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Soroptimist International

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Lautoka, Fiji

global voice
for women

“Educat o Lead”

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary

2008 - 2018
Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Age is not a barrier to


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Contact Us:
1 USP Lautoka Campus, Private Mail Bag, Lautoka. Phone: 666 6800. Fax: 666 7133.
Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018



their commitments to serve, they have persevered

to reachout and assist underprivileged families in
Fiji through livelihood programs and these have in-
creased women’s accessibility to basic services like
education, health, water, infrastructure, housing and
electricity to name a few.
I would like to commend the great achievements by
Soroptimist International (Lautoka) Team that con-
ducts community based programs that includes Liter-
acy programs at Primary schools, Essay competition
The Fijian government in partnership with the local for High Schools, Programs at Golden Age Home,
and international collaborations is committed to en- Food Program, Water projects for schools and com-
suring a truly democratic, economically vibrant and munities to name a few.
peaceful Fiji. Indeed these programs make huge impacts in en-
It is in line with this national vision, the Govern- hancing socioeconomic opportunities for the devel-
ment through various social and health empowerment opment of Fijian families.
programs to reachout and assist the less fortunate in- The initiatives created by Soroptimist International
dividuals, inspire action and create opportunities to (Lautoka) will go a long way in empowering individ-
transform the lives of women and girls through a uals and families to maximize their potential to live a
global network of partnerships. fulfilling life.
I am delighted to say that Soroptimist Internation- Soroptimist International leads the way forward in
al has made tremendous contribution in reaching out inculcating the message of love, care and compassion
and fulfilling the plight of underprivileged persons in to create positive thoughts and changes in our com-
Fiji. Be it in education, social, infrastructure or health munities.
empowerment, Soroptimist International has dedicat- I am confident that through promoting the values
ed itself to the development of this nation. of, “Empathy, Compassion and Service,” Soroptimist
The initiatives undertaken by Soroptimist Interna- International (Lautoka) will aspire for greater heights
tional complements the Fijian Government’s national in its endeavors to create positive impact.
agenda of creating a non-discriminatory, peaceful and On that note, I convey my heartiest congratulations
prosperous Fiji for all Fijians. Soroptimist Interna- to Soroptimist International (Lautoka) for its 10th
tional is indeed a vibrant, dynamic organisation that anniversary celebration. These long years of service
provides a strong voice in creating strong, peaceful demonstrates the organization’s unwavering commit-
communities worldwide. ment to serve with sincerity and passion. Also wish-
I wholeheartedly thank the Soroptimist Internation- ing many more years of success and support for the
al (Lautoka) Team that has been a great source of in- victorious team of Soroptimist International (Lauto-
spiration for change in our society. Through ka).


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Soroptimist International Lautoka Club

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu

From L-R - Lorin Sahib, Swanam Chand (President Elect), Geeta Kumar, Kriti Fong (Secretary), Neelam Singh, Minister for
Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar, Vinesh Prasad (President), Zareena Bi (Treasurer), Ranjini Mudaliar, Kaushal Neelam

Soroptimist International Lautoka


The club was chartered on 10th May

2008 at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel amid
much fanfare in the presence of Soropti-
mist International of the South West Pa-
cific (SISWP) Federation executive mem-
bers, members of the other six SI clubs in
Fiji, donors, sponsors and well-wishers.
The former Chief Justice Ms Nazhat Sha-
meem was the Chief Guest at the function.
The charter project that was undertaken
and completed by the club in early 2010
at the Golden Age Home resulted in ma-
jor renovations and a complete new look
of the kitchen and dining room which re-
From L-R - Neha Narayan, Anshu Mala mains a landmark project for the club. From L-R- Melaia Rokotuinasigana,
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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018
Siew Yong Gnanalingam
Who we are… SISWP Past President
Soroptimist international is a worldwide organization for
women in management and professions, working through
Dear members of Lautoka,
service projects to advance human rights and the status of
My heartiest congratulations to all of you on the auspicious
The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin word
celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the charter of SI Lautoka.
soror meaning sister, and optima meaning best. Soroptimist
In the 10 years since your charter, your club has contributed
is perhaps best interpreted as ‘the best for women’. From the
tremendously to the local, national and international programmes
founding of the first Soroptimist club in Oakland, California,
of service to advance SI’s mission of transforming the lives of
in 1921, through to the present day, over 3000 clubs are
women and girls.
flourishing throughout the world.
Your 10th Anniversary exemplifies not only 10 years of wonderful
contribution of service to your community, but also added strength
Our Vision
to SI Fiji, Federation of SISWP and SI in general. Having been to
We are committed to a world where women and girls togeth-
visit many of the wonderful projects of SI Lautoka in 2013 when I
er achieve their individual and collective potential, realize as-
was President of SISWP, brings back fond memories and feelings
pirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful
of pride in the great work carried out by SI Lautoka through the
communities worldwide.
many wonderful and beneficial projects.
I have of course noted with pride the great work SI Lautoka
Our Mission
continues to provide over the last few years, since my visit.
Soroptimist inspire action and create opportunities to trans-
I take this opportunity to wish SI Lautoka many many years
form the lives of women and girls through a global network of
of continued success and achievements in making a meaningful
members and international partnerships.
contribution and impact to SI. I also wish to add that I look forward
Soroptimist International South West Pacific
to welcoming the members of SI Lautoka and sister Soroptimists
Soroptimist International South West Pacific (SISWP) is one
from Fiji to the SI Convention KL 2019. As the Convention is
of four Federations globally, and currently includes the fol-
hosted by the Federation of SISWP once in 16 years, I hope you
lowing 13 countries: Australia, Cambodia, FIJI, Hong Kong,
will all take this wonderful opportunity to participate in this World
Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New
Convention, held in our Federation.
Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Thailand

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Suman Lal

President Elect

Soroptimist In-
Dr Pramila Devi
ternational of the
South West Pacific
USP Lautoka Campus

With great pleasure I congratulate Soroptimist

International Lautoka Club on their 10th anni-
My warmest congratulations to Soroptimist International (SI) Lautoka on its versary.
10th Anniversary! SI Lautoka has repeatedly scooped best prac-
The presence and work of SI Lautoka has no doubt had a significant impact tice awards for its outstanding projects at the
in our community over the first decade of its existence. SI Lautoka has been Federations biennium conferences. This is a
actively engaged in projects to assist the less fortunate members in our society, clear indication of the invaluable effort put in by
leading to social and economic empowerment. I applaud SI Lautoka executives the members of the club.
and members on the continued passion and dedication with which they have The members have been working together
been administering these projects geared towards training, educating, engaging within the club, networking with other NGO’s
and uplifting the living standard of the less fortunate ones. SI Lautoka’s projects and linking with SI clubs locally and globally.
are primarily focused at transforming women through education and leadership The outreach and rural connection has made
capacity building. Some of their education-based projects include the IWD SI Lautoka known to many cooperate and pri-
Oratory for Primary and High schools in Lautoka, the Literacy programs for vate sector organizations along with schools
Primary schools, the Essay Competition for High Schools during World En- and communities. They are a true reflection of
vironment day and the Food Program at Jasper Williams High School Hostel. “Women Inspiring Action, Transforming Lives”.
SI Lautoka also engages in various activities and programs for the Golden Age I salute, thank and wish SI Lautoka many de-
Home in Lautoka and Water projects for schools and communities. cades of success, numerous awards and further
I salute SI Lautoka team for their hard work and phenomenal commitment enriching projects.
towards community development over the past decade and I am confident they With the blessings and spirit of Soroptimism,
will continue to serve our community with the same vigor and enthusiasm. Sisterhood and Friendship.

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Veena Sharma
President/National Representative
SI Fiji Region Hasmukh Lal
Chief Executive
I have immense pleasure in congratulating Soroptimist Interna- USP Pacific TAFE
tional Lautoka for their tenth anniversary celebration. Soroptimist
International Lautoka club has fifteen very hardworking, vibrant
team members who are committed to uplifting the status of women
and girls in Lautoka and Fiji as well.
In this Biennium Theme “Embrace, Create & Prosper”, speaks to
the need for inclusiveness, sincerity of friendship and mutual respect.
It calls upon us to be open-minded and respectful of each other’s
place of origin, nationality, ethnicity, religious choices and gender On behalf of The University of the South Pacific’s,
equality. May we always remain a warm receptacle of female en- Pacific Technical and Further Education (USP Pacific
ergy that attracts, develops, enlightens and inspires action. Mutual TAFE), I wish to convey our heartiest congratulation-
understanding is the real essence of friendship. We, as Soroptimists sto Soroptimist International Lautoka in reaching an-
can work together to create sustainable solutions for communities other milestone of its 10th year of success.
in need. The goal is to be as creative as possible when developing Your mission to transform the lives of women and
content, programs, policies and solutions. girls by educating, empowering and enabling them
Soroptimist International Lautoka is a great example of this theme. to reach their potential has been very well received
Soroptimist International Lautoka has previously won the best prac-
by the communities locally and internationally. USP
tice awards in the Conference of clubs. Through their hard-work and
Pacific TAFE has been and will always be proud to
dedication these ladies are making a difference in our region as well.
The dedicated team is constantly willing to help the under-privileged be associated with a club which has people empow-
women and girls, in particular when disasters occur. erment vision.
I wish Soroptimist International Lautoka Club the very best and I wish you all the successes in your upcoming proj-
may God guide them to success in all of their projects and upcoming ects to transform lives. Happy 10th Anniversary.


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Mrs Viinesh Lata Prasad Mr Neil Towner

President SI Lautoka Club Director
Oceania Water Group Fiji

It gives an immense pleasure in penning the reminiscences of the

work conducted and accomplished by the Lautoka Club towards the Congratulations to Soroptimist International Lautoka on
10thAnniversary publication. The club consists of 15 hardworking your 10th Anniversary.
and professional women who are engaged and committed to provide We are happy to be associated as donors with such a
a better and healthy society to the women and children of Lautoka. vibrant and hardworking club which provides so much
Congratulations to the team for the great effort and providing services valuable service to the communities. The beneficiaries of
to the less advantaged for a decade. your work are many and it is heartening to witness that the
The club undertakes various projects which are aligned to Sustain- needy children and women greatly benefit through their
able Development Goals. The projects taken by the club are as follows, projects.
organizing Oratory competitions commemorating the International The club has also provided great platforms to the future
Women’s Day, Essay competition for the World Environment Day, leaders of this country through oratory programs, essay
waterprojects,literacy Day, providing stationery to needy students, competitions and literacy programs. These programs have
celebrating mother’s day at Golden Age Home, assisted with hygiene enabled students to develop their presentation skills and in
packs to flood victims in the needy areas, providing skills education turn also gain confidence for their future benefit.
to girls on floral arrangement and Saturday of Service was done at the The good will of the club has also been extended to-
Jasper hostel for food security. These projects are entirely conducted wards the residents of the Golden Age Home and also
through sponsors, fundraising and the federation assistance. schools and communities who have been recipients of wa-
The major project undertaken by the Soroptimist International is the ter tanks as a part of their water projects.
SanctuaryShelter for the suffering women and children as the ground Oceania Water Group Fiji will continue to work together
breaking ceremony was conducted and much appreciation is rendered with SI Lautoka club in future to ensure that needy fami-
to the government and the federation personnel. Thank you SISWP lies and communities continue to be enriched and blessed.
President Anusha Santhirasthipan and Karen Ford the company Sec- Your work in the last 10 years have elevated your status
retary for availing themselves and making this to happen. Much appre- in the community and I wish you many successful years
ciation to all sisters in Fiji. to come.

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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Sarojini Devi Harris

Charter President Soroptimist Zareena Bi (JP) – Magazine
International of Lautoka Fiji Editor
Assistant Program Director 2
-SISWP(2016-2020), Treasurer
My wholehearted congratulations to the President, Past Pres-
SI Lautoka (2016-2020)
ident and all the members of the Soroptimist International of “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compas-
Lautoka on the tremendous journey of selfless service to the sion and the will to help others”.
community for the last ten years. Albert Schweitzer
It is difficult for women to provide for their families, be at- Hearty congratulations to SI Lautoka for ten (10) years of ex-
tentive to full time jobs and join others in charitable work for ceptional service to the less fortunate women, children and fam-
the society. However, all these deeds are possible through the ilies in the society.
vibrant ideals of being a Soroptimist. History has proven that Being a charter member of this club it has been my good fortu-
whenever a woman took charge and fought for the betterment nate to be a part of the journey of this remarkable club which has
of her family, society and country, she was recognized and re- set very high standards through the remarkable projects that have
spected. Today millions of girls and women are self-sufficient. won recognition, praise and awards within the country as well as
Through peaceful protest using nothing but their words and uni- internationally at the SISWP federation level.
ty, women of the past have helped us reach a better place in the The success of SI Lautoka is due to the dedication of those past
society we live in today. We, as the Woman of modern day, members who have helped build a solid foundation and the cur-
need to carry this goal forward.“Men and women are equal”, we rent passionate ones who have kept the flag flying high through
hear this statement frequently, but this is still debatable. Fight- the donors and well wishes. Therefore, it is important to capture
ing for equal rights does not mean that women intend to defeat the last 10 years in this magazine for future references.
men and take over their jobs, pride or responsibility. Making A special mention also to the CITY STAR newspaper for their
decisions personally and professionally in society that carry the coverage of SI Lautoka’s projects that has made the vital differ-
same weight as men is what women strive towards. Through ence in creating awareness. My best wishes will remain with this
actions of selflessness and compassion we, together, can make extraordinary club always and may the club celebrate many such
this a reality. anniversaries in future.
There is no limit to we, as women, to accomplish – Michell “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is prog-
Obama ress. Working together is success.”
~ Henry Ford

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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018



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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Life Skills for Girl Guides

Life skills which are learnt by young
girls as a part of their Girl Guides activities
usually turn out to be very beneficial for
them in future.
SI Lautoka has been associated with the
Girls Guides Association over the years
in collaborating various activities during
their rally’s.
The activities include awareness
on child abuse, life skills like floral
arrangements or simply attending the
rally’s as special guests to motivate the
young girls.
On July 20, 2018 the Girl Guides
Association held a Provincial Rally in
Lautoka and Soroptimist International SI Lautoka’s Ranjini Mudaliar teaching floral arrangement skills to students during
Lautoka club had an opportunity to the Girl Guides Provincial Rally at the botanical gardens in Lautoka.
organize a floral arrangement activity
station for the participating students. activity hands-on under the guidance of out to be an opportune project for SI
Thirty one schools participated in this the members. SI Lautoka President Vinesh Lautoka which falls under Sustainable
event with more than 400 young girls Prasad informed that the floral station was Development Goals 4 and 8. “We are
taking advantage of the skills organized full the whole day with the girls doing the happy to work with the Girl Guides
at the camp. floral arrangements, enjoying the event Association for the benefit of the young
The SI Lautoka members taught with friends from their own schools as girls.” According to the Girl Guides
the girls the various ways of floral well as other schools, and even taking Provincial Commissioner Kalesi Sauqaqa
arrangements through demonstrations their artwork back to their home. the rally was a successful one with a
which the students appreciated as they “ Also, since July 15th was United positive response from the schools and the
were also given the opportunity to try the Nations World Youth Skill Day it turned big number of students who participated.

Congratulations to Soroptimist International

Lautoka Club on your 10th anniversary

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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Best practice award for innovative food project

Soroptimist International Lautoka club was rewarded with

a best practice award at the Soroptimist International of the
South West Pacific’s (SISWP) Conference of clubs 2018 held in
Melbourne Australia for one of their outstanding projects which
was supplementing food source for the Jasper Hostel students.
The first Saturday in March is the Soroptimist Saturday of
Service and the club members provided hand on service by
planting cassava at the hostel garden for the students.
In Fiji Cassava is a used in almost in all the 3 meals and at
the hostel according to hostel administrators a constant supply
needs to be maintained to supplement the needs therefore the
planting of cassava would mean that the money saved can be
channeled towards other essentials for the students. Club members preparing the cassava patch at the Jasper Hostel garden
150 girls from all over Fiji and some of the Regional
Countries of the Pacific live at the hostel which is funded by the
Methodist Church of Fiji with limited funding from the Ministry
of Education
SI Lautoka won the award in the food security category linked
to the Sustainable Development Goals for this project.
According to club President Vinesh Prasad they have been
winning awards in the previous year’s also and it was pleasing
for their work to be acknowledged amongst the other exemplary
projects submitted by other clubs in different categories.
The President added that it was a proud moment for SI Lautoka
to win this award in the presence of almost 300 members of the
other thirteen member countries which are a part of the SISWP
Federation. Members with the Jasper hostel students at the newly planted cassava

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Fax : (679) 665 1619 Mobile: 992 0484 Suva, Fiji Fax: (679) 665 1619 Mobile : 992 0484 / 992 0432
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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Literacy Program for Primary Schools

“Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If
our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century
we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens.”
- President Clinton on International Literacy Day, September
8th 1994
English is a second language for the citizens of Fiji but it is
the mode of learning at all schools in the country. Therefore, the
need to build solid foundations at primary school level.
The general idea behind this project is that if English can be
improved by motivating students to read story books then this
will assist in a better understanding of the rest of the subjects for
the students.
Since 2015 SI Lautoka has been carrying our Literacy
programs at various primary to mark International Literacy Day SI Lautoka members presenting story books to students of Dreketi
in September. Through this program story books are presented Sangam School in September 2017.
to identified schools and students are encouraged to read the
books and submit summaries. The club plays the lead role in
initiating the project, presenting the books, advocating during
the presentations and constantly keeping in touch with the
schools to encourage students to read and write summaries.
While deciding on a literacy project the club wanted to do
something which is sustainable and can be used by future
students. It was decided that since the story books will be kept
at the school library and future students can make use of it is
indeed a sustainable project (SDG’s 4).
The best summaries are rewarded with certificates, cash prizes
and movie tickets and the prizes are presented during the Annual
Awards day function at the respective schools.
Students of Shri Ram Govind with their awards for the best summaries


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018


Minister Rosy Akbar with SI Lautoka members and students of Drasa Muslim Primary in 2014 during the Disaster
Management Water Project official launching

2017 Environment Essay competition winners from Central College

2018 IWD high school category judges (from left) Kaushal Neelam, with their teachers and SI Lautoka members.
Dr Pramila Devi (Chief Judge), Sanjay Goundar

SI Lautoka members presenting

Girl Guides Banner (sponsored
ion certificate from Si Lautoka and Western Alumin by
receiving appreciat ium Joinery Ltd) to Leaders of
Mr Kailash Pillay IWD oratory conte
st Vuda Cluster Guide leaders in
r during the 2018 2017
MinisterRosy Akba

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Prefect Inductions at the Sunshine Special School in 2018. 2018 IWD oratory Urban Category Judges. L-R Fairul Nisha,
Neelam Singh (Chief Judge), Jai Mishra

Surela Devi of
Johnson Road,
of the water ta Drasa Lautoka
during the hand
nk donated by over d IWD Oratory Winners with
SI Lautoka in 20
16 2015 Oceania Water Group sponsore ar.
Mr Neil Towner and Mr Abdul Kad

SI Lautoka members celebrating Mother’s Day with the mothers at the Environment advocacy at Lautoka Central College by environmental
Golden Age Home in 2017 expert Dr Ajantha Perera in 2017

Green Gold
cluster Girl
Guides district
rally in 2017 at
Qalitu Primary

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Environment Focus
“The Ocean is the fundament in which
we exist, everybody has to get involved”
–Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for
It is with this objective in mind that in
2017 Fiji Government decided to bring
this initiative to the COP23 center stage,
in order to initiate a new kind of ocean
governance. By placing partnerships at
the center of the fight against climate
change, the Ocean Pathway Partnership
represents a means to implement the Sus-
tainable Development Goals (SDG), and
especially the SDG14 related to a sustain-
able ocean management Since June is the
month dedicated to environment (world 2018 World Environment Day Essay competition winners with chief guest Dr Pramila
environment day) and the rising sea lev- Devi and SI Lautoka members at USP Lautoka Campus
els is a major concern for Pacific Island
countries Soroptimist International Lau- the students at an awareness session at the all the High Schools in Lautoka in this
toka club decided to create advocacy and school regarding ocean pollution, damage competition with the theme ‘Beat Plas-
awareness of this major concern through to ocean seabed’s due to fishing methods tic Pollution’ and again the response has
an essay competition with the theme ‘Our and damage to sea shores. Students were been good from the schools with six
Ocean, Our Future’. The inaugural com- encouraged to utilize the information pre- schools taking part and ten students being
petition in 2017 involved the year 13 stu- sented to them as well as carry out their rewarded. SI Lautoka hopes to make this
dents of Central College. The club was own research in compiling their essays. an annual competition as per the relevant
fortunate to secure the service of Dr Ajan- The response was good and the top essays World Environment theme for the respec-
tha Perera, a renowned environmentalist, were rewarded with cash prizes and certif- tive year to continue with the environ-
who presented information to icates. In 2018 the club decided to include ment advocacy and promote research and
essay writing for high school students.

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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Pampering special mums at the Golden Age Home

Mother’s day, which is celebrated on
the second Sunday of May, is a special
day for mothers all over the world as chil-
dren go to great lengths in their own ways
to make the day unique and memorable
for their mother.
However, there are some mothers also
who spend this day away from their loved
ones in aged homes waiting for visitors to
bring hope and cheer to their routine lives.
SI Lautoka endeavors each year to make
mother’s day special for the mothers by
either organizing morning tea refresh-
ments or providing pampering services
like hair coloring, hair styling, manicure,
pedicure and nail painting. In 2018 for
Mother’s Day the special mothers were
treated to a pre-mother’s day pampering.
The club members organized an enjoy-
SI Lautoka members pampering unfortunate mothers at the Golden Age Home
able day on Saturday where the mums
could get their hair colored, shampooed dried as it is a personal touch which is there are quite a few donors who visit the
and blow dried as well as get their nails missing from their lives. Home on Mother’s Day with food and
painted in preparation for celebrations “They also chose their own nail polish refreshments so the members decided on
on the next day. According to SI Lauto- colors which the club members and their the pampering service. “This also gave us
ka President Vinesh Prasad the mothers family members applied for them. “We an opportunity to spend quality time with
were delighted by the thoughtful gesture chose to do the pampering this year which the residents and listen to their stories in-
accorded to them by the club members. is different from the morning tea refresh- dividually. “They do have a lot to share
“The mothers were all smiles and ex- ments which we organize every year for and most of the time there is no one to
cited to have their hair colored and blow mother’s day”. The President added that share their life stories with. “


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Aiding house fire victims

A house fire is a tragic inci-
dent for any family as it ends
up destroying their life term
investment as well as articles
of sentimental value.
In one such incident in Sep-
tember 2018 the joint home
of two brothers Ranjeet Singh
and Amar Jeet Singh was
razed to the ground in Velove-
lo, Lautoka. The incident was
more tragic as it happened in
the middle of the elder brother
Amar Jeet Singh’s daughter’s
A few days after the incident
SI Lautoka received a request
from the family for assistance
of school essential for three
of their daughters. One of the The Singh family being presented school items for their daughters by the SI Lautoka members.
girls Suhani Singh is a year
nine (9) student of Natabua they were presented with their members visited them for the life in the fire.
High school while the other school books, bags and other presentations. According to She added that the family
two Sheya Singh and Shanaya stationeries within a week of Mrs Rakeshni Singh they are is also overwhelmed by the
Singh attend Natabua Prima- the fire. The families had been thankful that all their family support and assistance that
ry school in year 8 and year 3 relocated through government members managed to escape they are receiving from their
respectively.The club ensured initiative and they were still unharmed but at the same time families and members of the
that these students received coming to terms with tragic they are sad that one of their community.
immediate assistance and incident when the club uncles Surendra Singh lost his


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Supporting Girl’s Soccer

Soccer as a competitive sporting activi-
ty for girls is not a very popular notion in
the country but hopefully with the initia-
tives taken by students, teachers and other
stakeholders this will change in future.
SI Lautoka club members understands
that it is vital that as a club we look at the
holistic development of children so apart
from education there is also a need to fo-
cus on extra curricula activities.
With this thought in mind the club to
decided to set the ball rolling in 2017 with
cash assistance towards the Lautoka Un-
der 14 girls soccer team for their prepa-
ration towards the Fiji Primary Schools
Football Association organized Fiji Pri-
mary School Inter district championship
(IDC) which was played at Prince Charles
Park in Nadi from August 22 to 24.
The U 14 Lautoka soccer girls team with their teachers and SI Lautoka members
According to one of the teachers assist-
during the cheque presentation
ing with the development of the soccer
team Mrs Sashi Prasad, this is the first soccer teams at individuals schools and primary schools from Lautoka iden-
time that the initiative has been taken run competitions just like what is the cur- tified and sent their players and because
to take a district under 14 girls team to rent practice for the boys soccer of the short fall the girls had to train with
championship level and a lot more effort teams. “The interest needs to be gener- boys to build up a good team.” Mean-
has to be put in place for the future. ated so there is a bigger pool of players to while, the Under 14 girls’ team went on to
“It is very important now for all prima- choose from when taking a district team win the championship in their category in
ry schools to develop their girls to competition level. “This year only six the IDC soccer championship.


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

International Women’s Day Oratory Competition

With the World Economic Forum’s

2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings
telling us that gender parity is over 200
years away - there has never been a more
important time to keep motivated and
Press for Progress.
The concept of IWD oratory for the pri-
mary and high school students is now an
annual concept for SI Lautoka which is
also a much anticipated even by students
and teachers. The sponsor for this event
for the last four years has been Oceania
water Group Fiji and they have pledged
their support for the future as well.
In 2018, the oratory reached its 5th
year which has created a huge amount
of advocacy on the gender parity topic at
schools, on social media and on the day
of the event itself with the future leaders
taking centre stage and voicing their con-
cerns on the topic. 2017 High School Category winner Mansha Nazim of Natabua High with Chief Guest
The club also understands that it is vital Shamima Ali and Oceania Water Group Fiji Operations Manager Abdul Shahim
to include males in this advocacy there-
fore male orators are encouraged to take
part and male oratory trainers and oratory
judges are included as a part of this cam-
The numbers have been pleasing as in
2018, 28 Primary and 10 high schools
participated in the event. Out of the 38 or-
ators 10 were males which is the biggest
number of male orator participation that
has been seen in the last 5 years.
The event has grown in the last 5 years.
The initial 2 years had just one primary
school category, in the third year the de-
cision to split into 2 categories was taken
(Rural Primary/Urban Primary)and from
the 4th year the high school category was
added on so now we have 3 categories.
The oratory judges readily offer their 2018 Rural Primary category Judges. L-R Payal Chand, Maika Kasami, Sanjaleen
services as this event is rated very highly Prasad (Chief Judge)
by the education fraternity. The quality of
speakers have grown over the years and
there is stiff competition in all categories.
The youngest orator in 2018 was a year 3
female student.
Also, the fact that the club is able to se-
cure high profile chief guests for the oc-
casion adds to the popularity of the event.
Our goal is advocacy on the topic and
this has been achieved in abundance from
the day the students start training for the
oratory in their school in front the whole
school to the day of the event. The project
is related to the following Sustainable De-
velopment Goals’; 3,5,11 &16.

2017 Oratory winners in the three categories with Chief Guest Shamima Ali and
Oceania Water Group Fiji Operations Manager Abdul Shahim

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Cyclone Winston aftermath assistance

SISWP - Best Practice Award at the
Conference of Clubs, Sydney 2016

Tropical cyclone Winston struck Fiji

on February 20, 2016 leaving behind a
trail of destruction which left families
without basic necessities and students
without their essential school items.SI
Lautoka immediately started their food
pack assistance in the surrounding areas
of Lautoka. The club decided to assist
in the Naviyago & Drasa Seaside areas
where the need was immense as almost
60% of families had lost their homes
Immediately after the cyclone
communications almost came to
a standstill due to damage to the
communication network towers and SI Lautoka members distributing grocery packs to a cyclone Winston affected family
no electricity supply so it was difficult in Naviyago Seaside.
to determine the areas affected right
way. Through social media (facebook)
updates we managed to gather some
information but we saw that most focus
was on areas in Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki.
The club felt that it was best that we
assist the affected people in Lautoka
as there was a danger of them being
neglected due to the media focus in other
areas. We also kept in mind that the next
need would be for the students in the
area to resume school. We spoke to the
advisory counselors in both these areas
who identified the number of affected
families in their areas. We have been
assisting in these areas during previous
natural disasters and have also done a
disaster management water project in
these areas by placing 7 water tanks in Students from the Naviyago seaside areas who were severely affected by TC Winston
these areas. We also started contacting receiving assistance from SI Lautoka members.
our donors through emails and social funding for this was received form
media and advising them regarding our packs for about 40 families. The Soroptimist International of the
plans of immediate assistance. grocery distribution was phase one of South West Pacific President’s disaster
We received funds from 2 donors the project and phase two of the project funds and more than 30 students were
from USA (Mr Satya Pillay & Mrs involved providing school essentials to assisted with school bags, stationary
Tasnem Janif) and organized grocery the affected students in the area. The and uniforms.


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Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Pinktober Advocacy, no one fights alone

The month of October is dedicated
towards Breast Cancer Advocacy and
organizations, schools and the Min-
istry of Health create this awareness
through various means.
Soroptimist International Lautoka
club also focuses on this advocacy
yearly targeting both primary and
high school students in Lautoka as a
collaborative effort with the Ministry
of Health Officers.
The Health officers thoroughly out-
line the symptoms of breast cancer to
the students and teachers on respec-
tive days which are allocated to the
The Officers also demonstrate self
checks for breast cancer and advise Students and teachers of Saru MGM Primary school during the Pinktober awareness
on the best time during the female at their school in 2016.
monthly cycles for the self checks.
The students and teachers are ad-
vised to share with their female fam-
ily members the need to visit their
doctor at their earliest when the symp-
toms occur. SI Lautoka gives a lot of
importance to this vital awareness as
each year more than 400 students and
teachers benefit from this advocacy.
The club is hopeful that through
information share process that is en-
couraged during the advocacy will
reach and benefit many more girls and
women in our community.
The sessions are make to made
more interactive by the question and
answer session at the end of the ses- Students of Jasper Williams with Ministry of Health Officers and SI Lautoka member
sions where students win prizes for Ranjini Mudaliar during the Pinktober advocacy.
correct answers to the presentations
carried out. The advocacy has been
successful as per the yearly targets set
this year and the club will continue
this vital awareness on a yearly basis.
Meanwhile, on an average there
are approximate¬ly 700 deaths due
to cancer annually in Fiji and every
year, the Ministry of Health records
over 1100 new cases of can¬cer.Of
these, slightly more than 50 per cent
are found in women mainly breast and
cer¬vical cancers. This is not to say
that men cannot have breast cancer;
we do have a small number of men
who have breast cancer. However, the
most common cancer in men is pros-
tate cancer and it is also the third com- A Ministry of Health Officer demonstrating self-checks to students of Jasper Williams
monest cancers in Fiji. School.

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Connect, communicate and care

Suicide is so common in Fiji now that it
has jumped up to the third leading cause
of death among youth (under 16) and
those aged between 17 and 25 years.
The World Health Organization esti-
mates that over 800,000 people die by
suicide each year, that is one person every
40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again
make a suicide attempt. The tragic ripple
effect means that there are many, many
more people who have been bereaved by
suicide or have been close to someone
who has tried to take his or her own life.
‘Connect, communicate, care’ was the
theme of the 2016 World Suicide Preven-
tion Day and these three words are at the
heart of suicide prevention.
SI Lautoka was invited to take lead in
this advocacy at Gurukul Primary School
in 2016 and SISWP Assistant Program
Director 2, Zareena Bi officiated this as
the chief guest. Students of Gurukul Primary with chief guest SI Lautoka Treasurer Zareena Bi
It was highlighted to the teachers and during the opening march of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day
students during the advocacy that open many communities suicide is shrouded in care enough about it to be able to identify
communication is vital to combat suicide. silence or spoken of only in hushed tones. and support those who may be at height-
She stressed that we need to discuss sui- “We need to ensure that policy mak- ened risk. “However, because suicide is
cide as any other public issue if we are to ers and planners care enough about sui- a very sensitive issue careful and consid-
dispel myths about it and reduce the stig- cide prevention to make it a priority.“We ered messages about suicide and its pre-
ma surrounding it as normally in should also make sure that communities vention are warranted.”

SI Goodwill for Vuda District

SISWP Best Practice kindness.
Award Project - 2017 “We have been trying
to secure a donor for
The land of Vuda is the water tank from
the historic first village the beginning of the
of Fiji as there is where year but have been
the first settlers set unsuccessful.
foot and Soroptimist “We face a lot of
International Lautoka difficulties during the
Club extended their dry season as classes
generosity to Vuda get interrupted due to
District School on water cuts.
September 30 by “With this timely
donating a 5,000 liter donation we will be
water tank. able to provide quality
More than more 300 education in a healthy
students of the school environment for our
were excited to receive students.”
this from SI Lautoka The donation of
members which will water tank was made Official handover of water tank to Vuda District School by SI Lautoka Club
ease their difficulties possible by funding
during water cuts in the received from SI New major chunk of funding projects for schools Primary school in 2013
dry season. Zealand South Region was from a fundraising and communities since and out of the twelve
During the handover clubs as well drive by SI Lautoka 2013 and the club has tanks donated one was
of the tank the school as donations from Mr members. donated 12 water tanks presented to Valibar
Head Teacher Mr and Mrs Aiaz and Sonia Meanwhile, SI until date. Sangam Primary school
Osea Dau thanked Hussein of Worldmax Lautoka has been doing The first water tank in Labasa.
the members for their TV, Australia. Also, a such water was donated to Lololo

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Solar lights brings relief to families

Almost six months after the devastating effects of cyclone Meanwhile, the Lake family who were also assisted have six
Winston in the country in 2016 families were still struggling children attending school and they were delighted with this as-
to rebuild their lives and homes as acquiring building materials sistance.
was a mammoth task due to the shortage of materials.
Amidst the struggles lack of electricity was also a reality for
some families which not only hindered normal lives but also
greatly affected the education of children.
During these trying times the Soroptimist International (SI)
Immediate Past President Anne Garvie kindly provided her as-
sistance from London by donating solar lights with panels for
the needy families in Fiji which was distributed by SI members
of the seven clubs in Fiji.
Around 200 families benefited from these lights which was
the second phase of the “See Solar Cook Solar” project adminis-
tered in the country in 2015.
SI Lautoka started their distribution in August and the first two
families who benefitted were the Prasad family of Naviyago sea-
side and the Lake family of Lovu Seaside area.
The Prasad family had suffered extensive damage to their
home during cyclone Winston and were still living in a tent
while waiting for building supplies for their new home.
According to Mrs Prasad it was very hard for her children
to study in the evenings without electricity and the solar lights
would be of great assistance to her family.
Her daughter, Karti Nandani, a high school student informed
that apart from the great assistance towards their studies the
lights will provide safety for their family as they have to walk a The Prasad family receiving the solar lights from SI Lautoka
distance in the night to use the washroom. members after the devastating effect of TC Winston

Home for Naidu family

Mother nature is known to be cruel at
times and the people of Fiji have certainly
received a nasty blow from cyclone
Winston in February 2016.
Thousands of families had been
affected and of utmost concern was the
extent of damage to infrastructure and
homes which had never been seen during
the natural disasters that have been
experienced over the years.
The main concern after the disaster for
affected families is to ensure that the basic
need of shelter is fulfilled and for parents
who have very young children it is more
of a concern as protection is essential for
their children against disease outbreaks.
One such family who have lost their
home during the disaster was the Naidu
family of Velovelo tramline road who
were struggling to re-build their home for
their two young children, three year old
Krishant and two year old Krishav. The Naidu family of Velovelo Lautoka being assisted with building materials by SI
Their plight was highlighted on social Lautoka club after TC Winston left the family homeless
media and Soroptimist International
Lautoka club members visited the family building material through funds that had building materials since there had been a
to access their situation and provide been donated by a well wisher of the club shortage of materials after the cyclone.
assistance. Reshma Singh of Australia. SI Lautoka The Naidu family was thankful to the
Since, the family had completely lost provided 150 building blocks and roofing club for their vital assistance as their
their home the club decided to assist with iron to the family in April 2016. family had faced a lot of difficulties after
It took the club a while to secure the the disastrous effect of the cyclone.

Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Vital stationery assistance for students

The beginning of school year in mid
January each year compels parents to start
preparing for their children to go back to
school resulting in shopping for uniforms,
shoes, bags and stationeries.
For some parents the preparations are
done with ease while for other parents it
is a struggle to fulfill the needs of their
children amongst the rising cost of school
It is fortunate for needy families that
there are various non-governmental or-
ganizations (NGO)and clubs that readily
come to their assistance for schooling
needs which eases off their burden.
The Soroptimist International Lautoka
club each year provides the necessary as-
sistance to students from various schools
around Lautoka this year.
In 2018 the club presented school es- Stationery assistance provided to needy children of Lautoka by SI Lautoka Club in
sentials to seventeen students at Jasper 2018
Williams High school on January 8.
While the Government has set policies manage. As stakeholders of the society we this assistance towards the education of
to ensure that all students receive educa- need to ensure that we provide the plat- our future leaders. Also, through this as-
tion regardless of their social and eco- form for children to flourish and achieve sistance children from these less fortunate
nomic status, as an NGO SI Lautoka club their dreams The club understands the families will be able to continue with their
is also ensuring that we play an important struggle that most parents go through and studies and become the future hope for
role with all the assistance we can members feel that it is important to give their parents and siblings.

SI Lautoka partners with Western Chow

SI Lautoka has been pro-
moting sports for the main-
stream and well special
schools at Primary level for
a number of years to encour-
age more participation by the
In previous years the club
had been organizing sports
awards for students who
achieve exceptionally well
in both male and female cat-
However in 2018 the club
decided to coordinate with
the Chow Games commit-
tee and provide the trophies
for the top female and male
athlete. As a result the club
was given the opportunity to
present the trophy to the two 2017 Chow Games Best Female Athlete Unaisi Tagabale of Nadroga with her trophy donated by
top athletes which provided a SI Lautoka at Churchill Park.
huge opportunity for aware-
The best female athlete under 14 category.The top new record time with his
ness regarding the club’s ac-
award went to Unaisi Tagab- male athlete award went to 4X100meter relay team in
tivities since all the primary
ale of Nadroga who won gold Ratu Alipate Vuiwakaya of the Under 13 category. SI
schools in the Western Divi-
in 200meters and 100 meters Lautoka for his gold med- Lautoka will continue to be
sion are represented in this
and silver in the 4X100meter al wins in the 200meters, a part of the Chow Games
significantly major event.
relay in the 100meters and setting a annually.
Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018

Soroptimist International Lautoka wishes to convey sincere appreciation to the following :
• The University of the South Pacific . SD Sharma’s Driving School
• Oceania Water Group Fiji The Soroptimist Pledge
• Western Aluminium Joinery Limited And all donors, sponsors and well -wishers
• USP Pacific Technical and Further who have walked along with SI Lautoka in I pledge allegiance to
Education (Pacific TAFE) its ten year journey. We hope for your con- Soroptimism
• Sachin’s Video Production tinuous support in future.
• Punja & Sons Limited And for the ideals for which it
• Tanoa Waterfront Hotel Magazine Layout & Photography stands
• Best Print Supplies Sanjay Goundar
• Deep Collections Magazine Editor
The Sincerity of Friendship
• Ransons & Company Zareena Bi
• Harshal’s Fashion Limited
The Joy of Achievement
• Relax Spa Printers The Dignity of Service
• Shagun Quality Print Limited The integrity of Professions
• Total Navutu Service Station The Love of Country
• Shriji Ltd SI Lautoka Club Contacts:
• Potent Electric Company Limited I will put forth my greatest
• Poojas DVD President: Vinesh Prasad efforts
• Tropic Sign Services (9935406)
• West Side Music To promote, uphold and
• Maxtreme Builders Limited
Secretary: Kriti Fong (9469070)
Treasurer: Zareena Bi (9322621) defend these ideals
• Eat Well
• Bhanabhai & Sons Limited
For all that is best and truest in
• Perfect Property Management email:
• The City Star Newspaper people.
P O Box 3802, Lautoka
• Gounder’s Curry House

SI Members from various clubs with Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa (with garland), SISWP President Anusha
Santhirasthipam (beside Minister), Chairperson of Trustees for Golden Age Home Mr Kanti Punj and other stakeholders at the
ground breaking site in Natabua Lautoka for SISWP Shelter Home Project.




• Commerical Shopfront
• Sliding Doors
• commercial Door/ Flyscreen
• Sliding & Aluminium Window
• Shower Door
• Security Grills



Soroptimist International Lautoka 10th Anniversary 2008 - 2018