Mikaele Korovou, a 35-year-old from Muanaicake, Fulaga in Lau, is turning wood waste to valuable products through the art of wood carving.
Korovou is a traditional wood carver who started practicing the art from an early age, after he learnt it from his father, and has kept on until date.
“We are traditional wood carvers. I learnt the art from my father and I started carving from an early age. We carve wood as a family, and supply woodwork products to retail stores and hotels. As COVID 19 hit niche enterprises like ours were affected , so I went on a quest in search of a secure future for my young family.”
Korovou says he dropped out of school early to join the family in the business, creating and selling wood products on the street, while also retailing at stores such as Jacks of Fiji.
He says COVID-19 had an impact on their business, which is why he moved on to other opportunities.
He is now employed as a trainer at the Ministry of Forestry’s Timber Industry Training Centre.
Korovou adds he is grateful for the opportunity – to not only teach the art of wood carving but also learn new things.
The Ministry of Forestry’s Timber Industry Training Centre conducts training for landowners on utilizing wood waste and turning them into valuable products.
This in turn helps these individuals to generate income and also contribute to the country’s economic recovery and growth.