ACTING Australian High Commissioner Glenn Miles has applauded the efforts and exceptional plans of a resource centre by the Soqosoqo Vakamarama Cakaudrove.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Savusavu this week, Mr Miles said the centre would provide accommodation for women travelling to town to sell produce and handicraft.
"This will be the first centre of its kind for rural women in Fiji and I must acknowledge the vision and commitment of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama Cakaudrove, who in collaboration with Architects Without Frontiers from Australia have been working on this project since 2008," Mr Miles said.
"The centre will also become a key meeting point for women from Cakaudrove to receive training and assistance to improve their livelihoods and enhance their culture.
"Improving women's economic empowerment is achievable. This centre, once completed, will become the vehicle to do this."
Mr Miles said the centre would also be used as a training facility to empower and train young rural women.
"The centre will also ensure women have easier access to services about economic opportunities, health, nutrition and education services for women living in the remote parts of Vanua Levu."
Mr Miles thanked the chiefs of Cakaudrove for their support in blessing the women with a 99-year-lease for the land on which the resource centre to be constructed.
"The government of Australia is committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged women, men, their families and communities in Fiji," he added.