their children who are schooling in the mainland.
“There has been so much support from everyone for this occasion because we know it’s for a good reason that we’re doing this.
“Not only for our church minister but especially for our children who will be t he future of this nation one day.
“And of course we want to see them study, do well and graduate and then they can give back to the village in their own time,” said Mr Bese.
He said the money raised from the two-day event would be well looked after by a committee appointed by the village and this is keeping in line with transparency.
When the Fiji Sun visited Salala Road in Namadi Heights where the event was happening, ladies of the village were busy serving food for those who were present at the function.
And the Fiji Sun crew were fortunate enough to be served lunch while covering the event.
Mr Bese said everyone especially those in the islands brought food especially for this occasion.
“Those that came from the village in Vanuabalavu brought fresh fish, root crops and so on for this occasion and of course for those of us residing in Suva, were in charge of the meat and other essentials,” he said.
Mr Bese said from now onwards ‘Tuvuca Day’ would be an event that villagers would look forward to and after the success of this year’s occasion, they hope to have a much better, well organised and orchestrated event for 2009.

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