Financial assistance has been allocated for the Fiji Girl Guides Association and selected young girls in the Pan Pacific & South East Asia Women's Association's (PPSEAWA) “projects focus area” (an informal settlement) to be equipped for the next school term.

This development follows a recent donation of $5211.32 from PPSEAWA members in New York, USA.

The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni presented the cheque on behalf of the PPSEAWA New York to the Fiji Girl Guides Association and PPSEAWA Fiji this week at the Ministry headquarters in Suva. The donation was in appreciation of the presentations made by the five girl guides at PPSEAWA's 25th International Triennial Conference which was held here in Suva, in August last year.

The girls presented on the topic 'Are we doing enough for girls'. Delegates from 12 countries representing the Pacific & South East Asia region were impressed with the clarity and sincerity with which the girls spoke on the topic. According to the group, the donation represents their appreciation towards the girls for their presentation.

PPSEAWA International first vice-president Mrs Ravesi Johnston said the money allocated to PPSEAWA Fiji will assist underprivileged girls to acquire essential items to help them with their studies.

“We are indeed grateful for this thoughtful donation provided by PPSEAWA members in New York. We know that the parents of the recipients of this donation will be really grateful as it will take care of a lot of the burden they shoulder at beginning of the school terms”, Mrs Johnston said.

“The objective is to support the educational needs of the young girls and because the Fijian government is providing free education, free text books and free bus fares, the decision was made by Madam Minister Dr Jiko Luveni, with our concurrence, that these funds will be utilized to purchase the school uniforms, stationaries, bags and shoes for the girls.

“The 5 Girl Guides will receive $500 each while the rest of the funds will be distributed among the needy families in Lovoni Street settlement in Suva which is one of PPSEAWA Fiji’s project areas. This generous donation will ensure that those families who normally face financial difficulties in sending their girls to school will be able to do so. Assisting girls to stay in school is indeed a worthwhile investment," Mrs Johnston explained.

She said this donation complements the PPSEAWA’s work in the areas of women empowerment, poverty alleviation and gender equality.

While speaking on behalf of the Fiji Girl Guides Association, Mrs Mere Tuikoro said the girl guides are appreciative of the assistance provided to empower them.