NATION

Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre Graduate 56

The centre graduated batch 33 with a total of 56 women, who had completed courses in sewing, cooking and pastry.
19 Aug 2022 15:42
Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre Graduate 56
Shruti Chand (middle), with her father, Susil Chand and mother, Sangeeta Devi, following her graduation from Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre in Makoi on August 18, 2022. Photo: Nolishma

Another set of enterprising wom­en graduated from the Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre yesterday.

The centre graduated batch 33 with a total of 56 women, who had completed courses in sewing, cooking and pastry.

One of the graduates in Cooking and Pastry, Shruti Sonali Chand, said coping with studies online was not easy for her.

The 19-year-old was unable to complete her Year 13 studies due to COVID-19 so she started looking for a job. She said it was a blessing to have found out about the Makoi Women’s Vocational Centre.

Ms Chand started her course in cook­ing and pastry in June this year.

“I used to stay home and had nothing much on hand, I used to help at home in cooking and baking but it’s a lot more different when I came to the centre to learn, I’m proud of myself that I had made this decision and I am happy to be graduating.

“I am ready to use my knowledge in real life, we are so fortunate to have such a centre that empowers us,” she said.

Another graduate, Paulini May Meli, 18, loves imagining clothing patterns in her mind; she believed joining the cen­tre was a great opportunity to make her dreams come true.

She joined the centre after completing her Year 12 studies last year and gradu­ated in a sewing course.

The eldest of three siblings is ready to start her business and bring her crea­tive patterns to life.

“I have always wished to start a busi­ness early in life, being at this age and knowing I had this chance of not only doing sewing to bring my unique ideas for outfits to life but also to start a busi­ness to generate income.

“I am proud of myself that I’ll be able to start earning at the age of 18, I hope other girls also know what they want in life and start acting while we are young,” she said.

Paulini May Meli following her graduation from the Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre in Makoi on August 18, 2022. Photo: Nolishma

Paulini May Meli following her graduation from the Makoi Women’s
Vocational Training Centre in Makoi on August 18, 2022.
Photo: Nolishma

The Makoi Women’s Vocational Train­ing Centre, which is a project by the Fiji Muslim League, has graduated over 1500 women since 2015. The Centre of­fers skill-based developmental opportu­nities to underprivileged women of our society such as widows, single mothers and women with little or no education regardless of their race, religion and ethnicity.

This enables marginalized and desti­tute women to have access to income-generating activities by offering them training in such areas as cooking and pastry, tailoring and embroidery, hydro­ponics and caregiving, with a student capacity of 100 women at a time.

The Centre is registered with the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) as a ‘Higher Education Institute’ to op­erate and issue recognized certificates to the graduating students in Aged Care and Community Care.

Minister for Women, Children and Pov­erty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, said the goal to economically empower Fijian women means getting rid of adverse social norms, discriminatory laws, pro­vide sufficient legal protections, address gender gaps in unpaid household and care work, and address unequal access to digital, financial and property assets.

She said the Government, apart from its commitment to promote gender equality, continues to support institu­tions and programs that help economi­cally empower Fijian women across various sectors.

“Our support to the centre was encour­aged by the fact that the Makoi Women’s Training Centre allows developmental opportunities to the underprivileged and disadvantaged women of our soci­ety

“I must also applaud the fact that the centre being run by the Fiji Muslim League is not for Muslim women alone. It has catered to women of various ra­cial, ethnic, cultural and socio-econom­ic backgrounds in all these years and will continue to do so.

“When women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of eve­ryone around them-their families, their communities, and the country,” she said.

Graduates in sewing were also awarded sewing machines each to help them start their business.

Feedback: nolishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj



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