Over 7,000 young farmers, fishermen, foresters, and entrepreneurs have been trained in the Taveuni-based Tutu Rural Training Center and are now serving their communities.
The vocational centre, established in 1969, aimed to train and empower young adults and school dropouts and involve them in suitable courses.
Director Petero Matairatu says the centre offers various courses, which include those for young farmers, single women, leadership, parents, and village courses.
He also sheds light on the benefits of their farming program.
“So upon recruiting them into the program, we’ve engaged them for the three-year program where they have to plant 1000 kava from home as well as 1000 kava plants here in Tutu. And upon completion, they got back; they harvested all their produce, and they took all their money back into their own places.”
Matairatu adds that they are also working on developing a digital tool to enhance financial literacy among their participants.
“It can help them to record the amount of produce they sell at the same time they can record their expenses, and then they can design their own financial statement or profit and loss.”
The training centre continues to monitor its programs to ensure they are aligned with the needs of communities.