April 11, 2022, marked an exciting day for thousands of students in Fiji as they began their first school term since the pandemic started.
To ensure students had a successful start, the FIJI Water Foundation purchased, packed, and distributed more than 67,000 brand-new backpacks filled with essential stationery supplies—notebooks, rulers, pens, and a book—to students in 1st grade through 13th grade in the school districts of Ba-Tavua, Ra, and Lautoka-Yasawa. The backpacks were also provided to all dependents of employees at FIJI Water, Williams & Gosling, Genera, and Neptune Pacific Direct Line. In total, the Foundation’s back-to-school donation benefits more than 22,000 secondary students and 45,000 primary school students.
Support for this project was born out of the FIJI Water Foundation’s ongoing commitment to improving education opportunities for students throughout Fiji. Families in Fiji, particularly in the Western part of the country, were hardest hit economically during COVID-19 due to the loss of jobs in the region related to tourism. Extreme weather events in 2021 and 2022, such as tropical cyclones and a tsunami warning, further affected families that were already struggling.
The FIJI Water Foundation worked closely with the Ministry of Education, Heritage, and Arts to support their return to school efforts and hosted several drives to deliver the backpacks. Watch the video below for a recap of the Foundation’s Back to School donation.
Having prepared thousands of students for school, the FIJI Water Foundation remains focused on teachers and their classrooms. Each year, teachers in Fiji can apply for up to FJ$5,000 through the Foundation’s annual Classroom Grants program for enrichment activities (e.g., gardening and vocational projects), educational excursions (e.g., museums and nature trips), and hands-on learning supplies (e.g., chemistry kits or playground equipment).
To learn more about the school grants program, please visit www.fijiwaterfoundation.org.