Koro Is­land women turn trash to cash

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JONE LUVENITOGA Feed­back j one. luve ni toga@ fiji sun. com.fj RE­PORT­ING FROM KORO

Women on Koro Is­land are pick­ing the pieces of de­bris scat­tered by Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston and turn­ing it into cash. The pro­gramme, spear­headed by the In­te­grated Hu­man Re­sources De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (IHRDP) and funded by United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) is meant for women to be able to use any re­course to its max­i­mum ad­van­tage. The IHRDP has iden­ti­fied weav­ing as one of the key as­pects for women who can do more than meets the eye for fast re­turns of cash from left­overs.

Strips of pan­danus leaves, once dis­carded dur­ing the years of abun­dance can be churned to cre­ate the most beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tion, the most unique purses and clutch folder hold­ers com­monly used at work­shops. At a time where the scars left by the ‘Mon­ster Storm’, is still ev­i­dent, weav­ing has given th­ese women and girls a sense of hope know­ing that not all is quite lost in tra­di­tion.

Six­teen-year-old stu­dent of Koro High School, Si­teri Navu­nidakua, was earnest while weav­ing flower pat­terns and purses. “I knew how to weave mats, but this pro­gramme has given me an ad­van­tage to add other items to the mats wo­ven by women in the vil­lage,” Si­teri said.

“I am now look­ing at this ini­tia­tive as a cash earner for me in the fu­ture.” Year Eight stu­dent of Nav­aga Vil­lage, Mar­ica Valata, said she left all her des­ig­nated hol­i­day chores just to at­tend the work­shop at her vil­lage on Satur­day after­noon. “My mother knows how to weave, but I will sur­prise her now,” she said. Mean­while, 13 vil­lages on Koro Is­land have been iden­ti­fied for re­lo­ca­tion plans, ex­cept Vat­ulele Vil­lage, con­sid­ered to be a safe haven against threats from storms, big storm surges and tsunamis. Edited by Naisa Koroi

Win­ston. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Adi­tui Tu­rauni car­ries niece, Adi Tukana Bu­luwale­naui, in front of their tent erected on the foun­da­tion of their home which was wrecked dur­ing Trop­i­cal Cy­clone

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