Making a difference is a critical component of Leadership Fiji’s (LF) programs, as we aim to develop leaders who TAKE ACTION within the community. We firmly believe that ANYONE can lead. Since Leadership Fiji’s inception there have been many community projects carried out by our LF participants and Alumni (LFA) members, benefitting many different areas and communities in Fiji to help create a better society.
The LF Community Fund Committee which is a sub-committee of the Leadership Fiji Board was set up to receive, manage and facilitate life-changing community developments for Fiji’s communities. The Committee is run by a group of Alumni appointed initially by the Leadership Fiji Board, who have a set of guidelines that govern their role and responsibilities.
The objectives of the LF Community Fund is to:
- Receive and manage funding from organizations, donors, aid funds, past LF year groups’ and individuals to enable life-changing community developments by making a positive social impact for Fiji’s communities through the use of LFA members talent and skills to:
- Empower communities to be self-sufficient; and
- Facilitate in the development of community-based projects.
- Provide scholarships for disadvantaged developing leaders to participate in Leadership Fiji programs.
- Offer continued development opportunities for LF Alumni members.
The expectations for the LF Community Fund are that it connects Leadership Fiji, the LF Alumni and other leaders for ongoing development, reflection on issues, peer support, and connectedness to encourage one of our three pillars, i.e. Leadership Impact in Fiji’s communities. The other two pillars for Leadership Fiji are Leadership Development (LF’s core area of service and programs) and the Leadership Network (our 400+ Alumnus).
The LF Community Fund is now receiving applications for funding in the following areas; Child Development, Education, Food & Nutrition, Animal Protection, Development and Protection of Women and families, Leadership Training, Promoting Democracy, Free exchange of ideas/knowledge and Sustainable Community Environmental Projects.
- Homes of Hope – outdoor shelter for new school, picture library for 3-5 years age group and donation of toddler mattresses
- Go Fiji Go Book – assistance with photos and info., bring book to selected schools in Fiji
- Sago Palms – support for Sago plantation awareness, maintenance and financial literacy awareness for the villages we work with
- Sawani Kindergarten – donation of books, school supplies, toys, shoes
- Saint Vincent De Paul – donation of stove and baking supplies and refurbishment of kitchen
- Rukuruku district school – building of school play ground
- SPCA – donation of curtains
- Hilton Special School – monetary contribution covering running costs for the children for 2 weeks.
- Serua Island Financial Literacy Awareness – facilitated financial literacy awareness for the people of Serua Island through the promotion of savings, microfinance and planning for retirement. Partners for this event included Westpac Bank, the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprise Development (NCSMED), Elections Office, Fiji Volleyball Federation’s Sports Clinic and Reproductive & Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF)
- Book Donations – distributed over 140 boxes or about 7000 donated library books to Serua Island, Burebasaga District School, Lami Primary School, Lami High School, Sawani Primary School (first books for their new library), Ratu Ravuama Primary School, Namataku District School, Vatumali, Women’s Prison – prompted the setup of a small library corner for inmates.
- Financial Literacy & Small Business Training – Women’s Prison – conducted financial literacy awareness and small business training for ten inmates at the Women’s Prison in Suva.
- Tamavua Village Hall – repainting of the Tamavua Village Hall in conjunction with the youth of Tamavua Village.
Community Projects Delivered in 2015
- Nabitu District School In partnership with Rotary Suva – catalogue and handover approx. 1,600 books for library and catalogue them for the school
- Women’s Prison, Suva – Handover of approx. 200 books to add to the small library started in October 2014 (200 books donated)
- Tamavua Village Kindergarten – Supply art & craft supplies and books for kindergarten class, as a follow-up to the painting of the hall done in 2014
- West Based Kindergartens (Vitogo Village Kindergarten & Lovu HART Home) – Supply art & craft supplies and books for kindergarten class
- Nadi Dental Clinic In partnership with Rotaract Nadi – Scrub down the clinic, prep for painting, paint, donation of a computer, curtains, cabinets.
- Valelevu Health Centre In partnership with Mark One Apparel – Procure & install water tank with pump and piping to connect to the Hospital and also to staff quarters.
- St Giles Hospital – Procurement of items listed by the hospital as priority needs
- Leadership Fiji 2013 participants completed a Clothes & Book Drive for the Nadroga/Navosa Provincial Office (Cyclone Tomas affected areas) and Homes of Hope, Wailoku. As part of a visit to Bau Island, the group also donated supplies to Bau District School and made a monetary contribution to the Bau netball team. In keeping in line with their Vision to protect Fiji’s environment they spent a Saturday planting mangroves in Nasese near the children’s park. LF2013 also held a computer drive which enabled them to donate 11 computers to Lautoka Primary School and Shastri Memorial School in rural Ba. Their final group project for the year was a donation of supplies to the Little Ones Mobile Kindergarten at Savutalele Settlement, Tacirua.
Save the Children Fiji
Leadership Fiji 2012 donated $1000.00 to Save the Children Fiji (SCF) to assist children in the Western Division who were affected by the floods. As part of their community initiative under the leadership program, the group held a work-a-thon at the Nasese foreshore and part of the funds raised were donated to provide assistance towards the free lunch program coordinated by SCF.
Habitat for Humanity
LF2012 partnered with Habitat for Humanity Fiji (HFHF) to build 2 houses for flood victims at Sovi Bay, Vatukarasa, near Sigatoka. The project was in line with the disaster recovery projects carried out by HFHF in areas affected by the flooding in March 2012. LF2012 spent a day at the site helping with painting and general construction work. They also donated helmets, hammers, gloves and other building materials to assist with the project which was donated to HFHF after the completion of the project. This was a great learning experience for emerging leaders and gave the group a better understanding of what it takes to deliver change in people’s lives via charity and community work.
Navatu Primary School, Rakiraki
LF2012 provided assistance to the school to access a regular supply of clean water by funding the connection from the borehole to the water tank. Previously the school faced constant water supply problems because of the dry season and shared water supply with the nearby village. LF2012 also donated library books and stationery to the school.
St. John’s Association’s Training Room
For about a month of ongoing preparation and maintenance, LF2012 successfully completed the renovation needs for the St John’s Associations Training room as part of their community work during the year. They revamped the training room by painting, and providing plumbing works, new curtains, book shelves, noticeboards, and whiteboards. This project allowed the revamp of facilities that provides first aid training and services to thousands of citizens from all walks of life since its inception.
Leadership Fiji 2011 participants assisted the Nadi Hospital by providing the maternity ward with linen as well as toiletries for new mothers. Additionally, the group assisted Treasure Home (Nadi) by providing food hampers. The group also refurbished the kitchen at St. Christopher’s Home as well as painted part of Homes of Hope.
To assist needy children, LF2011 sponsored two children under the Foundation for the Education of Needy Children (FENC) program and completed a shoe drive for Nokonoko Primary School in Sigatoka. In December 2011, the group organised a very successful Teen Leadership Camp for 60 teenagers.
As part of their vision to Ensure Prosperity and Equality for all People, LF2010 have faithfully continued with their 5 year commitment to Hilton Special School where they will ‘Sponsor a Child’ to ensure one child at the school gets the education they need and deserve. In March, 2011 they group donated $800.00 to the school.
In July they completed a Clothes and Craft Drive for St. Giles Hospital consisting of eight bags of clothes and art supplies. Later in the year, the group also donated potting soil and seeds.
To contribute to a Sustainable Economy through Care for the Environment, LF2010 embarked on their project to plant 50,000 new mangroves by 2020. This is an on-going yearly project directly benefitting villages that use the sea as their source of livelihood. In 2011, they planted 5,000 new seedlings at Mua-i-vuso Village with volunteers from BSP and youth groups as well as friends of LF2010. LF2010 would like to acknowledge the contribution of BSP who donated $1,000.00 worth of planting equipment.
LF2010 also helped to plant 2,500 bundles of Vetiver grass at the Homes of Hope in Wailoku.
The group also received a request from the Ministry of Health to help fund the Jaipur Foot Project which directly assists amputees by giving them prosthetic limbs to improve their quality of life. LF2010 have so far raised $2,000.00 for the project and will continue to fundraise for the refurbishment of the fitting center.
LF09 along with some key contacts in the US (Dr. Hendricks of the Loloma Foundation) managed to secure 10 Wheel-Chairs and books for donations around the country. The books were delivered to several schools on Viti Levu (Tailevu, Nadroga and Suva) and an island primary school in Lomaiviti. The wheelchairs were donated to various organizations and individuals including CWMH, Lautoka Old Peoples Home (LOPH), Samabula Old Peoples Home (SOPH). The delivery of these wheel-chairs and books were made possible with the assistance of W&G.
Samabula Old Peoples’ Home (SOPH) Campaign Phase I of the SOPH Campaign focused on a clean-up drive. Phase II included the installation of 2 hot water systems for the Male & Female bathrooms and the repainting of the kitchen with paints sponsored by Resene Paints. Phase III included the provision of needed food trolleys for SOPH.
During a visit to the Naboro Prison complex, a book drive was organized. In partnership with Wyndham Resort, LF09 presented Lautoka Old People’s Home with new blankets and wheel-chairs from the Wheel-Chair Drive. The Sujit Foundation program sought assistance for LF09 to help prepare a home for Sujit and this was provided. LF09 also has a member sitting on the board.
Fijineighbours.com is a community development program first introduced to a community in Caubati. This program focuses on community-interaction by way of development programs and also focuses on community security.
When part of the Dilkusha Girls hostel burnt, LF09 fundraised to help rebuild the hostel. LF09 also supports the Dilkusha Girls hostel on an annual basis by way of providing food supplies. Part of the Dilkusha support includes an initiative brought up by an LF09 member to mentor teenagers. A pilot program was introduced in 2010 with a youth at the Dilkusha Hostel.
LF09 fundraised and donated to the efforts for rebuilding Samoa following the Tsunami. In partnership with FENC Fiji LF09 obtained sponsors for 10 students for their education.
Located about four kilometers from the main Kings Highway, Tavua Andra Primary School was built in 1965 and caters for approximately 105 students who have been using pit toilets since its inception. With the assistance of Wyndham Resorts a block of flush toilets was completed in 2010.
Leadership Fiji 2009 Graduates embarked on collecting 1000 story books for Vatuvonu Primary School in the North which is situated in the Bay of Buca, Cakaudrove.
Suva Special School was in need of a 3A Photocopier (approx. $7k) for the schools activities LF09 assisted and fundraised and partnered with Datec (Fiji) Limited to see this initiative through.
LF09 have also embarked on expanding their horizons by seeking self-development by working with other organization to grow their leadership knowledge. Today, LF09 has members represented in boards such as TPAF, Senior Citizens Home (SOPH), Fiji Environmental Association, Sujit Foundation, Bible Society of Fiji & FENC Fiji.
Baby Joshua gets Another Chance at Life
Baby Joshua (who lives with his mum- Laisa, at Homes of Hope-centre for single mums to help them get back on their feet), was born with talipes equino varus, or club feet. This is a severe physical deformity of both feet and will require series of extensive operations and physiotherapy. These operations were not possible in Fiji and Baby Joshua needed to have to go to Hawaii for the beginning of his many operations. The group managed to raise $3,000.00 which went towards his second and subsequent operations.
Early Childhood Centres
LF 2008 teamed up with Save the Children Fund Fiji (SCF) and the communities in establishing kindergarten centres around Fiji. The Early Childhood Education program was developed in 2002. It has progressed from humble beginnings of having a mobile play group which travelled around to various communities offering education/play to the children of the communities; to now establishing permanent kindergarten/play centres in various communities around Fiji.
Seven (7) centres were identified by SCF
The communities had to be part of these projects as they owned the project and they were responsible for the long term viability of the project.
The team was able to establish all 7 kindergartens in Wainadoi Settlement; Lokia Community (Nausori); Kalokolevu Village; Natua Settlement (Labasa); Saivou Settlement (Labasa); Yaudiga Settlement (Labasa) and Matawalu Village (Lautoka). Each kindergarten was supplied with learning and educational toys, teaching aids/equipment like easels, chalk, plasticine, books, blackboards, storage equipment.
President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau presented 10 awards to young people at the inaugural Fiji Children’s Award on Saturday Nov 20th, 2010. These 10 young people had shown exemplary achievements in various areas of their lives despite their personal circumstances. Recipients are between the ages of 6 and 17 years and received $500 to assist in their school expenses.
Book Donation to Naboro Maximum Prison
In an effort to assist prisoners the group donated 13 cartons of reading books and magazines for the prisons library.
Smoke House for National Fire Authority of Fiji Northern Division
After seeing the great need for fire safety in our communities after the loss of lives in fires in 2007, the group decided to assist the NFA in fundraising for a smoke house which assisted the NFA in their awareness campaigns. The smoke house costed $22,000 was sponsored by the ANZ, Westpac Bank, Wyndham Resort, Sangeeta Maharaj and Leadership Fiji 2007.
Organised by the group, more than 60 businesses and the general public turned up to donate blood to the Fiji Blood Bank. The event resulted in 41 pints of blood being donated.
Mental Health St Giles Awareness & AusAid Funding for a Vehicle
On 28 January 2010, AusAID presented a new vehicle to the Ministry of Health’s Community Mental Health Outreach Program for use in the Community Mental Health Outreach program at St. Giles Hospital. The vehicle helped the outreach program in its efforts to assist people living with mental health issues and to increase greater community understanding and acceptance of people living with mental illness.
LF 2006 in close partnership with the Psychiatric Survivors Association (PSA) published a collection of poems and stories of survivors of mental illness. This book, titled “Fright or Light” was launched in 2008 as part of a public awareness campaign on World Mental Health Day to assist in breaking down the stigma associated with mental illness. Feedback received from members of the public, health workers and the PSA has been overwhelming positive’.
Friends of Hilton
Frank Hilton inspired the group when he spoke to them at a Poverty Session in 2005 and when asked the question “if there was one thing you would want to do, what would it be?” His response was “there was an urgent need to implement an early intervention training program of families and caregivers of children with disabilities”.
The LF 2005 group hosted the Red October Charity Dinner in 2005 as its community project and from the little $26,000 initially raised the CAL training program commenced in May 2006.
Friends of Hilton was founded to support the CAL training program and in July 2006 introduced Fiji’s Greatest Charity Golf Challenge together with the Spastic Centre of Australia and the National Golf Association of Fiji… an event which continues to this day.
Friends of Hilton, whilst founded by the LF 2005 year group , now includes other like-minded individuals who have the same passion and interest to create awareness on special abilities and help raise funds through this worthy cause. Since its inception Friends of Hilton has raised nearly $200,000.00.
Since May 2006, the CAL Program has changed many lives and created a platform for the future development of disability services in the Fiji Islands. To date:
- 38 people have been trained as community disability workers
- 15 have completed the ‘Train the Trainer’ module
- 9 addition trainees participated in modules 1–5
- Over 520 children and adults have received an individual appointment and referrals made to either physiotherapists, Health Sister and Medical Doctor, Project Heaven and Eye Department and Social Welfare departments
- 29 children and adults have received specially fitted wheelchairs and other equipment
- In October 2010 Friends of Hilton funded the installation of internet connection for the Suva based Fiji Crippled Children Society institutions, Hilton Special School, Hilton Hostel and the Society Office
Friends of Hilton was a nominee for the 2009 Fiji Times Pride of Fiji Awards and also won the Inaugural Leadership Fiji Most Outstanding Community Project in 2010.