Our Christmas gifts this year have been produced by artisans in Fiji through the non-profit organisation Rise Beyond the Reef.
Rise Beyond the Reef is a Fijian social enterprise addressing rural remote Fijian communities’ unique development needs. It focuses on improving women and children’s lives through ecologically sustainable income-generating projects using traditional skills and materials, while addressing gender inequities, building women leaders, and empowering women and girls facing domestic violence.
The beautiful bold print of our 2021 tote bag was printed in communities in the Ra province which is in the northern area of the main island; Viti Levu. Rise Beyond the Reef works with more than 150 women from seven communities in this region. Communities in the Ra area are primarily dependent on the mangroves, reefs and other marine ecosystems for their livelihoods. Because it is removed from Viti Levu’s main centres, Ra artisans struggle to access markets to sell their products through. The Rise Beyond the Reef programme makes the connection between individual artisans and customers which makes a huge difference to families in these more remote provinces.
Added to the catalogue of gifts this year are hand-sewn turtles, using left-over material scraps making each one unique. The turtles as well as the YAWA earrings have been made by artisans in the Ba province, also on the main island of Viti Levu. The Yakete District is located within the Ba province. This is one of the largest remaining areas containing pristine Fijian forests, populated by indigenous communities that lead subsistence lifestyles and live off of the land. The final gift created in Fiji is a sunglass or glasses case, made using handwoven mini mats that are produced in both the Ba and Ra provinces.
Each of the limited-edition gifts in our catalogue this year has been exclusively hand-made for our supporters meaning this Christmas your unique gift will support the work of Rise Beyond the Reef in Fiji and give the gift of sight to someone in the Pacific. Specsavers is also supporting The Foundation this Christmas by generously matching any donation received for a gift this Christmas meaning your donation will also have double the impact.*
A $25 donation becomes $50.
One sight-restoring surgery becomes two.
*up to the value of $80,000.