Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friends group in Labasa

from w
Peceli saw this article about Labasa and suggested I post it. Some good news amidst the gloomy news!
Not all so ‘gloom'By THERESA RALOGAIVAU
Friday, July 24, 2009
Australian High Commissioner James Batley opens the new Friend office in Labasa
DESPITE the global dow-nturn and other local developments, "it's not all doom and gloom", says Australian High Commissioner James Batley. "Human beings are amazingly inventive and resourceful creatures and even in very difficult circumsta-nces people will find ways if they work at it," Mr Batley said.

"If they use their intelligence, their body and if they work together, in the end those are the fundamental tools that we have at our disposal." Mr Batley was speaking at the opening of the new office of the Foundation for Rural Integrated and Develop-ment –– FRIEND in Labasa on Wednesday.

He was also responding to comments by FRIEND founder Sashi Kiran that there was hope if communities were willing to work with the resources around them and produce products that were heavily imported.

"I think she's given us so many reasons to have hope and that's really one of the reasons the Australian government, through AusAid has developed a close partnership with FRIEND over the last few years," he said.

"I think with the assistance and the leadership with groups like FRIEND it really does provide hope for communities."

Mr Batley urged communities not to place too much reliance on the Government, which is a driving force behind the assistance his government had given to Fiji.

"I suppose one of the basic thoughts behind it is there are some things governments do and can do well and have assistance doing but there are some things governments don't do that well or shouldn't even try to do," he said.

"Governments cannot do everything and certainly when they are talking about development, when they are talking about people's livelihoods, it's not all just about what government can do for me," he said.

Ms Kiran said the new office should allow farmers to deal with the challenge of locating a market outlet for their products.

"Farmers, especially for fruits and vegetables, should do their part in farming and FRIEND will arrange for the market outlets."

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