Rebuilding Fiji – Stronger Than Winston

When Cyclone Winston struck the Nasinu village on 20 February, it devastated 95% of the houses leaving 20 families homeless. As a result, majority of the children have no place to study and do their homework. Manoa Vakasilimi is one of the parents concerned about the education of the children from his village. 

He will use the temporary shelter assistance and community tool kits distributed by our Fiji team on 10 March, 2016 to build a study area for the children. Manoa was interviewed on 10 March at Nasinu Village in Tailevu, an hour’s drive from the capital city of Suva. Follow the hashtag #StrongerThanWinston for further updates.

Most families are now living in the church

As a village elder, 46-year-old Manoa Vakasilimi has to think far for his people. Among the urgent shelter need at his village- Nasinu in Tailevu, an hour’s drive from the capital city of Suva, is the need for a study area for the children.

“Our houses have been blown away and damaged but one of the key things to fix first is to build a place where the children can study. Most of the houses were badly damaged by the natural disaster and people have nowhere to stay so majority of the families are staying in the church which is also partially damaged,” he explained.

Manoa, a skilled carpenter, said the church building was not a study friendly environment for close to 30 children attending primary and secondary schools in the village.

No place to study

rebuilding fiji cyclone destruction

“It is hard for the children to study in the church because that is where people sleep at night and it gets very crowded. Our children have no place to study and do their homework and this bothers me. I have been thinking about this for some time and I am more than glad to see Habitat’s generous offer to help us with shelter kits  and much needed tools,”.

“I will gather the men of the village and to make shelter for the children to study is our priority. There is a hall here with a badly damaged roof. We will clean that and cover it with these tarpaulins,” he said smiling and touching the new set of shelter kits distributed to the village.

Manoa values education and strongly believes that knowledge and wisdom takes a person long way in life.

“If one is not educated well, then it is very hard to survive in this world. I believe in providing good education to children and giving them that enabling environment. Habitat help is good because it is assisting us in making our dreams come true. We want to give a good life to our children and to make sure they are well educated is our responsibility,”

A need for emergency shelters supplies

Our team in Fiji distributed 20 shelter assistance kits and four community tool kits in Nasinu Village supported by the Australian Aid and World Vision Pacific- an international humanitarian aid organization.

A temporary shelter kit has tarpaulin, rope, and a bucket and a communal tool kit contains supplies ranging from hammers, spades, handsaws to binding wire and nails. There are many other communities like Nasinu Village which are in need of urgent shelter supplies.


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