A MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MOU) will soon be signed between Fiji and Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India that will unfold new economic programs for women in Fiji.
Social Welfare and Women's Minister Dr Jiko Luveni confirmed this while revealing the plans for her scheduled visit to India to attend the graduation ceremony of 10 Fijian women who will complete six months of solar electrification training at Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India.
"The graduation ceremony for Fiji's first 10 solar engineers would be held this month in India and as requested by the Prime Minister, who visited them earlier this year, I will be attending this ceremony to provide support and encouragement to them as they celebrate their achievement," she said.
Once they return, the women will be expected to solar electrify their villages.
The initiative is a joint one with Ministry of Women, UN Women, Barefoot College and the Indian High Commission. The women will be provided solar panels for each household in their villages.
"Workshops will be constructed and they will take on their roles as the solar engineers of Fiji to solar electrify their own villages," Dr Luveni said.
She said one of the other reasons for visiting India was to witness the signing of an MOU with the Barefoot College to secure assistance in starting two new projects for women in Fiji.
"From my visit to Barefoot College in June this year, there are two major projects that caught my attention and an MOU will be signed between Fiji and Barefoot College to introduce these two projects in Fiji.
"The first one is the manufacturing of sanitary pads using raw materials in rural areas at reasonable costs. If adopted in Fiji it will reduce our imports of sanitary pads.
"And the second initiative we will introduce is production of educational toys for children in preschools, using recycling products such as plastic bags."