Bid to bridge gaps

Women of Vuci in Tokatoka, Tailevu with their products made in the “Mai Vale” program. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE “Mai Vale” (Come Home) initiative is expected to see the gap between rural and urban living cultures bridged.

“Mai Vale” director Aca Mataitini said the initiative had already been experienced by more than 200 women from nine villages in the Central and Eastern divisions.

“After working for the government for 36 years, I went back to the village.

“I saw a need to address the gap that is existing in the community.

“With due respect to government and NGO programs in place, those programs are not making the much needed impact to the grassroots,” he said.

“Discussion has been made with the respective ministries and some NGOs who somehow or the other does similar programs. So our programs are brought in to compliment the programs that are already there.”

Mr Mataitini said their aim was to reach people of all ethnic groups in every corner of the country.

“The target group and results all the other programs that are in place has not reached what ‘Mai Vale’ wants to reach,” he said.

The initiative is not only for the people living in the rural areas to keep up to date with the lifestyle of the one’s living in urban areas but vice-versa as well.

“We urge families in the urban areas to contact us should they want to go through our program.

“It will help them get close to their villages and also help their kids know and understand their culture.

“What is happening these days is when families go back to their villages they do not know the protocols or the lifestyle being lived there. This program will help them understand all these things,” he added.

The “Mai Vale” program is run by Mr Mataitini and six other women who fork out money from their own pockets to run the programs.

The latest program was conducted in Vuci in Tokatoka, Tailevu where women were taught how to use recycled items to produce useful items.

Using old newspapers, cartons, old blankets and mosquito coil packets the women were able to produce candle holders, flower vases, photo frames, ornaments, necklaces and photo frames.

Mr Mataitini said for now these items would be used in their respective houses but plans were to sell the products in future.

Mr Mataitini said they had applied for funding from various institutions but so far were relying on their own budget.

The “Mai Vale” program will be turned into a NGO after the official launch later this week.

It will be launched at the Nasali Landing in Rewa tomorrow.

More Stories