Some of the waste we were able to help remove
Today I'd like to share with you some of the progress that we have made in Fiji since the Cyclone that tore through in February.
The Fijian governemnt advised villages that all houses and buildings that had been destroyed should be rebuit on higher ground. Here in Silana, 25 homes were completely destroyed and the area that they were advised to rebuild on was very uneven and needed to be clearer.
We saw how the villagers took to the land armed only with machetes and will power to start clearing the land. Thanks to your donations we were able to hire a digger to come in to level and clear the earmarked land. This significantly reduced the amount of time and stress it would have taken to complete the task by hand, freeing them up to focus on rebuilding their homes quicker.
Waste Clearning and Management
The village was strewen with all sorts of waste and with very limited options available and a lot of waste to deal with, the villagers were advised to either burn or bury the waste. They approached us asking for help, as recycling and proper waste management has been something that the people of Silana have become fiercely proud of.
All of the recycling was seperated and sorted and we were able to hire trucks to come into the village and collect it all.
Funds have also been used to fix machinary, buy new equipement that has been lost or is beyond repair and help facilitate delivery and removal of things.
Donations were also used to buy grass cutters so that the maintenace and orderliness of the village can we maintained, a point of fierce pride to the locals. We were also able to help out the village by hiring trucks to bring in loads of desks and new school supplies that were donated by another group, but were stranded in Suva.
The Cyclone has impacted everyone's ability to continue attending school, but some of the older students are effected more severely due to financial reasons. Because families lost everything plus all of their means of making a living, many were not able to afford to carry on paying tuition fees. Having to drop out of education after the tireless work both students and families have done in order to achieve further education would have been another devastating loss caused by Cyclone Winston.
We were able to pay for semester fees for 6 students who would have otherwise had to drop out of their tertiary education.
What we're working on next
Our next big project that we are going to start working on really soon is the rebuilding of the library and reading centre. The library was built a couple of years ago using donations and it has been an incredibly succesful and worthwhile project. The students come in the afternoons for extra, one-on-one lessons or to just hang out and read. The volunteers and teachers spend time here creating lesson materials and discussing work and just hanging out. It really is a wonderful community asset and we can't wait to have it rebuilt and restocked with books!
Thank you for all of your support so far. We couldn't have achieved the results we have in the time we have been able to without your support.
Checking out their new desks
Sorting out the recycling
The grader we were able to hire
Using the grass cutters to keep things neat!