February 26th, 2016

TP FOUNDATION UPDATE


Koro Aid (1280x960)

PLANNING, PREPARING, RESPONDING TO FIJI CRISIS

Bula Vinaka Everyone!

Sorry for not updating recently. It’s been an incredibly intense time, planning logistics and responding in Fiji. It really is all hands on deck at the moment and I know the team have barely slept since last weekend – both those involved in looking after our current volunteers and projects, and concurrently those staff members implementing the aid effort of our charity.

We are overwhelmed by the emails, the calls and the Facebook messages and of course your kind donations as we work to support communities who have literally lost everything.

Apologies if you have sent an email or message to us, and you have not had a response…

We sincerely appreciate every message! But please ask to bare with us as we are just trying to direct all our attention to Fiji at this critical time as we gather supplies, organise boats and logistics, try to contact loved ones in communities and get help to more rural areas ASAP.

The kindness of our past volunteers is astounding, as they rally to offer every ounce of support they can to their Fijian friends and families! We would please ask to continue to spread the word as so little is mentioned in the news in the UK especially, and to continue to share our just giving link as we strive to hit our target. We know we are, and shall continue to make a difference.

https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/ThinkPacific

LATEST …

We’ll be updating with more detailed information soon, but just to briefly explain the past 24 hours and our aims ahead:

- HARRY – Attended the NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MEETING in Suva yesterday. Over 50 representatives from Fijian NGO’s met, led by the Red Cross. A joint response to the crises was discussed and planned by all invited. This is to ensure that all organisations, whatever there size work in collaboration, communicate with each other and ensure aid efforts are separated.

- BASIC RESOURCES – We are getting hundreds of aid packages together so we can continue to deliver clothes, food, water purification and health supplies to more remote locations. We are also sourcing large quantities of basic building tools, to enable communities to start basic re-builds of houses, as many have literally no shelter but the jungle or families are crammed into community centres.

- DANNY AND FRANKS – Danny and Frankie met with UNICEF,to discuss their plans and aims in the coming days. We have offered to support our friends at this remarkable organisation with any initiative to help Fijian Children, especially with temporary education projects in rural areas, which are being planned.

- LULU – We’re sorry to say that Lulu’s reports from Ra are pretty bad. He made it as far a Vatukacevaceva village where he slept in shelters. The area, including RakiRaki is devastated although the positive news is that we have no confirmed reports of loss of life in villages where we have been based. This includes Nailuva where our January 1 month team were just a couple of weeks ago (although some houses have been destroyed here).

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- LOMAIVITI & RA FOCUS – In the Disaster Management Meeting we have specifically asked to focus on helping communities in the Lomaiviti and Ra Province, where we have such a strong connection to the area and where we are able to help our friends and families who have been so kind to us, and who now need desperate help. Lulu, Danny and Frankie shall be leading this response. We are a small team, but we do have vital knowledge to bring of this remote area having lived hear for so many years. We feel we are able to reach out to the smallest communities, and our fear is, that it could be these communities, which are left behind in such a national scale catastrophe.

Updates, photos and info coming very soon.

And some even bigger initiatives to announce also…

Loloma,
TP team x

February 24th, 2016

THINKING OF NAKODU VILLAGERS


Home to our September 2015 three month team. We had the privilege of working with some of the most incredible children and the kindest people on earth.

TP’s thoughts are with the villagers and children of Nakodu village at this time, who endured the full force of Catagory 5 Cyclone Winston this weekend.

We’ll be visiting Koro Island again as soon as we can, and we’re collecting donations to provide more direct relief and support.

NAKODU VILLAGE

TUA TUA – KORO ISLAND

This is the aerial shot of Tuatua village where our volunteers are currently based, which took the full force of Cyclone Winston.

Our staff on Koro report that villagers are running desperately low on food. Crops are destroyed, houses destroyed, schools destroyed and people drinking river water.

We’ll be visiting Koro first – with basic food supplies, water and first aid within the next 24 hours.

We promise to reach every island that our volunteers call home, with your support:

December 6th, 2015

‘Vinaka vaka levu’ to Vatusekiyasawa village and our Ra November 2015 volunteer team!


Ra Nov Team - R&R (2)

After 4 fantastic weeks in the village of Vatusekiyasawa in the province of Ra, our volunteer team have left their friends and family in the village and made their way along Fiji’s coral coast, enjoying a few days of R&R in the sunshine!

The last days in the village proved an absolute highlight, with the opportunity to camp high in the famous Nakauvadra mountain range, whilst also enjoying a community sports day, kava ceremonies and late night ‘hop hop’. As always leaving the village was a sad and emotional moment, and we would like to say a huge ‘vinaka vaka levu’ to the community of Vatusekiyaswa for their kindness throughout our time in the village!

We would of course also like to thank our volunteer team for all their efforts across the education, youth and sports initiatives, and also in embracing the local cultures and customs of living within a Fijian village….’sota tale’!

December 5th, 2015

Summer Sports Camp – Volunteers deliver games and activities for local children in Ra!


With schools breaking up for the summer holidays our volunteers were keen to keep the children active and entertained, delivering a daily sports camp programme at the Waimari Primary School grounds for local kids. Below are some of the photos from a fantastic couple of days!

December 5th, 2015

Ra Team – School Graduation, Meke Performances, House Cup Singing, Summer Holidays, Treks & Kava Sessions for our volunteer team!


house cup finals (2)

Thus so far in our timeline in Fiji, this past week has been the most hectic. Starting off in the beginning of the week, the boys of Think Pacific transferred from the Waimari primary school down to the village Kindergarten. While in the kindergarten, Chris and I were responsible for preparing the 7 kindis’ for their graduation on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Chris and I were unable to attend to the Kindergarten graduation because we had prior obligations to attend the Waimari graduation, and also to hand out stickers.

At the Waimari graduation ceremony, the Think Pacific team could finally publically show the “Meke” dance, which is a Fijian ceremonial dance, and unveil our House Cup songs. Millie and I were on team blue, and even though our team came in second place out of the three teams, we still had a blast. The kids (and me) really enjoyed learning about some British pop culture, and the band FIVE. I’m definitely going to have to look them up when I get home; they’re just too damn catchy.

end of kindi school day (3)

After Wednesday, all school was over for every kid in Fiji marking the official start of summer. The kids then ran the village until the end of the week… they were everywhere.  There was no stopping the Fijian kids. And even after the kids went to bed at night, the Fijian adults hosted multiple grog sessions that were littered all around the village. It’s true what they say, village life consumes you… just be careful or it will leave you under a mosquito net, zipped up in your sleeping bag with a perfect 37*C temperature – for my enzymes to successfully multiply.

By TP Volunteer Sam

December 4th, 2015

Koro Team – ‘An emotional goodbye from all the villagers from Nakodu, and a heartfelt farewell to our Fijian families!’


Koro Sept 15 - Church & Village Farewell (20)

The Church service on Sunday was an emotional service for all, as the usual Fijian service included a heartfelt goodbye sermon from the minister in English, and then the whole team gave an off key but very soulful rendition of “Lean on Me”.

After 2 months of bonding with a village of strangers we were very much leaving our second home. ‘Vuka bogi’ of course stayed up until 5:30am in the morning of our final day in the village, and we were still up and raring to go for meke practise at 9:00am!

Koro Sept 15 - Church & Village Farewell (61)

An emotional packing session culminated in a huge feast. The village mums had prepared our greatest feast yet, spanning the length of the community hall! We then went back to our houses to get changed into our traditional masi outfits for the meke dances. The first fishing meke was interrupted only slightly by excited villagers giving us bead necklaces, forcing sweets in our mouths and dancing in our way to distract us, all in great spirits.

We then performed the war meke. This was the most flamboyant war dance we could have possibly performed, but we smashed it in the end! The grand finale was the Fijian Cibi lead by Conall. Our Fijian was questionable and Tin, the loveable village mutt, made a bee line for Amy’s behind but it still went down a treat!

Koro Sept 15 - Church & Village Farewell (51)

Before leaving the village, everyone enjoyed a final hop-hop in the school hall and Vuka bogi had their final bilo of village grog. What shortly followed was an emotional goodbye from all the villagers from Nakodu, and a heartfelt farewell to our Fijian families!