Cen­tre un­locks new op­por­tu­ni­ties: Ak­bar

‘Through this ini­tia­tive the min­istry reaches out to women, who need skills train­ing to ven­ture into in­come gen­er­a­tion’

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tran­sit from wel­fare to work­fare. They have been men­tored on de­vel­op­ing self-con­fi­dence and self­es­teem. Some of them will also find their way through Mi­cro and Small Busi­ness Grants Scheme and Fi­jian Made Em­blem cur­rently pro­vided by the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Trade and Tourism,” Min­is­ter Ak­bar said. Cen­tre man­ager Af­s­rin Sabina Ali praised the trainees for their level of com­mit­ment pro­vided dur­ing the train­ing con­ducted from April 1 to June 18 this year. To help them start of their busi­nesses, four of the trainees were pre­sented with elec­tric ovens by the Fiji Mus­lim League while six were given sewing ma­chines by the Min­istry of Women. “We had four grad­u­ates from culi­nary class and six grad­u­ates from the tai­lor­ing and fash­ion de­sign class. We were able to give in­di­vid­u­alised at­ten­tion to each trainee and this re­sulted in them grasp­ing the con­cepts very well, even es­tab­lish­ing their own busi­ness to­wards the con­clu­sion of the course. Of the 10 cour­ses out­lined we have al­ready es­tab­lished culi­nary, tai­lor­ing, screen print­ing and the next course will fo­cus on hor­ti­cul­ture and flo­ral ar­range­ment. “The next round of train­ing will be­gin in two weeks’ time and this will be for six to eight weeks at the end of which the trainees will grad­u­ate with cer­tifi­cates and given start-off tools as it was in this grad­u­a­tion,” Ms Ali said.

With the com­ple­tion of the dor­mi­tory, the cen­tre will also pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for trainees liv­ing out­side of Suva and that from the ru­ral and mar­itime ar­eas.

One of the grad­u­ates, 38-year-old Salani­eta Ko­toisuva of Wainibuku HART Home in Nas­inu is pre­pared to build on her cater­ing busi­ness. Be­ing a sin­gle par­ent, Ms Ko­toisuva is deter­mined to ef­fec­tively use her skills to look af­ter the wel­fare of her four chil­dren. “I am happy with my achievements; as for some­one who only went up to Form Six (Year 12), this grad­u­a­tion means a lot to me. The train­ing has given me a new life, a means to stand on my own two feet. Even though, I have been on wel­fare as­sis­tance, I have al­ways wanted to build a fu­ture for my chil­dren us­ing my own willpower, I know one day I can,” she said. “Cook­ing has al­ways been my hobby and I have been lucky to learn new tech­niques of bak­ing pas­tries, cook­ing lo­cal dishes and Thai dishes. I will be able to bake items like cook­ies, dough­nuts, cakes and sell it from home and even take cater­ing or­ders for events like wed­dings, birth­days. I’ve been tak­ing cater­ing or­ders for few oc­ca­sions; it’s a prof­itable busi­ness and now with new skills I can make a va­ri­ety of items that will be a boost to my busi­ness,” Ms Ko­toisuva said. She thanked the Min­istry of Women and Fiji Mus­lim Women’s League for hav­ing faith in her and giv­ing her free train­ing op­por­tu­nity. Source: Min­istry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion

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