two weeks after cyclone Winston
Two weeks after the strongest cyclone in the southern hemisphere – cyclone Winston – many parts of the Fiji islands in the pacific ocean are destroyed. I had already booked my flight a long time before the storm and I thought that I could hopefully be a contribution to help rebuild communities throughout the duration of my weeks stay.
So I arrived at night in Nadi and checked in at Bamboo Traveller, a backpacker hostel 10min from the airport. I had no idea what to expect with regards to how extreme the damage would be. I read about a volunteer project – Bamboo Eagles – the hostel was hosting on a noticeboard where i could sign myself up to help every day if desired.
I participated for 2 days and captured some footage of the positive progression the Bamboo Eagles have on the local communities. This short film will show you what we did and how you as a backpacker can make a change and help rebuild lives.
On my first day we went in a school close to Nadi, an area that wasn’t affected by the cyclone. The idea is to prevent food shortage, which will be only one successor of the storm. With our help of planting vegetables the children can harvest the first eggplants, corn, beans and cucumber in one month. The children there were so much fun and they learn English straight away so it was really easy to communicate with them. One of them dreams about to study medecine and for that she will have to go later to another school. In this school they are teaching children in the age of 6 to 14. On one of the school boards was written – “Global warming is one of the world most serious environmental problem. Pacific Island countries are in one of the most vulnerable regions of the world. International assistance is needed to address the problem on global warming. The pacific is also faced by extreme events such as hurricanes, floodings, earthquakes, droughts etc.”
The other day we did a 2 hours drive in the area Ba, where the cyclone had way worse consequences. In one of the schools the roof was blown away, walls destroyed and half of there school materials like books and files were completely damaged. They cleaned up the school a bit but you could still see the impact.
Richard, the owner of the hostel is working closely with the school teacher Mr. Emosi, who went with us on the trip and motivated all the backpackers from all over the world. Some of them helped out for couple of days and others spend the only day they had at the hostel to help out. It is a great project that will hopefully help the Fijian communities to get through this hard time in the next months.