Noa'ia 'e mauri!
My name is Monifa Fiu, a Marine Science graduate from the USP. Together with a number of young Rotumans here in Suva, we.have decided to start up an awareness program on the island for the young people and children in schools. Below is a list of the core group of participants, a brief about LäjeRotuma, and proposed activities for 2002.
For more information or questions contact any of us on the list. We hope to coordinate and seek the support of Rotumans through the Rotuma website.
The Rotuma Council has endorsed the proposed LäjeRotuma Initiative.and all that is mentioned in the brief. So far we have FJ $2000 to start off; however, we need assistance from anyone who believes that it is about time we Rotumans took the initiative to do something about the island environment,.especially the young people living away from home. For ways to contribute click here .
Hanisiof, Monifa Fiu
LäjeRotuma, an Initiative by Rotuman Youth
Rotuma has a total land area of about 21 square miles with at least 10 outlying isles surrounding the main island. Its isolation of some 300 miles of ocean from the rest of the Fiji Group creates a unique ecosystem, yet to be explored in terms of its resources.
The desire to help their fellow kinsmen in Rotuma, to protect and maintain their natural environment, has led to the formation of the LäjeRotuma Initiative by a group of young enthusiastic Rotumans. In its proposal, LäjeRotuma Initiative sums up environmental concerns for Rotuma today: the smaller catch in the lagoons as compared to before and a reduction in the number of fishing holes within the lagoons. Coordinator Monifa Fiu says that "people believe this is caused by the fast growing kama (coral species), and it doesn't help with the increasing use of the foreshore for irresponsible dumping of rubbish, much of which is non-biodegradable."
LäjeRotuma is an independent group of young Rotumans that has the endorsement of the Rotuma Island Council and support from Rotuman representative to government, Mrs Marieta Rigamoto. Funds to support coastal cleanup and poster education programs in the schools have been granted by the International Ocean Institute-Pacific and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Early this year, in late January, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Fiji Country Program funded and facilitated a trainers' workshop for young volunteers as part of their commitment to train interested people on facilitation techniques and the use of participatory tools to mobilize resource owners' interest, action, commitment & responsibility for resulting activities. Following the workshop, a ten member team of volunteers, including the LäjeRotuma coordinator and two trainers, will travel to Rotuma in late February to carry out a week-long workshop. This first trip is focusing on young leaders in the communities and teachers because the target groups for LäjeRotuma are young people in villages and children in schools.
The names of the team members who left for Rotuma on 23 February 2002 to train youth leaders and teachers are:
For a report of the Feb-Mar workshop click here
The second trip is scheduled for school term one holidays to carry out poster education programs in the four primary schools on the island. One of LäjeRotuma's objectives is the revival of traditional sports to coincide with Rotuma cession celebrations. A coastal cleanup the week before the celebrations is an opportunity for LäjeRotuma and its volunteers to promote the spirit of community conservation and to lobby for support, especially when the communities converge in one place to celebrate.
The coordinator said "LäjeRotuma has created a wave of interest from Rotumans world-wideÖand it is great to see young people who may not live on the island but feel for their homeland.."
The second phase of the Initiative is planned for next year, but aspects of it could well begin during these visits. That is the undertaking of biological and socio-economic assessments of Rotuma that will greatly enhance our understanding of island ecosystems.
LäjeRotuma also hopes that the wider Rotuman community will support and share its vision for Rotuma.
Profiles of LäjeRotuma Trainers
1. Rosy Ravai -- meeting people, dancing, singing, playing netball, swimming;
2. Fekato'a Isimeli -- traveling, volleyball, swimming, singing
3. Kauata Fatiaki -- meeting people, singing, music, travel
4. Elenoa Rigamoto -- decorating, making envelopes, talanoa-ing.., gardening
5. Emi Tannu -- reading,, cooking, traveling, meeting people
6. Ieli Raki -- dancing, traveling, rugby, basketball
7. Frank Montu -- music-solo!, rugby, volleyball, netball
8. Robert Rigamoto -- tarakoro..,volleyball, rugby, music
9. Rosarine Rigamoto -- drawing, reading, sleeping**
10. Abel Camillo -- jogging, rugby, outdoor activities, movies, reading, meeting people.
11. Monifa Fiu -- diving, traveling, meeting people, reading, gardening, sleeping**
12. Ruth Isimeli
13. Daniel Vilsoni
II. Project Category: Environmental Marine Community Awareness and Development Program for Rotuma.
III. Project Location: Rotuma Island - a 43sq.km volcanic island situated in the SW Pacific, about 465km N of Fiji.
IV. Project Goal: To protect the surrounding ocean, coral reefs, beaches and its fragile island ecosystem.
V. Project Target Group: The Young people of Rotuma
VI. LäjeRotuma Initiative 2002 Objectives:
1. Celebrate the small percent of earth: Rotuma; this is to coincide with global events such as Earth Day, International Coastal Cleanup Day.
VII. LäjeRotuma Initiative 2002 Planned Activities:
According to Objective 1:
A. A round-the-island coastline cleanup be organized, involving the youth in villages and students in schools.
According to Objective 2:
A. Educational Environmental Marine Awareness Programs in the 14 villages and 5 schools on the island.i) Poster Education in the 4 Primary schools on the island
VIII. Project Duration: February -- December 2002.
IX. Beneficiaries of LäjeRotuma Initiative 2002: all Rotumans.
To evaluate the significance of LäjeRotuma Initiative 2002, it is hoped that this becomes an annual event where effective monitoring for positive change become a reality.
X. LäjeRotuma Initiative 2002 has the support of:
LäjeRotuma Initiative 2002 Component Module
Componet 1. Training Trainers (Fiji) LajeRotuma
Objectives: To train volunteers of LajeRotuma to assist in its awareness programs on Rotuma.
Component 2. Training Trainers (Rotuma) -- Youth leaders & teachers
Objectives: - To identify potential young leaders whom LajeRotuma could use as educators in its outreach programs. Raise awareness about the island environment.
Component 3. Evening (video) sessions
Objectives: Through visual aid, create awareness/ point out the significance of a coastal cleanupÖEDUCATION in the villages.
Component 4. Coastal Cleanup
Objectives: - To remove debris -- To collect valuable information on the amount & type of debris and to use the information collected to effect positive change.
Component 5. Four Primary Schools
Objectives: Educate the children about the island environment. Raise awareness about: Aquarium (live fish/coral) trade; general reef ecology; threats; opportunities; Rotuma's biodiversity & its cultural significance; Tourism/development.
Component 6. Sports Day/Rotuma Cession Day
Objectives: Celebration to promote long-term sustainability of inshore fisheries eg. Traditional use of the canoe & other traditional fishing gear. Promote the visions of LajeRotuma with the island community.
Component 7. Rotuma High School
Objectives: Educate about the island environment. Raise awareness with issues mentioned (see Primary School Component).
Component 8. Youth Outreach Programs
Objectives: A follow up of the Evening (Video) sessions
Component 9. Second Coastal Cleanup
Objectives: Follow up-monitor the level of pollution along the coastline during a 6-month period
Component 10. Report Compilation/Documentation/Presentation
Objectives: To update the community & inform of what LajeRotuma achieved on the island
Training of Trainers
WWF Training Trainers Workshop Participants
Anyone interested in volunteering their time should contact any of the core members.. The schedule of events may change, but it should provide a baseline for working out a holiday schedule.
To contribute money to the LajeRotuma Initiative: