Nairai Island plays host to a remote community located in the Lomaiviti Island Group. Home to just five villages, we currently work with three Nairai communities and one settlement. These communities are landowners, holding guardianship over significant marine resources and diversities in the Pacific. This region is well-known for their highly-skilled weaving. Historically a voyaging region, a large percentage of community members intermarried with persons from other island nations, further enriching the skilled artisan background of this island’s community. Today, many islanders in this region leave permanently to access education and employment opportunities in Fiji’s capitol, Suva. Although villagers have established informal market access networks to send handmade goods, their market reach remains hampered by tourism fluctuations, making them unable to maintain a steady flow of demand. Boat access from these communities to urban or peri-urban centers is limited to monthly trips. Privately-hired boat transport is extremely expensive, with fuel rates three to five times higher than in the mainland.
Our focus with Nairai is to create market access beyond Fiji, allowing all five communities to regularly produce and rely on weaving as a sustainable source of income.