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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SEWING MACHINES EMPOWER FIJI WOMEN

Dr. Jiko Luveni, Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation


SUVA, Fiji - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is helping to improve the lives of women in rural parts of Fiji. In partnership with several organizations, the Church is donating sewing machines for distribution in villages and on isolated islands.

Dr. Jiko Luveni, Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, says because many of these women cannot afford store bought clothes, most of their clothes are hand sewn. Sewing machines will provide an opportunity to learn a useful skill to benefit their families and provide a means of income.

Dr. Luveni recalls the satisfaction she felt when she learned to sew and make her own clothes as a young woman. "So we made the effort to secure as many sewing machines as we could," she said. "We are trying to provide at least two sewing machines for each of the 1164 villages in Fiji."
Now over half way to this goal, Dr. Luveni keeps track of the number of machines that have been placed, with their locations dotting the map in her office.

According to Elder Taniela Wakolo, a senior Latter-day Saint leader, "the ongoing assistance by the Church to Fiji on this project is an amazing way of assisting those who have the talent and skills and those who want to learn how to sew, but do not have the means to purchase a sewing machine. We hope that such assistance will help many individuals to be self-reliant and do whatever they can to strengthen the community they are in."

In November 2010 an initial donation of 50 machines was made. Subsequently, a second donation was made for 2011, and continued support for this project has been budgeted for 2012.

Learn more about this initiative by reading this Fiji Sun article.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports projects worldwide that focus on self-reliance and provident living.

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