We have provided Navitilevu District School with a fibreglass boat / outboard motor and 30 lifejackets to enable the safe transport of children between their villages and school (so they no longer have to swim across a bay!), as well as giving rapid access to medical aid for the children. We have also provided a similar boat and lifejackets for the use of Rewa Secondary School and Nailili Primary School to enable children to attend school from islands in the vast Rewa River. We have seen at first hand the difference this is making with children now able to get to school regularly and safely.
We have provided sanitation facilities for Ahmadiyya Secondary School on the island of Vanua Levu. This school is in a very rural area and there is no electricity available at present. We have installed electricity from solar power at Ahmadiyya School for the staff and students to use for lighting and for running some computers.
Our second fresh water/sanitation project was completed in September 2008 at Rakiraki Primary School. Children at this school were previously suffering very poor health as a result of inadequate facilities. Some were showing early signs of trachoma, a condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. We produced a worksheet on the importance of hygiene and that has been incorporated into the curriculum. Our 3rd sanitation project at Waibunabuna Primary School on the island of Vanua Levu was opened in March 2010 and our 4th at Kavanagasau is also now complete.
In 2009 we provided science equipment for Ram Lakhan Memorial School
(thanks to the generosity of Dorchester Middle School in Dorset, UK).
We have provided sports equipment for schools, musical instruments for a Hindi Youth Group, 200 brightly coloured customised T- shirts for a Sunday School Group in one of the poorer areas of Suva and regularly deliver items for new born babies to rural hospitals and medical centres.
One of the most exciting aspects of our charity work was being able to organise for a young girl to come over to the UK to undergo reconstructive surgery. The 14 year old girl suffered from a rare genetic condition known as ‘cherubism’, in which the bone in the face began to disintegrate at the age of about 5 years and replaced by tissue, leading to huge facial swellings. Surgeons in a private London hospital agreed to carry out the operations free of charge. Shayna came over with her mother in January 2008 and spent 7 months here, undergoing several stages of major surgical treatment including bone grafts. The surgery was very successful and the physical changes have been quite significant. Perhaps even more exciting, however, is the self assurance that she now possesses. She has returned to Fiji with the confidence to face the future with optimism. She now attends college and is thoroughly enjoying her new life (she rarely attended school before, as she was reluctant to leave her home because of the fear of being bullied or teased). In 2010 Shayna returned to the UK for the last part of her surgery and to have teeth fitted.
We organised for 3 year old Pooja, who suffers from a severely underdeveloped jaw and virtually no tongue, to receive treatment in Melbourne, Australia. Pooja was unable to swallow or speak properly. Her breathing problems have now greatly improved and she is due to return to Melbourne for more surgery when she is older.
Just recently we organised for a young boy to go to Hawaii to have surgery to enable him to be able to walk. The surgery was successful and he is now back in Fiji.
In March 2014 we organised for 7-year old Samson to travel to India for surgery to treat his hole-in-the-heart condition. The treatment was not available in Fiji. The operation was a complete success and Samson is now fully recovered, back in Fiji and looking forward to leading a full and active life.
We have responded to disasters and send out emergency supplies in response to cyclones and other natural disasters. In 2005 we were actually on hand to directly aid victims of flash flooding which destroyed many settlements and rendered many families homeless. We sent out emergency resources for victims of Hurricane Cliff and Cyclone Gene, and early in 2009 we set up an appeal and collected essential medical and other resources for victims of serious flooding in many areas of the country. We personally delivered these resources. In October 2010 we appealed for funds after the Hilton Early Intervention Centre was flooded, destroying carpets and equipment. As a result, we were able to have the whole area tiled. Following threats of flooding and cyclones, we donated water filter systems to the Disaster Management Council. In the wake of the cyclone Evan (Dec 2012), we launched an appeal to help those who have lost their homes and possessions.
On February 20th 2016, Fiji suffered its worst ever cyclone. Tropical Cyclone Winston was the worst ever in the Southern Hemisphere and the second worst ever in the world. Devastation was widespread. We were there at the time and were able to help immediately with tarpaulins, water purification, mosquito nets, seeds and vitamins. This campaign continues as it will take many years for Fiji to recover.
Over the last few years we have provided solar lights for around families with young children. These families are living in remote communities with no electricity.
Inmates of HM Prison, Wakefield have translated children's books into Braille for us. This link between these prisoners and the blind children of Fiji is one which shows how people from opposite sides of the world can help each other.
Our latest project is the construction of a 123 metre suspension bridge over the Korotari River (a joint project with the Government of Fiji to give children a safe access to school.
We are pleased to report that this is now complete.
We have also provided sanitation facilities for the children of Dogotuki District School, also on the island of Vanua Levu
As we have already indicated, Children of Fiji is run by just the two of us. We both took early retirement from teaching in the UK and run the charity full time, apart from 2 months each year when we mark A level examinations to earn the money for our own transport to Fiji and accommodation whilst there – we never use charity funds for this. We make two visits per year.
Further information about Children of Fiji can be found on our website www.childrenoffiji.co.uk .
We can also be contacted as follows:
Dr Peter Long and Mrs Margaret Long Tel 0044 1300 320433
1 South Drive Mob 00447867696702 / 00447880591962 Cattistock email email@example.comDorset DT2 0JG ENGLAND
LINK TO SOME OF OUR MAJOR CORPORATE SUPPORTERS