A Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between Community Leadership Fiji and the Uto ni Yalo Trust (UNYT) to fund $10,000 for UNYT’s Traditional Seafaring and Environmental Stewardship Program.
Leadership Fiji Community Fund Chairman Rajesh Patel, who officiated at the event, said he was delighted to support the eco-friendly project.
Mr Patel, who is also an alumnus of the Leadership Fiji 2002 programme, said he hopes the program will enable rural and coastal communities to be self-sufficient and appreciate the sustainability of traditional shipping.
Upon receiving the grant, Uto ni Yalo Trust Chairman Teddy Fong said he was extremely grateful to the Leadership Fiji Community Fund for selecting UNYT and providing this seed funding which will benefit two communities in the province of Serua.
“The project is unique, in that while we work to revive and protect our traditional sailing culture from total loss, it is this same sailing culture that will alleviate some of our modern shipping challenges. , especially those caused by rising fuel costs,” Mr. Fong said.
The Uto ni Yalo Trust is a non-profit organization established in 2013 to inspire community, corporate and political commitments for the protection of our island and ocean spaces. The trust’s work is guided by the values of reducing fossil fuels, revitalizing traditional knowledge, reconnecting with our traditional travel past, youth empowerment and stewardship, and sustainable shipping alternatives.
The Leadership Fiji Community Fund was established to receive and manage funds from organizations, donors, aid funds, former Leadership Fiji Years groups and individuals to enable life-changing community developments. by having a positive social impact on communities in Fiji.
The thematic areas that the committee can support are child development, education, food and nutrition, animal protection, development and protection of women and families, leadership training, promotion democracy, free exchange of ideas/knowledge and sustainable community environmental projects.
Since its launch in August 2020, the Leadership Fiji Community Fund has supported 17 community projects with just over $90,000 in funds disbursed.