SELLING food parcels and pastries is proving to be a profitable business for a group of single mothers in Labasa.
Thanks to the Department of Social Welfare, the group receives allowances under the Welfare Graduation Program to help them start their own businesses.
The program empowers single mothers and able-bodied recipients to receive training in business skills and start their own income-generating projects.
Nai Nailevu of Naseakula Village said income received from the business allowed her to support the education of her two children.
"My husband left me and my two children behind and since 2009, I used to receive $80 per month. This is before I was assisted by the department with $600," Ms Nailevu said.
"I started my business at Labasa market and now I can earn $50 in a day just by selling iTaukei dishes and pastries. When sales are good, I can earn about $200 in a week."
She said her business prompted her to work hard to earn more money to support her children.
"I am also saving extra money into my bank account and this is made possible through the assistance from the department," she said.
Another recipient Seruwaia Citiyawa shared similar sentiments, saying she was thankful to the department for helping her venture into a business that greatly supported her family.
Poverty Alleviation, Women and Social Welfare Minister, Doctor Jiko Luveni said: "It's incredible to see that the social welfare recipients are earning and living independently."
"Through the program, we would like to see more social welfare recipients venture into income generating projects and transfer from a negative attitude to a positive one."
A total of 31 social welfare recipients were assisted through the graduation program in the north so far.