Dream comes true for youth group after 11 years of sacrifice

Picture: Proud Koro Youth Club members in front of their new carrier with Agriculture Locality Officer, Samisoni Ledua (far right, standing, in blue polo tshirt) with Agriculture Officer – Farm Management West, Lani Kunadua (2nd right, standing, at the back in green tshirt). Club President, Sevuloni Garodua is at the back, far left, standing in brown tshirt.

Patience and being of one mind and one goal were the keys to the success of a youth group that managed to deposit their three tonne truck after 11 years of hard work and sheer determination.


Koro Youth Club is located in the village of Koro, in the district of Savatu, in the Ba Province.


Reaching Koro requires traveling down from the Nadarivatu highlands through snake-like winded turns until one reaches the origins of the Ba River.


The Club’s newly elected President, Sevuloni Garodua, 27, explained in i-taukei the Club begin in 2010 with a current membership of more than 20.


Since its inception, the goal was always focused on purchasing a vehicle to ease transport challenges faced by the village.


Tavua is the nearest town and for those who want to market their produce, each person must pay $13 one way to secure a seat.


The carrier that used to service Koro Village was not from there, so prior arrangements were usually made to ensure it came to take them to Tavua.


However, Sevuloni said since their new carrier arrived, the Club has continued to charge the same fare to their fellow villagers, as a way to not only generate income but to also assist in paying off the balance of about $50k of their most prized asset. This, he added, was now the Club’s next goal.


He said members held fundraising drives to start off their pool of funds. Members also planted yaqona, vudi, and bananas to also assist in raking in funds for the Club towards this project. They managed to collect $2k for these initiatives.


Around July of this year, they harvested 20 yaqona plants of nine to ten years which they sold and together with the funds already collected, they managed to finally reach their target of $30k for their deposit.


He said they only managed to reach their goal, after 11 years since the Club was formed, because everyone was of one mind, one goal, and moved forward together. Sevuloni said achieving goals through farming was possible because of the available resource of land, labour, and unity within the group.


Koro Youth Club was provided technical advisory services in 2017 by the Ministry of Agriculture including an Extension and Farm Management training that was co-facilitated with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.


These helped the group stay focused on their goals as youths were trained to set and achieve business targets at certain timelines. The Farm Management Program is specifically focused on capacity building of farmers and Agriculture extension officers on farm management.


The Ministry acknowledges that farmers need to possess the skills to be able to respond to market changes and to manage their farms both effectively and profitably to take advantage of opportunities to increase income. Therefore, the Program is aimed promoting farming as a business whilst simultaneously ensuring the adoption of sustainable farming systems or smart agriculture.