Monday, April 09, 2007

Tui Mali - re one year one for Tribewanted

from w
Though they didn't get the 5000 numbers tribewanted visionaries wanted, the first year has been very successful. As I wrote a year ago, I had in mind several good outcomes that could be achieved: - a positive interaction with Apenisa, the Tui Mali and the Mali Island community, a respect for protocol, an ecological based environment for visitors to Fiji, and an appropriate development on Vorovoro. This has all happened - not that some things were easy to achieve, but the visitors persisted in their program, the internet connections have worked - up to a point. I guess the frustration of rain and wind were taken as adventures perhaps rather than difficulties.

The Fiji Times reported as follows:
'Use your resource, Chief urges'
Use your resource, chief urges
Thursday, April 05, 2007.

A CHIEF from the northern division believes if indigenous communities help the expatriate community in projects that deal with resources, then villagers will reap the blessings. Tui Mali of Macuata, Apenisa Bogisa made the comments at the England-based 'Tribe Wanted' group's one year anniversary celebration on Vorovoro Island on Tuesday. "Since this group came to our island one year ago, the villagers and the school have benefited in many ways. We have a library and clean water supply from tanks provided by our visitors," Ratu Apenisa said.

"We have never regretted accepting them on the island to carry out their project and whenever we have a village soli, they are always there to help financially."
He said the group had employed more than 100 villagers and provided them with income that was helpful for their everyday needs. "The villagers employed by the group are men and women and it has helped them pay school fees, bills, and basic necessities," Ratu Apenisa said.

He said over the past year the group had also learnt traditional customs including dress code. "We have not had any problems with them when it comes to Fijian protocol because when they first arrived, we informed them about our protocol and they followed well ever since," Ratu Apenisa said.

Tribe Wanted founder Ben Keene said the purpose of the group's existence on the island was to experience the Fijian way of living. "And that means everything from living in Fijian bure, eating the Fijian food, going out fishing with Fijian men, learning how to make a lovo, planting cassava and other root crops, cooking and baking in a Fijian oven," Mr Keene said. "So far every member has enjoyed the life style and never wanted to return to their home countries."

The group had more than 1100 members and Mr Keene said a major part of their project was to help the community by directly assisting them whether it was financial or physical. "Some of our members have helped out in schools teaching the students how to speak the French language."

Mali and Vorovoro are located off the coast of Macuata. It takes a ten minute drive from Labasa to Malau and a five minute boat ride from Malau to Mali.

Some tourism operators have begun the homestay experience where tourists live with Fijian families and experience the true Fijian experience, eating Fijian food.
• Bengazi @ 23:07


Anonymous said...

Incredible. Im in awe of Mark and Ben, despite all the initial crap thrown at them they have both held on to what they believe and no one can knock that. The Fiji Times have covered their story 4/5 times this week and this really is changing lives. Wow!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Yes I read that the Fiji Times ran several stories last week - which is an appropriate balance for the hairy, scary stories on the front pages.
Mark and Ben did get a drubbing a year ago when they were accused of initiating a scam but it has proved to be quite different. I'm sure the project costs as much as they ever receive. Good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

Watch for more development soon along the northern coast of Macuata. I'm giving you a scoop...