2012: Our collective support so far…

A little more than four months ago, the floods hit Naidovi Primary School and many parts of the western division in Fiji. Given the gravity of the situation, we decided to assist the school. It is amazing what we were able to achieve through the collective efforts of our family and friends. Working with the Head teacher, Mr Sashi Kumar we were able prioritize how the students at the school could be assisted.

When the school re-opened after the floods we were able to support the schools efforts to provide the children with hot lunches. This went for 18 days and more than 5,500 meals were served over this time. Cooking was done on the school grounds – near the head teachers’ quarters. This initiative also generated community spirit. Some people in the village provided their support in whatever way they could.   Small donations – in cash and kind were made to the school.  In kind support included firewood and clean water . Cooking was done with firewood – there was no access to gas or electric stoves – fire wood was the only choice. The school did not have tap water for more than a month after the flood.

Cooking underway

Sometime later

Nearly done

Getting the fire right – for the next dish

Lunch ready to be served

Staff serving lunch

We were also able to support children from families who had lost everything in the floods. As pointed out in my earlier blog, this area has never experienced a flood. We provided these children with some basic school necessities. This included stationery. Supporting the children in their time of need meant a lot to the community. According to the Head teacher, parents sent a few hundred letters of appreciation such as these:

Letters of appreciation from a parent

Letters of appreciation from a parent

Letters of appreciation from a parent

Letters of appreciation from a parent

Children in the lower grades (1 & 2) sketched their “visions” and “memories” of the flood. For some of these children, this was new experience.

The flood – through the eyes of a child

The flood – through the eyes of a child

The flood – through the eyes of a child

The flood - through the eyes of a child

The flood – through the eyes of a child

Our other big effort was to re-stock the library with some more books. With the help of some friends and family, we were able to buy some good books at the Bookfest which was held in June in Brisbane.  Thanks to Cathy Briskey, Keith and Sabrina Menezes for helping us find some very good quality books. We also supported Lifeline in the process. Bookfest is an event which is run by Lifeline – all money raised from the sale of the second-hand books goes to this charity. We purchased story books for all age groups from pre-school to Year 6.  We also picked a number of titles that may be handy as reference books for maths, science, art and craft and social science. In total almost 400 books were boxed for the school library.

Books for the library

Books for the library

Books for the library

We also supported the school’s kindergarten. This was damaged the most. The items that needed replacement were toys and games. More than 60 games and toys (all new) were sent to the school. Buying at the right time helped – stock take sales and a discount on purchases from ToysRus extended the dollar further. We also made a toys catalogue – something the teachers in the kindergarten may find useful. Thanks to Jackie Cross for putting this catalogue together. And to Philip Cross for helping with the packing.

Toys for the kindergarten

Toys for the kindergarten

Toys for the kindergarten

To view the full catalogue, click this link Naidovi Primary School – Kindergarten Toy Catalogue

This was a great collaborative effort of our family and friends. Thanks for all your help. We look forward to your continued support. In times like this, Margaret Mead’s makes a lot of sense:

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

 

 

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