After Cyclone Evan pounded the Fiji Islands in December 2012, causing widespread destruction to villages, informal settlements and small island communities, the Food for Life Fiji – Nation Building Education and Community Development program has been offering aid assistance.
The charity has focused its efforts on the islands of Yadua, Yaqaqa, Tavea and Galoa, located South West of Vanua Levu, within the administrative province of Bua.
From the very beginning, response teams were set up in Lautoka to distribute hot meals to the victims, as well as in the North led by Mr. Yadram and his family from Dreketi (Macuata). The group distributed hot meals to the villagers and neighbouring island villages totalling up to 360 meals per day.
On the 10th January, Food for Life Fiji’s National Coordinator, Dr Rajesh Maharaj visited the team in Galoa, taking with him more food supplies including bags of rice, dhal, potatoes, cooking oil and beans that had been donated by business owners in Suva. The organisation was also able to distribute vegetables seedlings, such as Chinese cabbage, okra, watermelon, eggplants, beans and medical supplies. These food supplies are expected to last until the end of January. However, the donated vegetables seeds, which the organisation had helped the villagers to plant should provide for the families until well into March.
On the 17th January, the non profit received $1000 worth of vegetable seeds from the ABC foundation, as well 40 school bags from the Shastriji Laxmi Narayan society.
As many families prepare for the beginning of the new school term, the children of Galoa are scraping together whatever is left of their past years school books and stationeries that survived the Cyclone. Some children have nothing at all to begin school, as their homes and belongings were completely destroyed by Cyclone Evan.
In a Fiji Times Article, the Health Ministry had urged parents to prepare healthy lunches for their children, as they enter school on 22nd January 2013. However, this is impossible for some parents in Galoa, as 97% of the village root crops and plantations were destroyed as a result of Cyclone Evan.
The primary school in Galoa which houses 77 students from classes year 1 through year 8 (30 of which are boarding at the school), will have to open the school to the students even though the school is badly damaged.
The other pressing issue is how the school will cater for the boarding students, when there is a scarcity of root crops, as it would be too expensive to buy rice or root crops from the main land.
Food for Life Fiji is doing it’s part to help make these families lives a little better. Please support them.