China donates 1,000 more sewing machines to Fiji's rural women

10:00, August 01, 2011      

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Rural women in Fiji are expected to generate money for their organizations and communities as China pours in more than 1,000 sewing machines to change their otherwise struggling lifestyles.

Since the initiative started in 2009, 1,900 household sewing machines from China have been distributed around Fiji. All rural villages and settlements in the island country with a women organization are entitled to receive two household sewing machines as a form of assistance from the Ministry for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation that received their support from China's women organizations who are determined to alleviate the status of their counterparts in Fiji.

Fiji's Minister of Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Jiko Luveni on Sunday praised China for the timely donation, saying the distributed sewing machines are to encourage women to acquire a skill to enable them to generate income for their families and community easing the handout mentality from the government.

Luveni said the ministry has received sewing machines from China to realize the target to reach out to the number of women organizations in the rural communities to lift them from poverty as more than half of Fiji's population are below the poverty line.

Strong bilateral ties between Fiji and China have resulted in timely assistance that saw the arrival of the All China Women's Federation (ACWF) Vice President Meng Xiaosi in April last year to officially hand over 700 sewing machines to the Fiji Women's Federation (FWF).

Luveni said they would fulfill the ministry's target of providing at least two sewing machines to each village in Fiji in a bid to boost the financial earnings of rural women and they were meeting their target while boosting women's status.

Many rural women have been empowered by the initiative and have started selling their products to earn money. They can now as groups make profit collectively to boost their economic productivity.

Source: Xinhua
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