Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka, acting Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Mr. Mitieli Cama and senior representatives from the Embassy of Korea in Fiji with community representatives from the provinces of Nadroga, Lomaiviti and Bua who are part of a two-day Saemaul Geumgo training in Suva.
SUVA – More than 20 community representatives from villages in the provinces of Nadroga, Lomaiviti and Bua are currently meeting in Suva to undergo training on a successful rural development concept to be piloted in these identified communities.
The Saemaul Geumgo (SMG) model is based on the ancient practices of mutual help found in the Korean villages with the objective of sustainable financial development with emphasis on savings; and self-help development, highlighting the cooperative principle.
The SMG rural development model is established voluntarily by the community, and the decisions within its management are autonomous creating a spirit of independence as well. Investments, savings and lending money are planned by the communities themself.
The programme which is fairly new to Fiji will complement the Saemaul Undong (SMU) Programme which has been piloted in the villages of Silana, Mau and Naimasimasi in the Central Division.
The Korean Government’s Ministry of Interior and Safety, through the Korean Federation of Community Credit Co-operatives (KFCC) has supported the SMG establishment in developing countries, which it intends to introduce now in Fiji.
“This bodes well with the Coalition Government’s vision of encouraging more Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and their sustainability to support our local communities and improve living standards and economic growth, especially in this period of socio-economic recovery from the global pandemic,” said Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka in his address to the community representatives.
“To the community representatives, Government officials and participants present today, you are the catalyst of this new co-operative model by helping to spread the gospel in your respective villages, communities and Ministries. This Workshop will help enlighten and empower you on the Saemaul Geumgo initiative, which when implemented, will hopefully reap rewards for all Fijians.”
The SMG model is also intended as a tool to assist people in our rural and maritime communities on how best they can utilise the resources they have in addressing common problems such as poverty, and other issues.
Caption: Community representatives from the provinces of Nadroga, Lomaiviti and Bua who are part of the two-day Saemaul Geumgo training 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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