What seemed like a long term goal to achieve for the women on Koro Island is nearing completion thanks to the income generated by the solar freezer business under the European Union funded Learning Environment Adaptation and Development (LEAD) of CSOs in Fiji project.
For 3 years the women of Tuatua village have been saving to aid for the construction of their Women Resource Centre with proper convenient facilities that are women friendly.
Finally managing to save up to $7k from the sale of their mats and contributions through fundraising, the process was able to speed up from the business earnings. For over 6 months in operation, the women managed to collect close to $2000 in which $1,100 was used to transport the building materials across.
“The business is quite inconsistent because of the irregular boat service. Income was quite good before when we had weekly service,” Club Committee Ulamila Matai said.
“We collected over $7k which was enough to purchase the materials and we are grateful for this business which paid for the freight of the items to be transported across.”
Made up of 50 women, the Tuatua Club sells frozen product from Suva which include chicken, mixed vegetables, sausages etc and save their income instead of sharing it amongst members.
“We are looking forward to having our own community centre because this is where we will operate our business too. We have kitchen ware and utensils that belong to the club and only use during any village function so this will be a place to store them safely.”
One of the greatest achievements, according to Alumita, will be the construction of a proper toilet that is woman friendly.
“Before we had none and we usually go to our own house to relieve ourselves. Grateful that the project has assisted us to achieve our target and it has also encouraged us to continue work as a group to generate more income through weaving and handicraft work simply because we have a regular income through the solar freezer income.”
At the moment, they have $2000 in saving and they are generating an income of $300-$400 a week.
Women from Tuatua village with ADRA Austria’s Marcel Wagner and ADRA Germany’s Anna Kirkun – Neuman outside of their community hall during their recent trip to Fiji