News Story

Rising to the Challenge

One Fiji family’s journey to greater self-reliance

When the global COVID-19 pandemic hit the isles of Fiji, Vika Rakatia knew it was time to put the principles she had learnt from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints self-reliance course into practice and expand her small donut business, “Raise Fry Glaze.”

Vika is one of many Fijian’s affected by job losses and reduced hours due to the travel restrictions across the globe. Tourism is one of Fiji’s biggest revenue earners and has affected more than 116,000 employees from the tourism, aviation, and related service industries.

Not only were Vika’s hours with a local private airline reduced by 50 percent, but upcoming shows for her small business, Mix ‘n’ Merge Dance Entertainment, were cancelled.


The Rakatia’s had to turn to their savings and home food storage to sustain themselves.

To supplement their income, Vika’s husband, Samisoni, and their two sons began to grow root crops and vegetables on a vacant piece of land next to their home.

Vika completed the self-reliance class Starting and Growing My Business group in 2017. Now in 2020, she knew exactly what to do to support her family. Vika normally took donut orders via email, text, and phone. She introduced digital marketing on Facebook and Instagram and her business expanded phenomenally.

With a growing client base, it wasn’t long before restaurants started to purchase her products. The orders grew from 48 donuts per week to more than 400 per week in the first four months. Though sales are down everywhere, Vika now regularly supplies Kanu, a restaurant owned by local celebrity chef, Lance Seeto.

“Raise Fry Glaze” now employs all the Rakatia family and regularly uses two neighbours’ taxi services to deliver the donuts.

Samisoni says, “The self-reliance classes have helped us to be more resilient. We are now able to reach out and help those less fortunate.”

This isn’t all for Vika and Samisoni, as they want to make the most out of their business and increased income. To help guide them on their path to self-reliance, they joined and completed the Personal Finances program.

As Stake (a group of congregations) Self-Reliance and Welfare Specialists, the Rakatia’s are empowering members of their stake and community to become more resilient by enrolling in self-reliance groups. The Lautoka Fiji Stake currently has approximately 235 people enrolled in the classes.

In 2011, Apostle Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “This work of providing in the Lord’s way is not simply another item in the catalogue of programs of the Church. It cannot be neglected or set aside. It is central to our doctrine; it is the essence of our religion. We must not turn aside our hearts or our heads from becoming more self-reliant, caring better for the needy, and rendering compassionate service.”

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