KAILA - "Foundation for rural integrated enterprises and development was set-up to create opportunities for people to step out of poverty, in a country where poverty is not acknowledged," Sashi Kiran founder and director of FRIEND
Founder, Sashi Kiran says as a development worker travelling around the country, she used to feel anguish at the wasting away of valuable resources, while communities lamented that they were poor and were facing difficulties in putting decent food on their tables, sending their children to school or being able access timely health services for the lack of money
These people were struggling to make living difficult circumstances, unable to utilize their available knowledge and skills for supplementing their family income and improving their quality of life.
There was no shortage of resources and skills in the country, what was lacking was access to information, opportunities and the reach of the market.
In 2001, FRIEND was born- an organization aiming to work with the rural and the underserved communities to move them to social and economi9c empowerment with the idea of taking one step at a time, work began in the western part of Fiji, a region recorded with the highest per capita poverty level in the country.
FRIENDS provide opportunities to individuals and communities to earn income using available resources and existing skills to beat poverty. These are evident from the products made by FRIEND which include gourmet food items made from local recipes as well as craft using local resources.
FRIEND believes that in order to bring a lasting change of continuous development, there is a need to work with livelihood programs.