Three Fijian organisations involved in developing creative solutions to the economic development challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have been given grants by the US Embassy in Fiji to bolster their work.
These Organisations include Soqosoqo Vakamarama Cakaudrove, Fiji Beekeepers Association and Tasty Kitchen Collective. The US Embassy has given a total grant of $258,615 to these organisations.
Soqosoqo Vakamarama member, Sereana Kubuabola says they plan to train about 60 women and youths from 134 villages in the Northern Division on how they can run a business.
She says they also want to help find markets overseas for the masi, tapa and mats.
Kubuabola says they have received $44,000 for the project that will run for a year.
She further says restrictions in movement from one island to another has cut off access to markets but she adds they are hopeful that with easing of restrictions, these villagers will get a chance to earn a better living.
Fiji Beekeeping Association’s President, Nilesh Kumar says they have received more than $72,000 which will be used to train new beekeepers as they are seeing a lot of interest from Fijians.
He says 10 years ago, honey was imported but now local farmers are supplying the product and adds they plan to build an overseas market for Fijian honey.
Meanwhile, Tasty Kitchen Collective have also been given a grant of more than $70,000 to establish the Centre for Arts Suva, in Walu Bay.
Creative Director, Peter Sipeli says they will be opening an art centre with Tasty Kitchen Fiji that will marry food innovation with arts.
He says they also intend to establish a database of Fijian artists.
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