Rise Beyond the Reef

Recently, I spent a few days with Janet Lotawa from Rise Beyond the Reef, a non-profit that aims to alleviate poverty in remote communities through a variety of programs.

The projects we covered in the handful of days we travelled, were predominately for empowering women by teaching them to produce marketable goods using traditional skills.

Our projects incorporate mechanisms for sustainable self-sufficiency.
We are developing opportunities for businesses, tourists and volunteers to connect appropriately and sustainably with remote communities.

 

Their latest project “Shelter from the Storm” focuses on communities that were extremely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.  Verevere in Ra was one such village we visited. Virtually every structure in the village had been flattened by the cyclone, and four months later, this small community was still rebuilding with the help of volunteers.  Portraits from here included a woman who had flashbacks of the storm every time she hung out her washing, as that’s what she was doing when the cyclone began.  Sadly, she and many like her will have to try and work out their PTSD without proper counselling, as Fiji just doesn’t have the resources to cope with something of this magnitude.

Instructing the women of Navilawa

Nestled in the mountains of Sabeto is Navilawa village

Nestled in the mountains of Koroyanitu National Heritage Park is Navilawa village

Instructing the women of Navilawa

Instructing the women of Navilawa

Handicraft at Navilawa

Handicraft at Navilawa

Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba

Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba

This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba

This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba

This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba

This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba

Painted river rocks are helping earn much needed income in the "Shelter from the Storm" initiative

Painted river rocks are helping earn much needed income in the “Shelter from the Storm” initiative

Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba

Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba

Rara village, Ba

Rara village, Ba

Rara Village

Rara Village

The women of Rara village weaving mats for supply to markets organised by Rise Beyond the Reef

The women of Rara village weaving mats for supply to markets organised by Rise Beyond the Reef

Weaving a mat in Rara village, Ba

Weaving a mat in Rara village, Ba

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Voivoi

Voivoi

Stone tools found in Ra

Stone tools found in Ra

TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra

Portrait of a TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra

TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra

Portrait of a TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra

TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra

Portrait of a TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra

Getting their food growing is a major priority, Saioko Village

Getting their food growing is a major priority, Saioko Village

Temporary shelter and a garden on the foundations of a former house in Saioko village, Ra

Temporary shelter and a garden on the foundations of a former house in Saioko village, Ra

Training in Saioko, Ra

Training in Saioko, Ra

Instructing the women of Saioko, Ra

Instructing the women of Saioko, Ra

Experimenting with the electric drill, Saioko village.

Experimenting with the electric drill, Saioko village.

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