Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
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Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Emergency Relief for Fiji After Cyclone Winston
Thank you from Fiji!
Thank you from Fiji!

Dear Supporters, 

We have taken the decision to close down this project. 

It was been over 15 months since Cyclone Winston arrived on our doorstep and in that time we have managed to achieve so much thanks to the generous donations. Since this project opened, we have raised a total of over £47 000, all of which has been used in Fiji in their recovery efforts. 

Here are some of the highlights of what we have been able to achieve:

  • First Response and Provision of Basic Needs
  • Removal of tin and debris
  • Clearing of land for relocation of the village
  • Repairs and rebuilding of the community centre and school facilities
  • Repairs and replacements of rainwater harvesting systems
  • Resupply of basic resources to school students
  • Assistance with tuition fees to keep six students in tertiary education
  • Establishment of a food bank including the provision of seeds for re-planting crops
  • Construction and planting of a community vegetable garden

All of these projects have had a huge, positive impact on the community that we live and work in and none of the work or assistance that we were able to offer, would have been possible without your generosity. 

Our work with the communities in Fiji is far from over, we are now just moving away from channelling funds into a disaster fund. If you are interested in following some of the work that we are doing on an ongoing basis in Fiji, please have a look at our two projects, Working with Children in Fiji and Give Access to Water and Sanitation in Fiji

Thank you for your kind and generous support over the past year!

With Gratitude, 
The GVI Trust

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The new Silana Village sign
The new Silana Village sign

Dear Supporters, 

On the one year anniversary of Cyclone Winston, the people of Silana Village are remembering the dramatic events of this day, 20 February 2016, 12 months ago. 

The villages of Dawasamu District were all badly affected during the category 5 cyclone which swept along the coast uprooting trees, destroying houses and scattering debris throughout the area. In the weeks following the cyclone, GVI's Community Partners in Silana worked diligently to help collect and clear rubbish and debris, particularly scrap tin, which littered the village. These same community partners then took responsibility for assisting other villages in Dawasamu District with their clean ups too.

As the weeks turned into months, members of the community slowly began to rebuild their homes and started to replant crops which were all washed away during the cyclone. With support from the government donations of food and clothes and your donations, everyone started to get back on their feet. 

As we neared 2017, the area was struck another blow, the heavy rain in December led to excessive flooding in many parts of Fiji particularly in the villages of Dawasamu. This resulted in many of the replanted crops being washed away once again. Due to volunteers' donations immediately after the cyclone, GVI was able to provide five weekly deliveries of food, including supplies of flour, sugar, rice and dhal for each family. This was greatly appreciated by the village, as governmental donations had now ceased and the damage to replanted crops had limited the food that could be harvested. 

At the present moment, times remain challenging for Silana and the other villages in Dawasamu but today is a day of remembrance and gratefulness rather than sorrow. As a mark of respect, GVI's Community Volunteers spent the morning of the anniversary of the cyclone putting up the new Silana Village sign, which replaces the previous one destroyed by Winston. The old sign, lovingly created by a previous volunteer Deborah
, was held in high esteem by the village who were so proud to show others that GVI lived and worked in Silana.

The new sign is a symbol of GVI's continued partnership with Silana Village and Dawasamu District, through thick and thin, good and bad. 

We are all #StrongerThanWinston!

From all of us in Fiji, thank you for your continued and generous support over the past year!

With Gratitude, 
GVI Fiji

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Getting ready for the new library!
Getting ready for the new library!

Dear Supporters, 

Back in February Cyclone Winston destroyed many buildings in its path, including the Library at Navunisea District School. This library was originally built using charitable donations and it was a wonderful area for one on one lessons, reading workshops and lesson planning with teachers. During the cyclone, we lost the library as well as all of the teaching and reading resources that were stored there. 

Shortly after the Cyclone, a temporary structure was erected by the New Zealand Army, built from the remains of wood from damaged buildings and tarpaulin to help make the building weather resistant. It has served its purpose as a temporary classroom for Class 6 as well as a general learning space, while the school awaits further repair work. However, the last few months of use has taken its toll and the building is slowly beginning to fall apart. Wood is becoming loose, the tarp is damaged and the doors are hanging off their hinges.

So, now it's time to start the rebuild! 

The materials have arrived and the building work starts next week. We've begun by dismantling as much of the temporary structure as possible, saving and storing any salvageable materials in the process which will be used to make desks for the coming year. Eventually, the new building will become the NDS Library, but while they wait for the rest of the school's build to begin, it will serve as a fantastic classroom!

Thank you for all of the kind donations that have made this possible. We look forward to keeping you updated with building developments in the near future! Vinaka.

With Gratitude, 
GVI Fiji 

Saving as much as possible to use for new desks
Saving as much as possible to use for new desks
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The newly renovated community hall!
The newly renovated community hall!

Dear Supporters, 

During the school break, GVI volunteers and staff banded together to make improvements to the community hall of Silana Village. As an area that is used so frequently by the community, and an area where a majority of Silana Villagers associated with the events of Cyclone Winston, improvements to the community hall would benefit all members of the village. GVI staff alongside the youth of Silana decided that painting and mending the community hall would be an important visual example of how much the village has worked together to rebuild their community and their lives over the past six months and how much pride they should hold in themselves and their village.

The community hall was always a hub of singing and laughter, a place for the community to come together. It was always clear to GVI volunteers when they were at the community hall how much happiness and care the members of the community held for each other as well as their homes. Whether it was a Sevu Sevu, Tatau, Village meeting, a celebration, a feast or a normal kava session, the importance of the community hall and the pride Silana villagers held in it was obvious. During Cyclone Winston the community hall became the place that villagers took shelter, the place they were forced to evacuate again for higher ground due to extreme flooding and sea surges. Six months after the cyclone, singing, celebrations and kava sessions returned, however, the community hall still wore the memories of what members of Silana Village endured during the storm; roofing tin still covered windows, walls and surrounding areas were degrading.

We set to work to improve the area and make it reflect how far the village has come after Cyclone Winston. Staff and volunteers soon learned that the way to make a community hall say happiness, pride and community spirit in Fiji is with colour- the brighter the better. Armed with lime green paint carefully selected by Silana Village members, we began making the community hall a space to use with pride. After a week of painting walls and beams and fixing new window louvers, the Silana Community Hall stood bright and tall. 

After disasters such as Cyclone Winston have occurred, the psychological impact of seeing local areas and homes in a damaged state can be long lasting. Losing pride in the village can cause people to lose pride in themselves, resulting in a loss of motivation and causing a large delay in the recovery process. Seeing the village get involved with the renovation of the community hall and the response after it was finished showed how immensely proud the community members are of Silana Community Hall. 

Thank you for your donations which we used to buy all of the hardware (paint, nails, wood, glass louvers, flooring material etc.) that we needed to give the community hall its face-lift. 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Fiji

Before we redid the walls in lime green
Before we redid the walls in lime green
Hard at work
Hard at work
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Some of the waste we were able to help remove
Some of the waste we were able to help remove

Dear Supporters, 

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. 

Land Clearing

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. 

General Support

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. 

Tuition Fees

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. 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Fiji

Checking out their new desks
Checking out their new desks
Sorting out the recycling
Sorting out the recycling
The grader we were able to hire
The grader we were able to hire
Using the grass cutters to keep things neat!
Using the grass cutters to keep things neat!
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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Kate Robey
London, London United Kingdom

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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