Friday, July 25, 2014

Fiji team in Glasgow

from w
Good luck to the Fiji team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  We probably won't see too much of them as our TV programs mainly concentrate on finals and on Australian swimmers, etc.  Anyway here are a few pictures I found on the internet and a story from the Fiji Times.

Team Fiji in baton relay

Emoni Narawa
Friday, July 25, 2014
THE Queen's Baton visited Team Fiji's camp yesterday at the Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village in Glasgow.
FASANOC delegates at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly were delighted that the Queen's Baton spent 30 minutes at the camp since it did not make a stopover in Fiji during its relay to the respective Commonwealth countries.
Yesterday, Team Fiji revealed in a statement that it was overwhelmed with the reception.
Team Fiji was excited at being included in the Queen's Baton relay.
Chef de mission Lyndall Fisher and secretary general Lorraine Mar thanked Team Scotland for the kind gesture.
Meanwhile, Fiji flag bearer Litia Tikoisuva started her experience as a flag bearer at the Oceania Flag Bearer Naming Ceremony at the Glasgow Caledonian University Forecourt.
The ceremony was opened by Dennis Miller, executive director of ONOC (Oceania National Olympic Committee) and featured Papua New Guinea's gold-medal-winner Ryan Pini.
A set agenda was followed for each of the nations which involved the chef de mission for each country announcing the name of the flag bearer before the athlete paraded with the flag.
Fisher was delighted to announce that lawn bowler Litia Tikoisuva would be leading the way at Celtic Park for Fiji.
This is Tikoisuva's fourth games, having previously competed at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 competitions.
"That experience of winning includes a successful gold medal campaign at the South Pacific Games. Tikoisuva beamed with pride after receiving the flag and said she felt honoured to be representing Fiji," Fisher said.
Team Fiji is also anticipating greeting the government delegation led by the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who arrived in Glasgow.





Sunday, July 20, 2014

A youtube video of Ratu Epeli in Melbourne

from w
I found this video on the internet of part of yesterday's program at the Hilton South Wharf where we welcomed the Fiji President.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOYWRK3hVMU

Fiji Presiden'ts speech at Melbourne

from w
When we met Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday at the little welcome ceremony of Australian Fiji people, I noticed how passionate and articulate he is about his concerns for health in the Pacific. Then this morning
I read tiis in Pacnews.

http://www.pina.com.fj/index.php?p=pacnews&m=read&o=173203539253cc3a0c13b295414dc6

Push on in the fight against AIDS: Fijian President Ratu Epeli
By Online Editor
09:52 am GMT+12, 21/07/2014, Fiji

Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has called on world leaders to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS beyond 2015.

Speaking at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, the Fijian President said the fight against HIV does not stop with the end of the millennium development goals and now envisioning post 2015.

He told those present the vision is clearer and closer than ever before on achieving the bold declaration of UNAIDS, for zero new infections, zero stigma and discrimination and zero aids related deaths.

“With our dwindling resources, it is a critical time for me and my fellow leaders to be more engaged in the response to Aids. I know that the response to Aids is at a crossroad which means that our task must become substantially stronger and more strategic if our people are to be saved,” Ratu Epeli said.

“The response must be transformed to a strategic one and we as leaders, have a crucial role to play in helping to achieve this social transformation.”

On his part, Ratu Epeli said he would continue to speak about HIV/AIDS and take action and responsibility to initiate and promote the rights based response to aids.

 “For this and to prove the saying, ‘walk the talk’, advocating for prevention and protection is my business and what i do best.

“I come from a country of less than a million in population. I am proud of my country and I do not want to see Fijians perish unnecessarily at a young age. That is the main reason why I take this advocacy seriously.” He urged the other leaders to do so as well as part of their responsibility to protect the people they lead and look after.

Ratu Epeli also shared with those present basic principles that he uses, including his visits to 149 local secondary schools, and also some of his experiences as an advocate of AIDS in Fiji and in the Pacific in the hope it would encourage others and those in the fight against the disease to continue the work they had committed to in 2011 at the UN General Assembly in New York.

He also encouraged leaders to share and exchange information about their experiences and practices that have either worked or not to aid in the fight against AIDS.

Meanwhile, Fijian President  Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was also recognized by the world AIDS community for his tireless efforts in his fights towards eliminating HIV/AIDS through his various methods which have been praised by the international community.

The Fijian Head of State was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his efforts not only as the President of the Republic of Fiji but also in his capacity as the United Nation's AIDS Ambassador to Fiji and formerly to the Pacific.

Ratu Epeli has become only the third recipient of the award this year with Indonesian Minister for Health Her Excellency Nafsia Mboi and the Melbourne City Mayor.

Executive director of UN AIDS HE Michele Sidibe presented the award to Ratu Epeli saying that the world is blessed to have a person of Ratu Epeli's calibre who has dedicated his work, time and life towards the fight against the epidemic.

“We are blessed and honored to have a person of your stature during our generation and your efforts have purely underpinned your commitment towards AIDS," he said.

“The work that you have carried out visiting almost 160 secondary schools is a testimony of your unique ability in reaching out to the masses and spreading the word. The world honours you with this award."

Mboi who was a recipient herself said the Fijian President was worthy of this recognition.

“What he has done in spreading the gospel to high schools students is a unique way of reaching out and I am honoured to be recognized with the Fijian President,” she said.

Ratu Epeli is currently Fiji's Special Representative on HIV/AIDS.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/ MINFO/PACNEWS

AND ALSO


Sunday, July 20. Fijian President His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was today recognized by the world AIDS community for his tireless efforts in his fights towards eliminating HIV/AIDS through his various methods which have been praised by the international community.
The Fijian Head of State was this morning awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his efforts not only as the President of the Republic of Fiji but also in his capacity as the United Nation’s AIDS Ambassador to Fiji and ​formerly to ​the Pacific.
This award was presented today in Melbourne, Australia ahead of the 20th World AIDS conference which begins tomorrow.
Ratu Epeli has become only the third recipient of the award this year with Indonesian Minister for Health Her Excellency Nafsia Mboi and the Melbourne City Mayor.
Executive director of UN AIDS HE Michele Sidibe presented the award to Ratu Epeli saying that the world is blessed to have a person of Ratu Epeli’s calibre who has dedicated his work, time and life towards the fight against the epidemic.
“We are blessed and honored to have a person of your stature during our generation and your efforts have purely underpinned your commitment towards AIDS,” he said.
“The work that you have carried out visiting almost 160 secondary schools is a testimony of your unique ability in reaching out to the masses and spreading the word. The world honours you with this award.”
Mrs Mboi who was a recipient herself said the Fijian President was worthy of this recognition.
“What he has done in spreading the gospel to high schools students is a unique way of reaching out and I am honoured to be recognized with the Fijian President,” she said.
​Ratu Epeli is currently Fiji’s Special Representative on HIV/AIDS.​
MINFO

Fiji President in Melbourne

from w
This afternoon Peceli and I went up to Melbourne to the Hilton Hotel at South Wharf to meet with the President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli, who is here as a delegate for the International Aids Conference then he and his group will go on to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. It was a lovely occasion with a sevusevu from the YWAM young men and about 24 of us gathered together. John Quai Hoi made a most beautiful cake for the occasion and we had afternoon tea as well as yaqona.  Ratu Epeli was relaxed and each one of us introduced ourselves and he answered several questions. The first three photos were taken from John's facebook page.








Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Fijian birthday party in Melbourne

from w
Yesterday Peceli and I attended the birthday party of a little girl, Tau, one year old. Named after a beautiful grandmother who passed away over a year ago. At Wyndam Vale. A lovely afternoon with lots of their relatives and friends of Sailosi Vakaloloma's family. Vina'a va'alevu. Children playing in a jumping castle. Lots of young mothers and babies. Fine food - lovo and much more. A prayer and formalities with a cake and beautiful decorations and mats.
LikeLike ·  · 
In case you can't access Facebook for all the photos here are some more.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Naseakula people apologize

from w
In recent years a custom of apology and asking for forgiveness has been prominent in many villages throughout Fiji. Apparently this was inspired by some leaders of the Methodist Church by performing what they called 'cleansing ceremonies'.  The people of Naseakula village on the outskirts of Labasa town have done this custom and it seems to me to always be a good thing to right a wrong and apologize. I don't know what the transgressions were but living communally surely often has some problems in relationships.

Tears and emotion as villagers seek forgiveness

Salaseini Moceiwai
Sunday, July 13, 2014
NASEAKULA villagers in Labasa embraced the spirit of forgiveness following an emotional spiritual cleansing ceremony organised by the village's Methodist Church circuit on Friday.
The young and old from the Tuatua, Wasavulu, Sumunaira, Nakoroicake, Tikinaiqawa and Banito clans shed tears and sought each other's forgiveness during the much-awaited ceremony which took place on the village ground.
In his speech, Wasavulu chief Ratu Savenaca Ritova sought the church and the vanua's mercy for his clan and family's transgressions.
A lot of bad things, Ratu Savenaca said, had happened in the past which created a barrier among villagers.
He said some of his actions also contributed to perceived splits in their relational ties, which he was sincerely sorry for.
Ratu Savenaca told the villagers that it was prudent for them to emulate the lifestyle of their forefathers, one that fostered inclusiveness, forgiveness and togetherness.
He also apologised to the church and its faithful. He added they should forgive and forget the past for the purpose of moving forward and creating a healthy relationship.
Circuit steward Ulaiasi Racaku said the ceremony was initiated by the church in a bid to bring the members of the clans together to seek each other's forgiveness.

He said organising such ceremonies was needed to ensure a better, strong and healthy relationship among the villagers.


Naseakula Village Methodist Church 50th anniversary

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
ABOUT 1000 Methodist Church members converged on Naseakula Village in Labasa last Sunday to commemorate
the church's 50th anniversary. etc.

Naseakula Village Methodist Church choir participate at the golden jubilee celebration. Picture: SALASEINI MOCEIWAI

Sunday, July 06, 2014

more photos from the Australian Fijian conference

from w
We weren't at the conference fulltime but here are some photos taken by Vula and Va. The trophy for the choir competition was in memory of Emele, a beautiful young mother, who passed away a year ago.





National Conference of Fijian Uniting Church congregations in Australia

from w
The past four days over four hundred people gathered at the Campaspe Downs Conference Centre near Kyneton, Victoria for the National Conference of Fijian congregations of the Uniting Church and what a great time they had. It didn't rain but it was fairly cold especially for the visitors from Darwin and Brisbane.The hospitality was extended brilliantly by the Melbourne people by self-catering in abundance rather than the Campaspe Downs staff look after the kitchen. Lovo food and everything was available.. The sessions were led by a variety of leaders and there was a special focus on youth and small children - 150 of them On today, the last day, there was a farewell church service which included an action chorus and a song from the children, a splendid sermon by Jone Lotu from Darwin, a prayer in an Aboriginal language from a guest from Darwin, and Communion was celebrated  by Rev Eseta Meneilly. A special presentation was made to Dr Rev Jovili Meo and Lisa, so it was a full service with singing hymns and polotu and prayer. We had an opportunity to catch up with friends from many parts of Australia.  These conferences have been going for several years and in the early days Peceli was involved as a Secretary.  Here are some photos from today.











Monday, June 30, 2014

Fiji Box Hill rugby connection

from w
Good to see Youth with a Mission initiative with a connection to Fiji youth.

Box Hill Rugby Club welcomes 10 Fijian players on a mission with open arms

0
A group of talented Fijians are playing at Box Hill this year as part of the Island Breez
A group of talented Fijians are playing at Box Hill this year as part of the Island Breeze scholarship program Picture: Mark Dadswell
A SPECIAL rugby scholarship program has brought 10 young men from Fiji to Box Hill’s Sparks Reserve and the blossoming partnership has been a successful one for the young Fijians and the ladder-leading Box Hill Broncos.
Rugby Plus is an initiative of Island Breeze Australia - a ministry of Youth with a Mission, a not for profit Christian values-based organisation.
The program was born in 2006 with the aim of keeping young men in the Pacific islands and indigenous Australians off the streets while helping them become role models for their families and communities.
Program director Jade Baravilala said the program’s aims were summed up in the philosophy “your life off the field has to be as good as it is on the field”.
That is, the lessons learned on the sporting field must help develop character in young adults and, in turn, help the home communities.
“We’ve been going over there (Fiji) for a few years and running clinics,” Baravilala said. “(The players selected) have to have the skills and drive to go further with their rugby, but also have the desire to improve their character.”
On the field, the Fijians’ contribution has been staggering with Box Hill heading the Dewar Shield ladder — it’s best season in more than a decade. The Fijians’ pace and skills are leaving opposition teams in their wake.
“They grow up with a ball in their hands,” Baravilala said. “When they are born, they have a ball rather than a dummy. The top four try scorers are from Box Hill and they are our guys. Three of them have been chosen for the Melbourne Rising (Melbourne Rebels development team).”
Box Hill’s Savenaca Wagalutu, Greg Bauer, Filipe Koroibola and Sefa Naivalu have been nam
Box Hill’s Savenaca Wagalutu, Greg Bauer, Filipe Koroibola and Sefa Naivalu have been named in the Melbourne Rebels’ development squad Picture: Mark Dadswell
But, most importantly, the program does not end at the final whistle on match day.
Baravilala said the three main areas of concern for young men growing up in Fiji were drugs, domestic violence and low self-esteem.
Most of the guys, she said, had been touched by one or more of these problem areas.
The scholarship to Australia has given the young men a range of experiences that will help them build their own sense of self-worth.
While in Australia, as well as playing rugby, the men receive education in areas such as farming techniques, banking and finance.
Island Breeze hopes that these skills will be taken back to the players’ home villages.
“It’s great to watch villages transformed,” Baravilala said.
The costs and logistics involved in bringing so many players over to Melbourne for a lengthy scholarship stay are a constant challenge.
But, such is the success of the program, it has many supporters.
“The Box Hill club is very supportive of the boys,” Baravilala said. “They’ve been like family.
“We’ve had a huge amount of support from the Fijian community. We’ve definitely made headway with the funding, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”
As such, Island Breeze will be holding a big fundraising luau at Box Hill Rugby Club on Friday, July 11 with plenty of Fijian food and entertainment.
For more information about the luau and how to help the Island Breeze program, contact Jade Baravilala at 0412-683-673 or email:admin@islandbreeze.com.au
Originally published as The Box Hill-Fiji connection

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fiji Methodist Church launches newsletter

from w
From the facebook pages of the Fiji Methodist Church. These days they are doing a good job in improving communications by using social media, articles in the Fiji papers, and so on. Notice that the website has a download version of the new newsletter and you find it with the link  - Media. http://www.methodistfiji.org/uploads/2/3/8/8/23880004/nai_tabe_issue_1_-_june_2014.pdf

Methodist Church launches newsletter... 

The Methodist Church's Standing Committee today received copies of the first issue of Nai Tabe, the Church's new newsletter. Produced by the Church's Department of Communication and Overseas Mission, Nai Tabe depicts the Church's renewed focus on being a servant, mission-focused church.

The name Nai Tabe was chosen by the Interim President of the Methodist Church, Rev. Laisiasa Ratabacaca and the Lay Vice President, Ratu Peni Volavola. In the I-Taukei language, Nai Tabe refers to a serving plate, or leaf on which food is served to guests.

"This newsletter is the plate on which the Secretariat of the Methodist Church in Fiji will serve our members," said Communication Secretaty, Rev. James Bhagwan.

"In Wesleyan tradition, the food will be for the mind, body and soul – providing news on the work of the church, events from the Methodist communities in Fiji and around the world, as well
as issues of concern for Methodists in our work for the sanctification of our society."

The issue is available as a free download from the Church's website www.methodistfiji.org and printed copies will be distributed to all divisions.

"Our sincere thanks to the contributors who supplied articles for this issue and for the hardworking editorial volunteers who have worked hard to put out a newsletter that is interesting, informative
and inspiring, as well as easy to read."
 (10 photos)