Over the last five years more than 250 RMIT students and staff have undertaken water sanitation, health, education and ecosystem projects on the Yasawa Islands in a remote part of Fiji.
This has included Master of Teaching students who have undertaken professional development projects with teachers on Yasawas, taught in classes there, and completed remote education and health ecosystem research projects alongside other RMIT multidisciplinary teams.
The remote islands rely entirely upon fishing and tourism. The water on all of the islands is contaminated and the various projects conducted by RMIT are aimed at self-sufficiency and supply of sustainable potable water.
The islands are now devastated by loss of tourism and RMIT projects. There are widespread job losses, projects have been abandoned and there are new waves of poverty in the villages.
Unlike people in Australia and most of the developed world, people in Fiji do not have the same level of government social welfare support, so donations of any amount will help.
We are aware there are many people in the world struggling at this time, but the people of the Yasawa Islands have worked with RMIT for a number of years and we have experienced their friendliness, care, laughter and generosity. We commenced projects with them and now we do not want them to feel abandoned.
The project team have started raising funds for the Fijian staff at the Barefoot Manta and Barefoot Kuata in Fiji.
Please donate here https://fundly.com/fiji-barefoot-staff-relief-fund
The faces of the people in the image are those who have welcomed and accommodated our students and staff over the last five years.
All funds raised will go to Fijian employees of Barefoot Manta & Kuata, Yasawa Islands, Fiji who have been affected by loss of wages due to COVID-19.
Thanks to Tricia for providing this important information.