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Community Outreach

Activities at the Navosai Community

The Small Islands Voice Open Days, held in 2003, had been very well attended and participating communities had been invited to draft work plans and request assistance for follow-up action to carry them out. The Navosai community is the first to receive follow-up assistance.

The Navosai community is a subdivision in suburban Suva and is composed of about 200 households, of which 64 belong to the Methodist Church. The remaining households belong to other denominations. This community is not a traditional village as such, but is composed of migrant families from various parts of Fiji settled in Suva on a semi-permanent basis for job opportunities and children's education.

A meeting was held in August 2004 with the Methodist Church Community group and the COTS (Chemistry Outreach to Schools) team led by Dr. K. Koshy, and UNESCO representatives, Mr. Hans Thulstrup and Dr. Gillian Cambers. After a traditional kava welcome by community elders, a group of elders discussed their efforts at cleaning up their community and maintaining a healthy environment. Government services in this rapidly growing migrant settlement are irregular at best, and as a result the community has taken responsibility for a number of services normally handled by government, such as roadside clearing, planting, beautification and occasionally waste disposal.


Photo caption: Community leaders and Mr. Hans Thulstrup (second from left) at entrance to church/community centre, August 2004

The community identified their main problem as excessive kava (grog) intake, in particular among males. They stressed that while respect between community members from different places of origin as well as between generations was still maintained, 'city' influences made this less so than in more traditional villages.

A wheelbarrow and assorted garden implements were presented to the community by the COTS team at the end of the ceremony in response to interests expressed by the community in developing composting pits as part of their clean-up efforts. The community responded by promising to put them to good use, such as the digging of composting pits and provided assurance that the equipment provided would be considered part of the church inventory, thereby securing it against theft.


Photo caption: Presenting a Wheelbarrow and other implements to a Community Elder at Navosai, August 2004

Photo caption: community planting and beautification at Navosai, August 2004
 

To get involved, contact :

 
 

Dr. Kanayathu C. Koshy
Director
Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development,
University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.
T 679 321 2184
F 679 330 9176
koshy_k@usp.ac.fj

 

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