$388k grant for VOU to help artists

VOU Dance Group director Sachiko Soro (front second row, third from left), manager Edward Soro with SPC team leader culture for development Dr Frances Vaka’uta with dance students at the VOU Dance Studio in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Enormous efforts undertaken by the VOU Dance Group to provided sustainability for Fijian artists in the creativity industry has been bolstered with a grant of 179,000 euros ($F388,938).

The grant was awarded to the local contemporary dance group by the Pacific Community through the Pacific Community’s Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) ACP-EU Project.

HRSD team leader, culture for development Dr Frances Koya Vaka’uta was at the VOU Dance Studio in Nadi recently to meet with the team and establish the partnership for the first time after the group was awarded the grant in July.

VOU director Sachiko Soro said the project was to enable the employment of 100 youths full-time in the culture and creative industry.

“It’s basically to provide educational scholarships to young Fijians that might not be able to access tertiary educational scholarship and we have 40 diploma scholarships through this program,” she said.

“They will be able to graduate and work as full-time dancers and we are also developing six shows that they can go and work in. We also want to develop employment pathways that still don’t exist in Fiji that will allow the creative industry to be able to function.”

Ms Soro said the grant came in at the right time after they were badly hit by COVID-19.

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