SUVA – On November 2, U.S. Embassy Suva hosted a grant signing ceremony to award a grant of FJ$58, 000 (US$27, 900) to the Fiji US Alumni Association (FUSA).
FUSA, in collaboration with the Ratu Jo Nacola Trust, will utilize the grant to initiate a four-year pilot regenerative and agroforestry farming project to address some of the economic effects of COVID-19. The project will train women and youth in the village of Soa in the Nakorotubu District to maximize the agricultural productivity of their watershed area by implementing ecologically sustainable and economically viable farming techniques.
Regional Public Affairs Officer Stephanie Fitzmaurice said, “We are pleased to partner with the Fiji US Alumni Association (FUSA) to support local communities as they recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Alumni of U.S. government exchange programs underpin our people-to-people relationships in the Pacific, and they are natural partners for projects like this, which promote economic prosperity, environmental conservation, and educational opportunities.”
The Fiji-US Alumni Association was officially registered in Fiji in 2018. It was established to encourage, support, assist and finance projects and programs dedicated towards the socio-economic, educational, and cultural development of Fiji, while achieving the objectives of U.S. Government exchange programs. In total, approximately 961 individuals from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu have participated in U.S.-government-funded exchange programs and are now counted as U.S. government exchange alumni.