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Feb 17, 2017

Additional Support Received- Kiribati and Vanuatu

Greetings and thanks to our many donors who have supported the project last year. Much was accomplished due to your generosity and in-kind donations of accommodation and boats.  The reefs of focus thus far have been on Christmas Island, Kiribati where mass coral bleaching in 2015-16 due to extreme temperatures caused nearly all branching corals to die.  However, we were able to find a few bleaching resistant survivors and to establish a small coral nursery, which is now thriving.

My next trip, a four-week trip to both Christmas and Fanning Islands, is planned for May and June. The planned coral restoration strategy is described in our last report.  A UK donor has come foward to fund much of this extended trip. 

Unfortunately ocean temperatures are forecast to be above normal for June, above the bleaching threshold for most corals, and so coral bleaching is once more predicted, the third year in a row.   However, we believe that all or most of the sensitive corals are already gone, and so on the positive side, we will be able to see how our bleaching resistant corals fare, and if they do well and do not bleach severely then we will be secure in our belief that we are making progress.

We have recently partnered with ‘’Island Reach’’, a Vanuatu-registered NGO, to carry out a coral gardening workshop in the lagoon at North Efate Island in August.  Several communities and groups will participate.  This is a major development for the project as the local communities will now become more involved through this locally-based NGO, which can follow-up.  Community-based no-take MPAs will be one of the targeted areas for coral rehabilitation, after growing and testing corals within nurseries for heat tolerance and bleaching resistance.  Island Reach has already involved many communities in COTS removal, the starfish that kill corals- and now they are ready to work more actively with the corals.

Thanks for reading this report and for your support, which has already accomplished so much.

Feb 17, 2017

A Sustainable Livelihoods Focus Continues

Happy Chickens
Happy Chickens

The four communites of Motutiki that we are focused on with the Hurricane Winston disaster relief and recovery project and that were trained in the Happy Chickens livelihood project, continue with the work in their communities.  Over three thousand dollars of materials for chicken houses have so far been purchased, and sent out, build with the contribution of local labor.  Three hundred chicks were sent, and now the chickens have begun laying and are providing high protein food to the communities. 

Mr. Simione Koto has visited the four Moturiki communites twice since our last report to folow up on the project. He reports that two of the village communities are doing much better than the others, and this is due to the training that community members received at the Sigatoka workshop.  Women have been key to project success. 

We are now considering how best to expand and improve on the project based on these initial lessons learned, but again we have decided to focus on building and restoring livelihoods rather than helping repair houses, which people are getting support from elsewhere, although we did initially send three large chainsaws, with which they continue to mill felled trees into timber with for rebuilding.  

We recently received the tragic news of the death of Mrs Kasa Dilo, our project leader in Daku village.  She was a key mover of the project.  Her health was suffereing from the stress of the disaster, as concrete home had been completely swept away by the waves in the hurricane last year, and she suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes, complicated by the stress of coping wth all the damage and destruction.  We have yet to visit her husband Johne and the family fro condolences and to ensure that the work continues in the village in her absence.  She will be greatly missed, but we must ensure project success for the sake of the community.  

Thank you again for all that you have done to help make this project a success- touching the lives of so many in need.  It is not always so easy, so please remember us and of course these gentle island communities in your thoughts and prayers.     

Feb 17, 2017

Self-Sufficiency and Spreading to New Areas!

Koro disaster area- new chicken house
Koro disaster area- new chicken house

Do to the lack of coconuts, crops, and vegetation due to severe cyclone Winston which hit a year ago, we have continued to send chicken feed to the Koro project on a Monthly basis.  However, the women have now told us that they are able to make sufficient chicken feed from local materials, now that their gardens have recovered. Self sufficiency was the goal and this has been achieved! 

The chickens have started laying and the women are very excited to find out that some of them lay green eggs!  A new chcken house was built from salvaged materials from the destroyed homes, and greatly expands the sleeping and laying area for the happy chickens. 

The next step will be to decide if the project should be expanded within the village, how many more chicks are needed, materials needed for expansion to adequately meet the needs of the community, and based on the local feeds that can be produced.  The Nabasovi Village project has expanded with local resources and from woman to woman, to the next village, and we have sent chicks and will contine to send chicken feed there for another month.    

Thea, the new US Peace Corps volunteer continues to help by sending us reports, and she is helping to organize another series of Happy Chicken workshop for other areas hit by the Cyclone and in need of the project. Thea and her PC collegues are presently trying to raise the funds for transport for four local trainees from each of 17 new communities, plus 16 PC volunteers, who will follow up.  This big group will be divided into 3-4 workshps, to train an estimated total of 88 people at our Sustainable Livelioods Farm in Sigatoka.  This represents a major expansion and new direction towards sustainability of the program. 

Once the transport funds are raised for these proposed workshops, we have wworkshop funds promised from SPC- the South Pacific Community, and with the cage materials, baby chicks, and stater feed funded through your donations on gobal giving.  In this way, small streams of funding join together become a river that can move the communities and wash away the problems associated with poverty and the impacts of this horrific natural disaster.

Blessings and peace, and thanking you once agan.

   

Extending the chicken coop
Extending the chicken coop
Happy Healthy chickens
Happy Healthy chickens
Women builders
Women builders
Eggs from the Happy Chickens... a green one!
Eggs from the Happy Chickens... a green one!
The day is done... the work is complete!
The day is done... the work is complete!
 
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