His Excellency Launches 3 Milestone Projects for TTFB
HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF FIJI, RATU WILIAME MAIVALILI KATONIVERE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES THREE KEY MILESTONE PROJECTS FOR THE ITAUKEI TRUST FUND BOARD – SOLESAU (AN ONLINE LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM), HEALING PLANTS OF FIJI PUBLICATION AND A REVAMPED WEBSITE
The President of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere last night officially launched three key milestone for the iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB), satisfying one of TTFB’s key mandate which is “to develop and facilitate initiatives that will improve the quality of life and enhance cultural traditions and values of iTaukei and Rotumans through Culture, Heritage and Language programmes.
The Solesau is an online learning management system focusing on the iTaukei culture and tradition, language, norms and values.
Today, the concept of one’s culture is quite fragile, diluted over age and time. We face a somewhat uphill battle in trying to maintain our culture and heritage, especially our younger generation.
So it is befitting that the iTaukei Trust Fund Board develop such an online resource to inform and educate as many people as possible, in particular young children on their rich cultural and traditional heritage.
With the Solesau, the increasing amount of Fijian diaspora communities who now live all over the world can access it and teach their children and their grandchildren about this wonderful educational resource. As we all know, culture is an important tool for migrant communities around the world to maintain links with their countries of origin. It reinforces their heritage and identity, while strengthening relationships or reciprocal ties with their country of origin.
The Solesau will promote the revitalization of appropriate cultural traditions and ensure the transmission of knowledge to the younger generation. The Solesau is divided into four key areas and they are as follows:
This section focuses on the iTaukei language or in Fijian, “na Vulica na matuavosa, volavolai ni vosa, rorogo ni vosa, cavucavuti ni vosa, ibalebale ni vosa”;
This section focuses on treasured and highly favoured iTaukei totems or in Fijian, “Vulica na veimataqali iyavunivanua, cakacakaniliga eso, na kena inaki, tevutevu ni ibe, na itukuni ni so naveiyavumakawa e Viti”;
This section focuses on kinships and traditional ties or in Fijian, “Vulica na veimataqali veiwekani ni vanua kei na veiwekani vakadra, na kena ibalebale kei na kena itovo” and;
This section focuses on traditions and traditional practices or in Fijian, “Vulica na itovo e lomanivale, na ivakarau ni veiqaravi vakavanua, nomu itutu kei na itavi vakavanua, veivakamarautaki (meke, vucu, sere)”.
The above-mentioned four areas covered in the Solesau captures the essence of our iTaukei culture and heritage. Within the Solesau are learning modules and easy to follow exercises that will guide the user through each phase of the online learning management system.
The users will be required to provide login in credentials and once in, they can navigate throughout the sections. I do encourage you all to visit this online educational resource and experience this new online learning tool.
HEALING PLANTS OF FIJI PUBLICATION
The second project is on a trailblazing book centred around our traditional knowledge on our rich flora and fauna, and is authored by a trailblazing iTaukei woman, who has poured her passion and years of knowledge on plants onto this book, amply titled the “Healing Plants of Fiji”.
The book is authored by renowned Fiji and Pacific Botanist, Mrs Suliana Siwatibau. It is the culmination of several years of collating information from at least eighty-two (82) different healers in widely located villages and settlements of Fiji. It is a collection of herbal healing concoctions currently used by healers in Fiji. These mixes have been passed down through countless generations of traditional iTaukei healers, and they are preserved by these various healers and their families.
The Book is an attempt to ensure that the healing plants are correctly identified scientifically, and any relevant information gathered internationally on their uses and effective properties are recorded.
Mrs Siwatibau received her formal training in science in Auckland University, New Zealand, where she gained a Master of Science (Honors) in Botany specializing in plants cytogenetic in 1963. She has since worked in a variety of fields including Teaching, Research, Government Administrator and Freelance Consultant.
The book is a good Christmas present and is also available for purchase tonight, please talk to any of the the TTFB staff if you want to buy a copy.
This book’s shelf-life is likely to last time immemorial, because the information contained in the book is rich and timeless. Not only does it contain rich traditional information on herbs and plants but Mrs Siwatibau has also put in there, the various concoctions for numerous ailments, backed up with scientific evidence detailing properties of these various herbs.
During this global pandemic, there has been renewed interest in traditional herbal plants and medicinal knowledge. So it is timely that such a publication is out now, so that we can all tap into.
In keeping with the advances in technology, in the first quarter of next year, an App for this book will be available for anyone to access. So, from any corner of the world, people can access this online resource and take advantage of what it has on offer.
The App will also contain a real-time database of healing plants making it simpler and more practical for individuals to locate the plants they might need for any healing formula they might be preparing. This can be very useful for educational field trips, botanists, hobbyists, interested individuals.
The third and final project is the iTaukei Trust Fund’s newly revamped website.
The new website has a more welcoming feel, rich with imagery and now boasts three languages, English, Fijian and Rotuman. It is easily accessible on all online formats, be it a desktop computer, laptop or a smart phone.
Given the increase in online activity, particularly during this pandemic when pretty much everything moved online, the website revamp has been a timely one, as audiences increase and a drive to conduct day-to-day online business continues to progress.
In launching the three projects last night, at a function at the GPH, His Excellency congratulated TTFB and all stakeholders involved in the development and subsequent finalization of the projects.