Seeing the challenges that the people had, I wanted to be of help.
Did you know that Fiji consists of more than one island? As there are various islands, there are also various problems – especially for those based in remote areas of Fiji. In fact, on the island of Matuku the population consists of literally 650 islanders; but due to its remoteness, the locals have minimum access to basic facilities city-goers take for granted, such as education, telecommunications, transportation, and more. However, local Litia Kirwin is slowly changing that through her social enterprise Loving Islands. “… seeing the challenges that the people had, I wanted to be of help,” she said.
Loving Island was founded with the intention to empower local communities through employment via sustainable development based around their culture and the natural resources around them.
The enterprise is twofold: a consultancy business and an online retail store. Kirwin identifies remote land around Fiji that can be used to generate income for locals via her online store while also providing strategies in relation to community development, project management, funding procurement, and more. The online store sells food and merchandise entirely harvested or created by locals, such as organic coconut virgin oil, organic vanilla bean paste, organic ground turmeric, hand-printed purses, woven mats, candles, body balm, and more!
“… I was told that for a widow on Matuku, this project has been the first opportunity for her to make income since her husband passed away, so it’s satisfying to know that these projects make some level of impact on people’s lives,” Kirwin said.
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