A survey done in 2020 identified communities and informal settlements in the Suva, Nausori and Lami corridor where the income stream was lessened and women were reporting that their husbands would go and stand looking for work.
This was highlighted by the Executive Director of Social Empower Education Program, Chantelle Khan who says the income stream for some families was $50 or less in a week to feed their families and some parents had to teach their children to drink water to replace food.
She adds the effects of the pandemic was felt in the urban areas and Lami, Suva, and Nausori corridor was their focal point and they aimed to put food on the table and money in women’s pockets.
Khan says the Local Economy Project is a response to COVID-19 and they knew that COVID would have a socio-economic impact that would be devastating.
She adds the concept of the local economy is borrowed from a cooperative where a group of people come together and form themselves into little cooperatives around grocery canteens.
Meanwhile, Seruwaia Kabukabu a Naitasiri Representative of the Naitasiri Women's Dairy Group says women entrepreneurs not only fend for themselves but also their families.
Kabukabu says the dairy group is an idea to ensure women have a stable source of income on their own so they don't rely on their husbands and children.
The group was established in 2017 to share dairy farming knowledge, issues, challenges and experiences encountered as women in a male-dominated industry.
She adds working collectively, the group aims to improve daily milk production and sustain income that will enhance the livelihood of the members.
Kabukabu says they have successfully secured 50 acres of land for the dairy group and are collecting more money to secure the land title.
She says the Naitasiri Women's Dairy Group is supported through a grant from Women's Fiji Fund since 2018.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations