April 4, 2020
Our Response to COVID-19
By Kirsty Barnby
We are overwhelmed by the impact COVID-19 is having on so many communities despite it being a developed country problem.
Our Fundraising Campaign
Coronavirus and Cyclone Harold appeal, Taveuni, Fiji
Vinaka for listening and we hope you can dig a little to help those who aren’t in such a privileged position as us.
We are raising money to donate to three small villages in Fiji. We have worked alongside these villages for 10 years and have personally experienced two category five cyclones and a number of category threes on the island. The aftermath is very messy:
- Roads are blocked with fallen trees so aid and help can’t reach small, remote villages
- Ferry services for vital supplies can’t run due to huge waves
- Incessant rain causes drains to overflow and healthy water sources to be contaminated
- People are injured due to flying debris and can’t get to hospital
- Farm produce is ruined due to salt lifted from the sea burning the leafs
- Badly designed towns flood because drainage is so poor
- Corrugated iron bures (huts) are flattened
- Elders become sick the quickest due to illness and injury
Simultaneously, the coronavirus has reached Fiji (15 cases on 8.4.20) which could very well cause extra problems in the near future. These villages rely indirectly and directly on tourism which has come to a complete standstill just as the season is about to begin. Even if the country isn’t affected too badly by COVID-19 right now, the tourism slowdown will affect income to help get through the aftermath of the cyclone.
The remote islands are relatively protected until the virus reaches them, at which point it will be clear that the fragile healthcare system can’t cope.
We are creating this appeal to help those in need and plan to distribute the products when the next ferry brings supplies to the island with the help of our friends and colleagues on the island. We will be buying:
- Medical supplies
- Essential food which store easily such as rice
- Building tools
We have had to cancel some trips but are lucky to be a small and therefore adaptable company. For example, we have no full time staff members and our freelancers in Fiji are being helped by those donating to our fundraiser.
We are taking this time to be productive, not too reflective. We want to keep positive and use this time while the world stands still to iron out our ruffles and streamline our tours and projects. It’s working!
Our New Volunteer Writer
Ellie is from the University of West England and has joined us to help write our forthcoming book, we will keep you updated as it evolves. Here is her first collaborative blog piece.
We’ll be revealing the new trips we had up our sleeves soon, with some fantastic hosts in exciting new destinations for when you’re ready to explore the world again. Sri Lankan Volunteering
- Island Spirit Products