NATION

Thriving From The Nama Project

Development is everyone’s business and the women of Gunu Village in the district of Naviti, Yasawa, are working col­lectively to increase the productiv­ity of their Nama or “organic sea grapes”
31 Aug 2018 11:00
Thriving From The Nama Project
Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

Development is everyone’s business and the women of Gunu Village in the district of Naviti, Yasawa, are working col­lectively to increase the productiv­ity of their Nama or “organic sea grapes” farming project.

The Gunu Women’s club is driven independently without any support from the Government. It currently accommodates 40 members.

Before venturing into the Nama project these women were inde­pendent in sustaining their own livelihoods from the catch they got from the sea or the sale of handi­craft.

In March 2018, the Non- Gov­ernmental (NGO) arm of the Awesome Adventurous and Blue Lagoon Cruises called “Vinaka Fiji” approached the women and introduced an initiative to form a Women’s Group to venture into the Nama project.

The formation of this group had essential elements to target such as to economically empower these women from the income generated from the sale of the Nama, develop the livelihoods of the families and the village and most of all to con­serve their marine eco-system.

In the six (6) months of their exist­ence, these women are reaping $500 per week from the sale of the Nama alone.

They need to harvest five bags of Nama every week and each bag cost $100.

It was through the initiative of the Vinaka Fiji that they managed to link these women to a company called Essence of Fiji that focuses its mission to improving the liveli­hood of rural women in Fiji.

This company works very closely with local villages in the Yasawa region to harvest extracts for value adding products such as body lo­tions, insect repellent, skin care products, Nama Ice Cream and even Healthy Food Products.

In September this year, the village of Gunu will also embark on a full-day tour programme organised by Rosie Tours in Nadi.

The programme will allow tourists to discover the harvesting process of Nama, they will also be hosted to experience delicious Fijian cui­sine in the village and followed by a traditional Nama massage therapy treatment on their beach front.

Currently, six women from the vil­lage are undergoing a training ses­sion on full spa therapy with Seni­kai Spas Fiji.

These women will train the other women in their village on massage therapy using the skin care prod­ucts directly processed from Nama.

Maca Ramoce, the secretary for the Gunu women’s group, echoed her sentiments to Vinaka Fiji for the thought to establish the Gunu women’s group and adopting a pro­ject, which has really added much value to the lives of the people of Gunu.

“The villagers commended the ini­tiative by Vinaka Fiji and such an initiative has managed to draw in­come every week for these women.

“I am thankful to Vinaka Fiji for the thought to bring in such wealthy initiatives that will eco­nomically empower us.

“I am also thankful that they also saw the potential in us but for us women we know that we have the support of our husbands.”

The women of Gunu have also ex­pressed their desire to be registered under the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

The project was made known during the focus discussion group with the women when the team of REACH officials visited their vil­lage providing awareness and ser­vice delivery on the essential Gov­ernment services.

The REACH team was in Kese yes­terday, and in Soso today.

Source: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

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