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FIJI TIMES ONLINE Maneesha Karan Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mere Simoteo with the handicraft which the Banaban women created

WOMEN should be encouraged to help support their family by getting involved in an income generating activity.

This is a task encouraged by Rabi Island's candidate in the World of Difference program conducted by Vodafone ATH Foundation ù Terikano Takesau.

According to Ms Takesau, families in Rabi continued to refrain women from setting up businesses or seeking funds to foot financial needs, and left the family income to be the sole responsibility of male.

"On the island, women are not allowed to be involved with income generating projects and it is the men's responsibility to get the income, which needs to change.

"Women never used to sell food stuff but now we are trying to bring about a change because the standard of living has deteriorated on the island," Ms Takesau said.

This, she said, was proven by the increasing number of school dropouts, who harvested cane in Labasa and turn to fishing.

"Most of the people depended on the income generated through phosphate mining project. After the mining's closure, the people's livelihood has been severely affected.

"It's about time we changed the mindset of people to allow women to help meet the family's financial commitments.

"The standard of living is very low and some parents aren't able to meet their children's educational needs."

Ms Takesau hopes to assist some needy families though the World of Difference program.

"I will be conducting a survey on disadvantaged families in Rabi and provide assistance to children's education either financially or providing schooling materials.

"This is to encourage the children to have a secured future through attaining an education," Ms Takesau said.

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