$10k Leadership Fiji Community funding to boost Uto ni Yalo Trust program

Front Row: (L-R) Rajesh Patel, Teddy Fong. Back Row - (L-R) Viresh Chandra, Fazia Farik, Anare Manulevu, Kiel Ah Sam, Evisaki Vela, Kaifa Ledua. Picture: SUPPLIED

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between the Leadership Fiji Community and the Uto ni Yalo Trust (UNYT) to fund $10,000 towards UNYT’s Traditional Sailing and Environmental Stewardship program.

Leadership Fiji Community Fund Chair, Rajesh Patel while officiating at the event said he was delighted to support this environmentally friendly project.

Mr Patel who is also an Alumni of the Leadership Fiji 2002 program said he hopes that the program will empower rural and coastal communities to be self-sufficient and appreciate the sustainability of traditional sea transportation.

In receiving the grant, Uto ni Yalo Trust President, Teddy Fong said they are extremely grateful to Leadership Fiji Community Fund for selecting UNYT and providing this seed funding that will benefit two communities in the Serua Province.

“The project is unique, in that while we are working to revive and protect our traditional sailing culture from total loss, it is this same sailing culture that will mitigate some of our modern-day maritime transportation challenges, especially those caused by the rising cost of fuel,” Mr Fong said.

The Uto ni Yalo Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 2013 to inspire community, corporate, and policy commitments for the protection of our island and ocean spaces. The work of the trust is guided by values of reducing fossil fuels, the revitalization of traditional knowledge, reconnecting with our traditional voyaging past, youth empowerment and stewardship, and sustainable sea transport alternatives.

The Leadership Fiji Community Fund was set up to receive and manage funding from organizations, donors, aid funds, past Leadership Fiji year groups and individuals to enable life-changing community developments by making a positive social impact for Fiji’s communities.

The thematic areas that the committee can support are Child Development, Education, Food & Nutrition, Animal Protection, Development and Protection of Women and families, Leadership Training, Promoting Democracy, Free exchange of ideas/knowledge and Sustainable Community Environmental Projects.

Since its launch in August 2020, Leadership Fiji Community Fund has supported 17 community projects with just over $90k funds disbursed.

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