Fr Isaia Wairoga sm sends this news from Tutu, Taveuini, Fiji: a Prioritized Ministry in Oceania Marist Province, which has been developed over 45+ years:
The Aim of our Training Centre is to provide a Place and a Presence where the local People are empowered to become more autonomous, and take charge of their own lives in a rapidly changing world. It involves a transforming and reciprocal outreach to the People of the Pacific.
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR [Fr Isaia]
Greetings and Bula vinaka to you all friends of Tutu. This year we have just launched a Tutu Bulletin to share our own stories with you. We are so blessed with the continuous support of all Tutu friends on what is happening and activities that is ongoing in Tutu. As far as TRTC is concerned we have managed to move on despite the pandemic that is circling round the world today.This year was a challenging year for us as we faced the devastation of COVID 19, as well as the TC Harold and Sarai. All our programs and activities have come to a stand still, but we still manage to continue slowly as we move on. We are so blessed that we live in a community that is very supportive and united for the mission and within our hearts lies the importance of care for people and the mother land. We hope that this short news finds you well.
Understanding the Young Farmers' Background
These two boys come from the province of Macuata and Cakaudrove in the northern division, they both went to school and finished off at primary level. While in the village they realised that another option for self employment is farming but were not guided well by villagers of the knowledge of farm management and the business aspect of it. Coming to Tutu opens another door for them for future possibilities. This is where Tutu comes in to mend that broken gap that is found visible in their lives as teenagers. Kava planting as well as Dalo planting n Tutu gives them hope and new meaning together with the class given each day. Like most of the boys at the training centre they have value their time here as important.
Personal Sharing on Farm Progress
When I entered Tutu rural training center everything was new to me and it seems I am in a foreign land. As the first years has passed I became familiar in living in this place as my home. I was confident through the help of the staff here in Tutu I can change the way I see myself back home and to think positive all the time because there is always hope in learning new things and also in listening closely with an open heart. So farming is a passion for me. I like it very much. SAULA CAGIALAU
UPDATES ON AGRO-FORESTRY AND FRUIT TREES IN TUTU
Agro-forestry is one of our main areas that we are investing in at the moment because we believe that it can contribute to the long term financial sustainability of the training center. Teak tress have been growing really well after the thinning and on-going maintenance; teak have grown into rigorous size. The recent selection process helps determine the outlook for future investment. . On the other hand exotic fruits like Dragon fruit and sour sop seems to be in abundance . In terms of market demands we have sold most of the fruits. Fruit varies in sizes . The fruit size determines the price. Changing in weather pattern this year is an advantage for us, helping us having a lot of time planting and maintaining of other farm produce
GROUND WORK IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC
In the midst of COVID 19, TRTC has been doing a lot of backyard gardening for food security as well as short term cash crop for self-sustaining of TRTC finance. COVID 19 makes us awake to the need of short term crops like vegetables for quick returns. The opportunity for hydroponic evolves and the trial was set up outside the Lura community balcony and is gaining a lot of interest from small holder farmers.
INTRODUCING NEW FARMING TECHNIQUES
The building of farm tunnel house for off season vegetables opens up another door for food security as well as generating income for the TRTC and for families .The farming method helps farmers to move away from being a subsistence reliance into commercial agriculture. We believe to adapt into the new farming technique it needs a change in mindset and attitudes towards farming . This new idea was implemented by Lura community, Tutu.
WHATS HAPPENING WITHIN THE TUTU BUBBLE
A new venture for food development unit is underway with the use of breadfruit flower for bread baking to cater forthe Tutu families while we are on lock down. With the resources available at the center we are able to make new products like, jams, chili sauce, curry powder, chili powder, and other assorted spices.
PRODUCTS OF FOOD DEVELOPMENT UNIT It isn't the farm that makes the farmer, it's the love, hard work and character.
L-R: Frs Isaia Wairoga, Petero Matairatu [Superior], Br Iosefo, & Fr Makario