On Tuesday 27 February 2018, Honorable Laisenia Bale Tuitubou, Minister for Youth and Sports signed a “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in the Area of Saemaul Undong” with Honorable Minister Kim Boo Kyum, Minister for Interior and Safety at the Ministry of Interior and Safety in Seoul.

The MOU sets out a number of scope for cooperation which includes the dispatch of Saemaul Undong officers and volunteers to share rural development experiences of Korea, fostering Saemaul Undong leaders and professional workers, supporting village youth and women through education and training, and assistance in the implementation of Saemaul Undong pilot projects in Fiji.

“I believe that it will be another milestone for the Ministry of Youth and Sports Fiji to be signing a MOU on Cooperation in the Area of Saemaul Undong and hope that my Ministry and the Republic of Fiji will greatly benefit from this undertaking as the objectives in the areas of Saemaul Undong correlate with our core deliverables”, said Honorable Minister Laisenia Bale Tuitubou.

“The Ministry of Interior and Safety of Korea will continue to support the establishment of the Saemaul Undong in Fiji. In particular, we have planned to conduct a feasibility study in Fiji to examine the benefits of the project in respect to the selection of Fiji as a new target country of the Global Village Saemaul Undong for the year of 2019. I would like to propose if the Government of Fiji could seek out a way to support Saemaul Undong possibly with the establishment of a dedicated department for Saemaul Undong within the Ministry,” proposed Hon. Minister Kim Boo Kyum.

Saemaul Undong, which promotes self-reliance of residents in rural areas through the values of “diligence, self-help, and cooperation,” has been the driving force behind Korea’s economic growth. Also Korea’s transformation from a donor recipient country to a donor aid country has been largely attributed to the Saemaul Undong.