DESI program is committed to creating improved skills and economic opportunities at the individual and community level. We believe that in order to bring lasting change or continuous development we need to work with livelihood programs. At FRIEND before beginning any livelihood project with the individuals and communities we assess the market, available resources, skills and environment so the projects have long lasting impact on people and communities involved. This is done through participatory processes where individuals facilitates the production of gourmet food items from local recipes, as well as crafts using local resources, that have been identified through the Governance program.
The objective is to provide individuals and communities with the opportunity to earn income using available resources and their existing skills to beat poverty. Community members are encouraged to bring in product samples which undergo tests for shelf life, appearance, packaging etc. If necessary, changes are suggested to increase marketability of the products. Once approved the suppliers undergo training in self esteem, team work, quality control, budgeting, and principles of marketing and managing a small business.
FRIEND provides assistance with the production, packaging, sales and marketing of the products under the Friend’s Fiji Style ® brand.