In February 2016 a Cyclone grade 5 hit Fiji in one of its worse catastrophes ever. We now take a look at how the country has been rebuilding itself with the help of volunteers from all over the world and how things look today.
The most devastating natural disaster in Fiji’s history left no one untouched and children were among the hardest hit. Almost every house was damaged or completely destroyed. Hospitals and schools lost their roofs and/or walls. Entire crops were lost. In total 44 people were killed and many more were severely injured. Most people had to be evacuated from what was left of their homes and moved into tents.
Nevertheless, when the worst tragedy happened we got a ray of hope by looking at the worlds’ most humanitarian and caring side. Immediately lots of organizations and countries such as New Zealand, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, USA, Vanuatu, Japan, among others, send their assistance. Sometimes it involved sending money directly, funding reconstructions of schools, sending building materials, supporting logistics, or sending volunteers from all over the world to help.
But it was mainly the locals who dug in and got to work in the best way they know – with a big smile on their faces and being thankful for being alive. They were determined to rebuild their own country after the catastrophe and that’s what they did by putting their own hands into action. They may not be the richest people moneywise but they are definitely rich in spirit! In times like this you will be able to see them constantly helping each other out!
If you travel to Fiji nowadays you will be able to see the difference from a year ago. In some places you can see improvements and houses rebuilt with the help of different organisations. Crops have recovered and shops have gone back to selling the basic goods. The country is definitely looking better than what it did in February 2016 and you can appreciate the efforts being constantly done to improve the living conditions.
However, there’s still a long way to go, and help is still needed. In some locations there’s a big shortage of building materials which is why lots of families can’t rebuild their homes. You can still see schools destroyed and people living in “provisional” tents nowadays, and food is still very much appreciated in different communities.
Fiji is a wonderful country with humble, hard working, and very friendly people, who are looking to overcome the tragedy they went through. The country’s landscapes, beaches, coral reefs, pristine water and underwater life are absolutely unique and breathtaking and thankfully, they survived the Cyclone’s rage.
So if you are thinking about travelling to Fiji for a volunteer experience while enjoying its amazing landscapes and making a lasting impact in its communities, right now the Fijians would value your time more than ever! So don’t forget to check our World Volunteering’s programmes: