NATION

Koro Women Hope Mats Sold Will Help Villages

The women of Koro hope to revive the Christmas spirit that was shattered by Tropical Cyclone Winston. At the Koro mini-market day in Suva yesterday, Nakodu villager Vilikesa Niumataiwalu said
17 Dec 2016 15:12
Koro Women Hope Mats Sold Will  Help Villages
From left: Alena Gukibau, Matila Dau, Mereia Ragata and Sainiana Natubailagi in Suva yesterday. Photo: Ivamere Nataro

The women of Koro hope to revive the Christmas spirit that was shattered by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

At the Koro mini-market day in Suva yesterday, Nakodu villager Vilikesa Niumataiwalu said the market day meant a lot to the women on the island. This is because the money made from selling their mats would help provide for their families during the festive season.

“Even the women who did not know how to weave were part of the mat-weaving project and they would also be compensated for their efforts,” Mr Niumataiwalu said.

The women on the island were from the 14 villages on Koro and were divided into groups of four and five.

He said the dried voivoi (pandanus leaves) were brought from Gau, Nairai and Vanua Levu and some from Koro.

There are 52 sets of mats, with a set looking to be sold at $1000 each.

“The money that is made from here will all go back to the women themselves,” said United Nations Development Programme project officer Alifereti Bulivou.

Mr Bulivou said two certified Fiji Arts Council trainers facilitated a workshop to upskill the women on weaving and sewing.

“The whole project is associated with the post-Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery and we just want to help the women financially,” Mr Bulivou said.

Mr Niumataiwalu said the women of Koro were grateful to the UNDP for helping them generate income and for also financing the mat-weaving project.

The Koro mini-market day is an initiative by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and supported by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, UNDP and the International Labour Organisation.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

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