What started off as a project plan around the “tanoa bowl” has now brought a glimpse of hope for the villagers of Drekeniwai in Navatu, Cakaudrove following the commissioning of their new village hall today.
With only about a year of robust and non-stop fundraising drives, the villagers celebrated the “fruits of their hard labour” when one of their sons and current Prime Minister of Fiji, Honourable Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka commissioned their fully-funded community project.
The new Rabuka Hall stands tall, exemplifying the collective efforts of the community, uniting together to successfully complete the project within the required timeline.
Prime Minister Rabuka said they started construction works last year, using materials from their old church which was built by their forefathers after they accepted Christianity in December, 1860.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the project was made possible through the sacrifices and joint efforts of the villagers, the vanua, and some donor partners.
He said the villagers “gave their all” towards the construction of the hall and aimed to commission the project in January this year.
He further remarked that it was no easy task, but with the right attitude, determination, and sacrifice, the project was completed.
The head of the coalition government commended the villagers for their unwavering support towards the project.
He added that the project should be an example to other villages to always take ownership of their village projects and not to rely on government all the time as anything is possible if the “heart is willing.”
Village Headman Mr Lepani Ruva said the project cost about $170,000.
He sincerely thanked the villagers for their commitment and tireless efforts directed towards the construction of the hall.
The village hall will also be used as an evacuation centre during cyclone seasons.
Meanwhile, the villagers also celebrated the election of Honourable Rabuka as the new Prime Minister of Fiji today.