Rotary Club of Auckland Harbourside together with Education First Trust (EFT) of New Zealand has been distributing dictionaries in Fiji since 2015 to year five students in primary schools with the objective of literacy development.
Dictionaries were given to class five and six students since most rural primary schools have composite classes, we provide to both the classes (in addition to class five which is located in the same room) as a matter of courtesy. This year Rotary Club of Auckland Harbourside and EFT have distributed 432 dictionaries to students in 22 schools in Nadroga/Navosa province of Fiji. In 2022 we focused in this region as it was most affected by the pandemic, the tourism sector was most affected; noting that the coral coast economy is most dependent on tourism. Once we have more resources, we will cover other areas.
The dictionaries are handed over to the students directly and remains their property all the time. The schools are also presented with one or two copies of the dictionary, depending on their enrollment, for use in their libraries. Representatives of Rotary Club of Auckland Harbourside and Education First Trust were in Fiji from late June to early August 2022 to distribute the dictionaries to the schools and the students.
The criteria for the selection of school are as follows: Small, Poor, Rural and Isolated schools. Our intention is to cover other schools as and when we have access to more resources. We have been requested to provide dictionaries other students in the schools, in addition to class five students.   
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture was fully consulted, approval sought, and informed on various facets of this project. We are most grateful to the Ministry for their approval, support and cooperation in organising the logistics of this distribution. The distribution team are also thankful to Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation for their support especially with transport and guidance in reaching outlying locations.
Other individuals also helped with local transportation. Two of the furthest schools our distribution teams covered this year were Bainimarama Vatutoka Primary School and Natutale Primary School in the interior of Viti Levu. These schools may be the most isolated schools in Viti Levu in terms of accessibility from urban area (about 80 km from Sigatoka town).
It made the Rotary-EFT groups much easier to travel to these schools with four wheel drive vehicles while crossing the rivers and driving through the gravel roads. Many students in these areas have been fortunate to receive the gift of Rotary Dictionary to share with their siblings and family members in their village homes. The Head teacher of the schools were grateful and delighted with this gift of literacy development.
Harjeet Golian
Project Leader