TTFB Signs MOU with the University of Fiji
ITAUKEI TRUST FUND BOARD SIGNS A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF FIJI
17 December 2021 The iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Fiji (UniFIJI) today. The MOU, between TTFB and UniFiji’s Centre of iTaukei Studies, is a step towards the development of the Culture and Arts Centre Project, an integrated project which will involve UniFiji’s Centre of iTaukei Studies’ academic study of iTaukei language and culture.
COVID-19 has brought new challenges and new demands on tertiary education systems globally. Coupled with these are the economic unsteadiness and increasing social problems. As such, university leaders are revising and strengthening their programmes and mobilizing strategic partnerships in response to new normal brought on by this global pandemic.
One important positive impact of COVID-19 is how indigenous communities have maintained their interconnectedness and cultural identity. Living traditional and cultural heritage has become an important source of resilience helping to overcome social and psychological challenges, at the same time strengthen kinship and economic ties.
Intangible cultural heritage or the wealth of indigenous knowledge and skills are significantly highlighted in sustainable development initiatives and preservation efforts of governments and civil society organisations.
UniFIJI’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem says “The focal point of this relationship is our unique Centre for iTaukei Studies. The joint project that is close to our hearts is TTFB’s proposed new Culture and Arts Centre. I have seen the plans and vision of the centre and am enthusiastic about its importance for our region. The Culture and Arts Centre will harness our Centre for iTaukei Studies’ culture and arts programme through an integrated approach which is strategically linked to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Quality Education and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions. This approach will strengthen the iTaukei language and culture for academic study”.
TTFB CEO Aisake Taito says “we are exploring avenues for collaborations and partnership to enhance culture and art programs in relation to sustainable development goals. An integrated approach, which is both forward-thinking and strategically linked to national goals and objectives, we anticipate will be achieved under this partnership”.
The objective of this MOU is to identify possible avenues for collaboration and to establish the basis of mutual collaboration, within the context of both TTFB and UniFIJI’s mandate and existing obligations.
Both TTFB and UniFIJI agree to collaborate and strengthen the iTaukei knowledge by sharing project responsibilities and financial commitments.