THE declaration of Nadalei Village in Tavua as a crime-free zone yesterday followed an eight-month long exercise in humility, says village headman Ilai Manoa.
The village was declared a zero-tolerance zone for violence against women and children by the permanent secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta.
Mr Manoa said the phases involved for a village to receive such a declaration took about eight months to complete. Villagers, especially the men, participated in awareness and educational programs to help instil values to protect the vulnerable in society.
At yesterday's celebration the ministry announced they would fund the completion of a village hall to be used by women as a processing area for honey. The women began a beekeeping project last year.
The new women's centre will also be used to conduct classes for sewing, baking and activities,
Ministry media officer Anshoo Mala said the government's approach was twofold.
"It is that of the elimination of violence and economic empowerment," she said.
Nadalei lies between Vatukoula and Nadarivatu and has a population of 526 people from 116 family units.
The same program was also conducted in the village of Waikubukubu, also in Tavua, later in the evening.