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Fiji Time: 6:51 PM on Saturday 19 April

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NGO finishes year on a high note, looks to 2014

Shayal Devi
Sunday, December 29, 2013

AN NGO based in the West has finished the year on a high.

The Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises Development (FRIEND) has more projects planned for 2014.

FRIEND announced in its monthly newsletter its projects had been very successful and made a difference in the lives of many.

Founder and director Sashi Kiran said one of the major projects of 2013 was introducing beekeeping for farmers.

"We were challenged with the unavailability of local apiary expertise which prompted us to invite Thomas Korsten of Germany to Fiji," she said.

"Thomas is no stranger to beekeeping in Fiji and the region having worked here before and his name came highly recommended."

She said Mr Korsten arrived in the country in October and for the next two months trained and worked with farmers in the field before he left for Germany.

"FRIEND also received a major boost with three additional vehicles to supplement the existing fleet.

"Our work involves teams travelling out into rural areas on a regular basis, and more vehicles means teams are better equipped for more efficient services.

"The three new Ford Rangers means safer transportation as teams continue to provide support to communities through regular visits to the projects site, often in difficult terrain with poor road conditions."

These gifts were made possible through the EU and Ms Kiran said the EU had recognised the challenges faced in service delivery and have supported them.

Other major projects the NGO was involved with include working hand in hand with rural farmers to strengthen their farming skills and empowering unemployed young people through the Youth Employment Network, an upskilling program that allowed youths to secure employment in various fields.

These programs are expected to continue next year as well.