Welcome to the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s Public Awareness column. Over the next few weeks we will cover a series of articles on financial education in Fiji and how it contributes to financial inclusion.
Could teaching Financial Education in Fiji’s schools help tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs)? While the link may not be obvious, that’s proving to be the case.
Swami Vivekananda College in Nadi has combined a crop cultivation programme designed to promote healthy eating with Commercial Studies lessons that teach students to be financially independent. As part of this initiative, students are given vegetable seeds and encouraged to start backyard gardens to grow vegetables, determine prices, prepare and package their vegetables for sale and to reinvest or save the proceeds.
Roshni Panda, a Year 10 student at Swami Vivekananda College, caught the gardening and entrepreneurial bug after being given vegetable seeds to plant. She has found that her small backyard garden has a number of benefits. It provides a bonding and de-stressing activity for the whole family when they work on it together. Whilst, gardening gets each family member outside every day to do some physical activity, the Pandas also have access to fresh fruit and vegetables for their diet. Both contribute towards helping reduce the risk of NCDs. The garden also helps reduce household expenses and the sale of surplus produce brings in supplementary income for the family.