The Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) project which is administered by the United Nations Development Programme and implemented by the Fijian Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has extended the cooperation to the Pacific Region by starting with Samoa.
The willingness of the Government of Samoa to accept and implement the project has further strengthened the South-South Cooperation in the Pacific between Fiji and Samoa in the areas of fostering goodwill visits, people to people relations and sharing of best practices for expertise.
The program start up meeting in Apia, Samoa was launched yesterday. UNDP REACH project provided the forum with a platform to better understand REACH and how the best practices and learning experiences in Fiji could be replicated in Samoa.
Speaking at the launch of the Initiation plan meeting Permanent Secretary for Women Dr. Josefa Koroivueta said that the success of the project in Fiji is because of the commitment and cooperation between agencies. Now with the plan established for Samoa, there’s great leadership and commitment shown by the Government which is something very noble.
“The success of the implementation in Fiji is because of the full commitment by the Fijian Ministry of Women and I am thrilled that in this launch I acknowledge the Government of Samoa for its commitment and leadership allowing the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration and the Ministry of Women and Community Development to implement the programme,” Dr Koroivueta said.
Dr. Koroivueta added that the REACH platform is a caring and a noble approach that brings joy to the community. REACH is people centered and it links the Government directly with the community. “With this platform, it takes services right down to the people, to their very own communities whether it’s in the maritime, or the mainland or the people of different socio-economic status. However, what is nobler and so sincere about it is when you are really there on the ground with the people, having an opportunity to hear from the people and directly serve them”.
Dr. Koroivueta added that replicating the model of REACH in Samoa will open up the opportunity to build the trust for the people in government, build up their recognition on the ground and simply setting an interest on the livelihoods of the people in the communities.
“REACH will build up the trust for the people in the government, build up their recognition that government has got a caring approach, they set a government that is interested in the livelihoods of the community members. Those are the invisible benefits that one will see when government puts this programme into practice.
The Samoan Minister for Justice and Courts Administration Hon. Faaolesa Katapau T. Ainuu mentioned that the Implementation of the REACH project is a commitment of the Government of Samoa. Furthermore, he mentioned that the Government must address the challenges with remoteness and geographical isolation by reaching out to them with increased knowledge and awareness and make services more accessible.
The initiative is also planned to move to Tonga next month.