On Saturday Night the 20th of February 2016, as Australians were heading to bed, the nation of Fiji was being brutalized by the largest Cyclone ever to have made land fall in the Southern Hemisphere. 49 people were killed and 350,000 people were affected, which is just under half the entire population of Fiji. 23,000 homes had their roofs torn off or damaged and over 400 homes were entirely destroyed.
Within 48 hours Global Care had launched it’s Cyclone Winston appeal and within 24 hours after that, already had people on the ground distributing food and clothing, not only to the mainland but to some of the islands.
Over the next six weeks, three containers of donated goods were shipped to Fiji with a combined commercial value of approximately $60,000. Working with the Global Care Fiji National Co-ordinator Ps Sevu, the goods from the containers have been and will be distributed to those most in need on the north eastern part of the mainland and on the island Taveuni. Global Care would like to thank the organisation Impact Vanuatu for donating an entire container of goods for the people of Fiji. Global Care would also like to thank Nyree and David Inoke and their entire family for a mammoth effort in co-ordinating the packing of the two other containers. Thanks also to CityLife Church Beenleigh for having the containers on their property, providing further manpower and releasing Ps Damo Hobson to provide help where needed.
International Director of Global Care Ps Peter Pilt, drove with Ps Sevu around the entire Fijian mainland, which is about a 9 hour drive, and was shocked at the ferocity of the devastation. Concrete telegraph poles snapped, sheets of corrugated iron stuck 5 metres up telegraph poles and for over 100kms the tops of every palm tree snapped off. But beyond that was the devastation inflicted on the people’s houses. Ps Peter said it was simply hard to get his head around what it would have been like to have been in the storm.
Peter was over in Fiji to coordinate the initial rebuild trip where a church roof was replaced in Ba. The reason Global Care started with a church is that it immediately communicates hope to the 250 people involved in the church and also the building can then be used for accommodation and or an evac centre if needed. Thanks goes to Ron Hartland, Glen Agar and Dan Collum for their efforts in this initial trip.
The second build trip started working on houses. Throughout the rest of 2016, there will be multiple trips to assist in the rebuild. Global Care will be partnering with Habitat for Humanity on some of these trips. With 23,000 homes needing roof repairs, Global Care’s effort are small in comparison to the size of the need, but Ps Peter’s attitude is: Global Care may not be able to change the entire world, but we can change someone’s entire world: and that’s mates helping mates.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the rebuild effort in Fiji through Global Care. Be assured that your donation made a difference in Fiji.