Fiji Pine Connects Rural Schools and Villages to the World
A passion for improving the quality of life for landowners is the driving force behind the community initiatives that the Fiji Pine Group of Companies engages in.
The Group is now prioritising its investment on quality education for pine landowners where rural based schools that are situated within the pine leased areas are given the opportunity to have improved school facilities and internet access.
According to Fiji Pine Chief Executive Officer, Vimlesh Kumar “this has not been an easy feat since it involved working in collaboration with internet suppliers, establishing electricity for those villages that needed it to be set up before internet could be supplied and having to identify a site to build the internet towers. ”
This year, Fiji Pine has invested a total of $365,000 in education assistance. This assistance includes paying fees for tertiary students, providing laptops to facilitate their online/distance learning programmes, upgrade of schools facilities and provision of study equipment for rural based schools.
Recently, Nasesevia Secondary School, a rural school situated in the interior of Nadi and where school children of the landowners of Uto, Nawaqadamu, Vunamoli and Vagadra attend was assisted by Fiji Pine with facilities that will enhance and uplift the standard of their learning through a donation of desktop computers, printers, student desks and chairs. The company also assisted in the setup of a satellite internet connectivity that will guarantee a reliable and stable internet connection to the school for students and teachers.
The company has recently extended its assistance to landowners to include the setup of internet connectivity in remote leased areas. Previously, villagers had to walk more than 2-4 kilometres to access connectivity but now they have this in the comfort of their schools and homes.
Mr Kumar further added that “we view this initiative as one of our important commitments towards digitization and access to unlimited opportunities for our landowners - opportunities in education for their children, access to online resources, access to untapped markets for their agricultural produce, access to Government’s online portal where most of the government services are now delivered, linking up with families, friends in Fiji and abroad.
Bridging this gap has been heart-warming and rewarding for Fiji Pine team as we witness first-hand the smiles, happiness and heartfelt gratitude for this unexpected assistance.”
Villages who have been assisted through the satellite connectivity include:
1. Nalotawa Village in the Tikina Nalotawa which is situated in the interior of Ba Province.
2. Nasovotava Village in the Tikina of Waicoba situated in the interior of Sigatoka Valley.
3. Vunamoli Village in the Tikina of Rukuruku situated in the highlands of Nadi
4. Vagadra Village in the Tikina of Nasesevia situated in the interior of Nadi.
Not only has the Company contributed to the construction and execution of capital projects for its landowning units, but more importantly it has improved the standard of quality education and village connectivity to the World Wide Web.
The Fiji Pine Commission came into being as a body on the 1st of July 1976 under the provision of the Fiji Pine Commission Act (Cap 151). The primary function of the Commission was to establish a viable forestry industry based on planted forests. Much of the plantation development is on i-Taukei land and the duty of the Commission (now Fiji Pine Limited) includes involving landowners in its commercial activities on terms that aim to ensure the continuing viability of the industry. The areas for pine planting were mostly degraded grassland which was not suited for other activities.