Fiji has a shortage of trained carpenters, prompting Habitat for Humanity Fiji (HFH) to partner with Fiji National University (FNU) to deliver construction training to 120 students.

The community focused program is funded by the United Nations Development Program and will include training in wooden house construction, block house construction and sanitation and household plumbing through FNU’s Community-Based Non-Formal Education (CBNFE) program.

The students will learn on the job, building four Ministry of Housing houses in disaster-threatened communities. These houses are designed to a Category 4 cyclone resilience.

HFH Fiji Shelter Program Manager Michael Hill said: “The inclusion of constructing a home gives students hands on experience and enables them to contribute substantially to the construction of their homes and those of their fellow community members.”

“The primary focus of the CBNFE program is to train and empower rural and maritime communities and villages with practical life skills and knowledge that are considered relevant and necessary to sustain their livelihoods.”

“The CBNFE program is also geared towards influencing these communities to effectively utilise their available resources, encourage entrepreneurship and empower women and youths through changing attitudes and life-skills that help to sustain their livelihoods.”

“This program also plays a proactive role in the fight against the drastic impacts of climate change through its skills training programs. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction efforts after disasters are promptly administered when those affected are equipped with trade and life-skills that help to construct resilient housing and sustain their livelihoods.”

FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor Toby Wilkinson said the University is delighted to collaborate with HFH.

Successful students will achieve a Certificate of Attainment from FNU.

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