Supporting Fiji: Rebuilding Navakawau Village
Organized by: Sean OConnor
Dear family, friends, and friends of friends,
Thank you so much for visiting our fundraising page. As you may already know, Fiji was recently the target of a category 5 cyclone that tore across the islands, leaving tens of thousands of people living in evacuation centers and homeless. Meteorologists are saying this is the worst storm ever recorded in the southern hemisphere.
One of the places worst hit by this natural disaster was the southern tip of Taveuni, which is the 3rd largest island of Fiji, and where we spent a month this past summer with our amazing, dedicated, and big-heartedstudents (as part of National Geographic Student Expedition programs).
To give you a little more background on Navakawau, this is a remote coastal community of about 200 members. After the storm, they were without water for at least six days, maybe more.
These are some of the most generous, warm-hearted, loving individuals we’ve ever met. Even though they have little, it didn’t stop them from trying to give us hand-made gifts and making us feel like part of their families.
We’re here to raise money for our friends – these magnificent people who value friendship, family, and community; who literally tried to give us the shirts off their backs as farewell gifts; and who sobbed as we left their town for the last time.
As they pick up the pieces of their shattered homes, they’ll be faced with the enormous task of rebuilding their community. To accomplish this, they’ll need supplies, water, food, and manpower.
We want them to know that here in the U.S., our community – our colleagues, family, and friends – are thinking of them and that we care.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 USD. We hope you will consider donating. We know it will mean so much to them.
The funds raised here will go directly to Navakawau village.
Who Are We?
Ariane Szu-Tu is currently a book editor for National Geographic Kids. She has volunteered to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, tutored with the Big Buddy/Little Buddy mentoring program, and in 2007, she joined drywall crews in New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Ariane has led National Geographic Student Expeditions programs in Alaska (2013 & 2014) and Fiji (2015).
Sean O’Connor worked at National Geographic for many years in maps and education. He now runs his own business as a life and leadership coach helping people and organizations do great things. Sean misses his time dancing the night away in the community hall of Navakawau village. The community hall has been destroyed, but with our help, we can rebuild it.
*This fundraising page is our own and has no affiliation with National Geographic.