Nadi, 10 June 2015 –Working with Tourism Fiji to provide a platform for women, so that they can share their voicefrom the remote communities that they work with,is what Rise Beyond the Reef hopes to achieve when the Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) 2015 starts on Tuesday next week.
Rise Beyond the Reef is a non-profit organization that acts as a bridge between remote communities, government, private sector, and aid organisations to increase their understanding of resource sharing and working together to help better the lives of women and children.
Communities, which are not often represented, will be able to showcase a range of traditional contemporary products – including jewelleries and accessories, housewares, woven products and gift items – through thenon-profit organisation at FTE 2015.
“Fijian culture offers connectibility in the way that many western cultures do not. This is made possible through a totally different system of currencies in communities that do not all revolve around money, but more so on relationships, friendliness and genuine warmth of the Fijian people,” Rise Beyond the Reef Director, Ms Janet Lotawa says.
“So a few of our artisans will be in attendance who live in rural and remote communities. Our “Community Made” products will represent artisans from districts in both VitiLevu and Vanua Levu.”
Ms Lotawa adds while being able to attend a major event like FTE 2015 is challenging for the community artisans, often times in rural and remote communities is where “you get to see, feel and experience the true spirit of Fiji and for tourists a community experience is what makes their visit even more special than enjoying the Fijian sunshine and beaches.
Tourism Fiji Director of Event, Ms Sally Cooper says FTE is a platform inclusive of the whole Fijian community.
“FTE values the work of everyone who is serious about the growth of the Fijian tourism industry. Tourism in Fiji is about genuine partnerships and enhancing relationships through the social interactions through FTE, the effects of which fundamentally flow back to the communities which the industry is built on,” she adds.
The Rise Beyond the Reefexhibition booth is sponsored by Westpac to give rural women a chance to promote their initiatives to international buyers attending FTE 2015, as well as develop opportunities for businesses.