TEN grandmothers and Fiji's first solar engineers have been described as a source of inspiration.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday welcomed the women, who graduated from the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India last week.
He said the women were an asset to the nation and the skills they attained would help light up villages that had been haunted by darkness for years.
"You are the source of inspiration and will be remembered in Fiji's history as the women who took up to the challenge of becoming Fiji's solar female engineers," he said.
Commodore Bainimarama revealed their partnership with the Barefoot College had taken another level where a memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed between Fiji and the college in starting two new projects for women.
"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," he said.
Commodore Bainimarama said the second initiative would ensure the production of educational toys for children in preschools using recycled products such as plastic bags.
"This will be in line with the government's commitment to create economic opportunities for women in Fiji as new women resource centres will open this year around."
Meanwhile, the 10 women who are from various villages in the country will receive their solar lights soon from India and will use their skills to light up their homes.