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Fiji Time: 7:08 PM on Saturday 26 July

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Empowering women

Demayble Pasoni
Saturday, April 07, 2012

THE Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation plans to open another sewing centre in Savusavu later this year.

It will be similar to the sewing centre in Suva.

Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni said in a statement plans were under way to open a centre in the north.

"The ministry has plans to develop similar sewing centre in Savusavu to train social welfare recipients in north," Dr Luveni said.

The statement said trainees that undergo three months training facilitated by the Fiji National University would be awarded with a Certificate of Attainment in Garment Construction and would be able to work in the garment industry or start their own business with the help from the women's ministry.

"These trainees will be empowered not only to earn greater monetary returns but will have the opportunity to develop their skills as businesswomen," said Dr Luveni.

"The centres will be the gateway to channel single mothers and women with disabilities into employment and sustainable source of livelihood."

"There is a separate program where we will train one woman from each tikina who will in turn train other women who have sewing machines in their respective villages.

"The beauty about this centre is that at the end of three months training, women as part of this training program will have an opportunity to do their attachment at garment factories in Fiji," she said.

Dr Luveni said partnership would be developed with Ministry of Health so that bed sheets, pillow cases and other items required in all the hospitals around Fiji would be produced at this centres.

"This process is called walking from welfare into workfare and through the centres government will continue to create economic and skills development opportunities for women," she said.

"So far through our partnership with hotels and corporate bodies, we have graduated about 2000 social welfare recipients and the centres will take us a step further in strengthening government's graduation and empowerment program," Dr Luveni said.

The trainees will also be taught on how to start their own businesses and ministry's target this year is to train at least 60 single mothers and channel them into employment and income generating.


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