MANY market vendors may not be aware of the daily risks they face even though they play a vital role of feeding the nation.
Recently, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) tried to find out whether the vendors know of and understood the health and other daily risks they face and whether they know how to protect themselves.
The PFIP's assistance was introducing the concept of insurance to the vendors.
"The challenge of explaining the concept of insurance exists in all environments, including among well-educated people, however it can prove to be even more of a challenge when trying to reach people in developing countries, who may have never been exposed to insurance," a statement from PFIP said.
To explain insurance in simpler terms, PFIP introduced a treasure basket game for a group of Rakiraki vendors.
The game, initially developed by Micro Insurance Academy (MIA) in India, had been adapted to the Fijian context by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program. The treasure basket game transforms the complex task of insurance education into a simple and effective game. The game educated women on the need for insurance in their community.
"For the market vendors, playing the treasure basket game proved to be fun and easy, while at the same time enabling them to understand the notion of insurance and how pooling risks may offer better outcomes then out of pocket spending," the statement said.
Pramesh Gopal, a retired 67-year old civil servant said, "the game was great and it was an easy way to explain insurance to these women, who may have just heard insurance for the first time".
"Microinsurance is insurance with low premiums designed for the poor or low income people. For participants, they realised that microinsurance utilises the strength of the community which is nothing strange for the iTaukei community tradition of solesolevaki," PFIP said.
Laisani Naiduva, 49, was grateful for the training and said the game taught her a lot of lessons on the risks we face every day and more so as women, and how she could better manage her money and savings.
"I think microinsurance is something that will really meet the needs of market vendors," she said.
The program is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Rakiraki Town Council, and the Vaileka Market Vendors Association.