Financial literacy training is hope for Kadavu woman

Since Tropical Cyclone Harold wreaked havoc on her village and damaged her canteen, Venina Tiko Turaganisolevu has struggled to stay afloat. The 24-year-old runs a small canteen business in her village of Lawaki, Nakasaleka, Kadavu and sells food at the pier. But the opportunity to attend a workshop on financial literacy and savings will now give her more hope for her business and also a chance to share her learnings in the community.


Enina Tiko Turaganisolevu, training participant (behind, third from left), Vani Catanasiga, director of the Fiji Social Services Board (behind, fifth from left), with other participants and members of the council staff during the formation of the Lololo project.

Since Tropical Cyclone Harold wreaked havoc on her village and damaged her canteen, Venina Tiko Turaganisolevu has struggled to stay afloat.

The 24-year-old runs a small canteen business in her village of Lawaki, Nakasaleka, Kadavu and sells food at the pier.

But the opportunity to attend a workshop on financial literacy and savings will now give her more hope for her business and also a chance to share her learnings in the community.

Through the Fiji Social Services Board, the pilot training called Lololo was delivered to 12 participants in the board’s training room in Suva.

“Through the two days of training, I learned a lot about budgeting and managing your savings,” she said.

“It is common for us at iTaukei to mix business relationships, which always affects the progress of any business.”

“During the last cyclones, our canteen was damaged, but we were able to carry out repairs thanks to the income we got from the canteen activity.”

She looks forward to empowering her community by providing them with the correct information so that they can access digital financial services through the office of the Fiji Social Services Council.

The director of the Fiji Board of Social Services, Vani Catanasiga, said this was the first type of training for the Lololo project.

Stemming from the iTaukei tradition of food preservation, over a long period of time, the Lololo Project aims to empower its participants to save money for future investments or in case of emergency.

Ms Catanasiga said research showed that the concept of Lololo was still practiced in communities to remain resilient in times of disaster.

“We’ve shown we can run a business, but our only problem is how we use that money.”

Ms. Catanasiga said that they hope to create contacts in the communities that are still excluded and do not have access to this type of financial and social services or financial institutions.

Some areas they study are: Kadavu, Yasawa, Bua.

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj

Sarah J. Greer