For the first-time ever, the “Parliament Bus” programme is reaching out to the island of Rotuma for the purpose of educating the islanders about the roles and functions of Parliament, and other important information about the august House.
The first target audiences of the outreach were the civil servants at Ahau Government Station who gathered in numbers last Saturday night to be part of the programme.
Speaking on behalf of the civil servants, Rotuma District Officer Mr Osea Ravukivuki said it was good that the programme was brought to the island because most of them had zero-knowledge about the operations of Parliament.
“First off, Rotuma is remotely-located and the people here have little or no knowledge about our Parliament, some of whom are civil servants,” Mr Ravukivuki said.
“Secondly, they don’t know about the composition of Parliament, its Members and how laws are made, to name a few. Programmes like these helps people here to be connected and keep abreast with what’s happening back in Fiji.”
“We are so fortunate to have been visited by the team and this programme is really eye-opening for us. Now, we all have a better idea about the roles and functions of our Parliament and how we can engage with the institution.”
Another civil servant and Army Officer by profession, Mr Akuila Cakacaka said the programme was educational.
“It’s good that the Parliament outreach team has taken the time to visit us in Rotuma as most of us don’t even know the significance of Parliament. Now, we are all well-informed and we thank the team for visiting us.”
Meanwhile, the team will visit 14 villages, four primary schools and a high school on the island as part of the programme.
The programme has been made possible through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, under its Fiji Parliament Support Project II which is funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand.