SINCE starting operations in 2002, the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development, better known as FRIEND, has gone on to help countless people counter unemployment.
This has been done through the introduction of income-generating projects such as bee farming and the production of homemade chutney and greeting cards for sale in Fiji's shops.
To mark its 12th year anniversary, the NGO plans to host a learning festival next week which will include a half-day forum.
"There will also be a film festival and local food cooking competition," said FRIEND communications and publication officer Sandhya Narayan.
"This will be done using traditional cooking methods."
Ms Narayan said the work FRIEND had done so far would be highlighted.
"This includes their highly successful GROW program, which helps struggling farmers benefit from crop diversification," she said.
Ms Narayan said card-making would also be taught during the learning festival.
"Guests from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Australia will be present on the day.
"There will be live music and dance, plants, seeds and herbs for sale and free sampling of local foods and tea."
The theme of the event is Food, Health and Sustainability and will be held at the FRIEND Fiji headquarters in Tuvu, Lautoka, on August 29.