• Marama Alliance UK

The Alliance turns 3!

Updated: Jul 15

Marama Alliance UK, also known as the Alliance, was birthed 3 years ago today, on the 13th of July 2019. It was the culmination of the dream of several visionary Fijian women who identified the need for a support network for women of Fijian descent in the United Kingdom.


These women, each learning from their own experiences, put their heads together to organise a series of events beginning with two meetings in London, the first of which was in March 2017. This meeting was organised by Lavenia Rokovucago and her then team at the Fiji High Commission. The second meeting which led to the formation for Marama Alliance was held in April 2018 and this one was organised by Elina Nailatikau and her team at Communities Fiji Britain. The idea of a women’s network was born.


This shared dream has now evolved to Marama Alliance, a community voluntary organisation run by an operational Committee, working groups and supported by a Board of Trustee.


What have we done so far?


Within these 3 years, the Committee have led various projects in line with the Alliance’s Mission to address issues affecting diverse Fijian women in the U.K. including Mobilising the participation of Fijian women in all spheres and influence, as well as Advocating for improved access to information, and services that facilitate integration to life in the U.K and Promoting the conservation of Fijian Language and Culture through appropriate enabling actions.


Completed Projects include Mentoring, Marama Women in Business, Our Shared Shelf Book club Series and the Walk by Faith Series; Ongoing Projects include Immigration Information Sessions, Money Mindset Series, Domestic Violence awareness sessions for community leaders, Marama Connect, Sisters Bible Class, Fijian Language Week and the Meke UK Project.




How have we done it so far?


The Projects would not have been made possible without the partnership formed with you, women of Fijian descent in the UK, the wider UK Fijian community, Advisory Groups, Working Groups, fellow third sector organisations, supporters, funders, and not to mention our hardworking Committee.


Our committee, made up of volunteers have been absolute gems in making sure that meaningful projects continue to be brought to you. We would be remiss not to mention and thank them by name, Luisa Matatolu, Suliana Lotawa, Sereima Tawake, and former committee members Leonora Sinclair, Sainimili Rockett, Filo Tuivanualevu and Kara Riley, thank you for all your contributions and hard work over the last three years. Your time and efforts has been invaluable, and we can never thank you enough.


What now?


Simply put – We would like to do more!


A Community Needs Assessment conducted between April and May 2021 found that Culture and Language, Career Development, Health and Wellbeing, Immigration, and Financial Literacy followed by Business Networking, Mentoring and Leadership, Domestic Violence Support, and Faith Networking were areas that our beneficiaries, our sisters, daughters, and mothers needed support the most.


You, the community, had your say!


While we love supporting our Fijian Women we cannot do so without resources! To continue to support our beneficiaries and to do it better, the Alliance dreams of growing into obtaining Registered Charity status! Yes, Charity Registration is the dream we are working to next! We aim to continue to bring projects to you as we work towards this dream.



How can you Support?


You can support us by attending our events in large numbers, support our fundraising drives or fundraise for us! And we are kick starting our Fundraising activity TODAY.


This weekend we are commemorating our birthday by having a ‘Marama weekend Walk & Gunuti Bani’. We have set up a Just Giving page and we encourage you to support us by giving generously to The Alliance or sharing our page widely across your networks.


We also invite you to get involved by organizing a walk in your local area or a gunuti bani. Make sure you take pictures and tag us with the hashtag #️MaramaBani. If you would like to fundraise for us in your own way, please get in touch with us at contact@maramaalliance.com


There will be other fundraising activities organized by other Trustees and Committee members throughout the year so please look out for the one closest to you.




So, what’s coming up?


We have a number of community-based activities line up for the year to build on the foundation of the previous two. These projects are aimed at everyone in our Fijian UK community and we hope that you can sign up and be involved.


  • Bula Festival Meke: The next big event in 2022 is the Meke UK which will perform at the Bula Festival 2022. We will run a stall at the event where we will be running workshops for children so please come on down to see us!

  • Working Groups:Working groups, these are smaller delivery groups who will form around themes and activities. There is a Meke UK working group that is currently running, and we will be advertising for expressions of interest for Women’s Conference and Wiltshire working groups later in the year. If you are interested in forming or joining a working group, please get in touch.

  • Resettlement Ready:There will be an event targeted at spouses of serving soldiers who are preparing for resettlement into civie life. The event is aimed at creating opportunities for capacity building so that the transition is easier for spouses involved.


Apart from these three projects above, we will continue to bring you the programmes we had delivered to you in the past and these include:


● Marama Connect- Dates to be confirmed.

● Fijian Language Week – 2nd to 8th October

● Financial Literacy Session – Dates to be confirmed

● Women Arise Conference – 2nd to 4th December


As always, we invite you to be part of this either by taking part in any of these events and sharing your knowledge or bring a friend along to any of these segments to help our Fijian community.


Finally…


We have reminded you of how we started, what we are doing and how we will continue but all these would not be possible without the support of the UK Fijian Community.


Your encouragement, participation and input have shaped the Alliance. We can never repay you for your support and we are truly grateful for your commitment.


We look forward to working together in the future.


Thank you,

The Marama Alliance Team.

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