Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka, Deputy Secretary Mr. Mitieli Cama, and the Ambassador of Korea to Fiji Mr. Park Young-kyu with Government representatives and community members who will be departing Fiji on August 14 for a capacity building training in Korea.
SUVA – Six Government representatives and 14 villagers from Mau in Namosi and Namasimasi and Silana will depart Fiji on Monday, August 14 for a two-week capacity-building training in Korea.
The training is made possible through the support of the Government of Korea under the Saemaul Undong (SMU) initiative currently spearheaded by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, and piloted in three villages in the Central Division.
The group was farewelled by the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka in Suva today.
While addressing the group, Hon. Ditoka reminded the lot about the vital responsibility entrusted to them through their participation in this training.
“Through this journey, you are not merely voyaging to a distant land, but you are embarking on a path that will empower you to bring about positive change, influence policy, and enrich the lives of countless individuals back home. I urge you all not to forget the purpose of why you have been selected to undergo this training. You must remember that as servants of the people, you have been chosen to participate in this capacity-building training because of your unwavering dedication to public service and your commitment to fostering positive change,” Hon. Ditoka said.
“I urge you to absorb every lesson, embrace every challenge, and forge connections that transcend borders. Let your interactions be not just transactions, but exchanges of ideas and experiences that will shape the course of our nation’s progress.”
Minister Ditoka also reminded the 20-member team that the insights they would gather and skills they would acquire would be instrumental in shaping policies that would drive socioeconomic development and uplift lives in rural and maritime communities across Fiji.
“This training presents a golden opportunity for our personnel to gain invaluable insights and practical knowledge on community development, sustainable practices, and the spirit of self-reliance. They will learn how to effectively identify and address the needs of our communities, engaging their active participation and mobilising resources to bring about lasting positive change.”
Hon. Ditoka also commended the Government of Korea, the organisers of training and the Saemaul Undong initiative for their vision, support, and commitment in sharing their knowledge about the successful implementation of the SMU initiative in Korea.
“I am confident that the experiences and lessons our Government personnel will gain through this programme will have a profound and lasting impact on the work that we do in developing our rural communities here in Fiji,” Hon. Ditoka added.
Mau villager Mr. Ananaiasa Rokovatunawa is among the six from his village who had been selected to be part of the 20-member team. He says he hopes to learn as much as he can during the training.
“We hope to see and lean a lot from the training in Korea and have it recorded well as this would be a great lesson to show and teach the community when we return home. We also intend to share ideas of the SMU initiative to our neighboring villages within the province of Namosi so they can also improve their village,” said Mr Rokovatunawa.
Meanwhile, since 2020, the Government of Korea has invested a sum of FJD $286,404 in these 3 villages, through the SMU initiative.
Some of the progress improvements noted in these communities so far includes the:
- Improvement of Sanitation, such as the transition from the usage of pit toilets to flush toilets and the construction of septic tanks;
- Water Improvement, such as the Dam or Water Catchment upgrade;
- Community Halls upgrade;
- Foot Paths and Village Drain Construction and Improvements; and
- Waste Management Improvement.
Caption: Mau Village rep Mr. Ananaiasa Rokovatunawa receives their eticket from the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka in Suva.
The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management is responsible for implementing development strategies that bring Fijians living in rural and maritime regions the same level of access to essential services and economic opportunities as anywhere else in the country. We coordinate and implement the Fiji Government’s rural and maritime development initiatives with a mission to empower Fiji’s rural sector. We also spearhead disaster risk reduction initiatives at national and sub-national level including disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. We have offices for each of Fiji’s 14 provinces including Rotuma, leading the Fiji Government’s rural development and disaster risk management operations.
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