As the world faced the unprecedented effects and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fiji was no exception. In response, the FIJI Water Foundation quickly mobilized to identify and implement ways to support both local and national efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID on the Fijian islands.
This included responding to the needs of the communities where our FIJI Water employees live and work, but also coordinating with government entities to bring critical resources to Fiji’s strained health care system. Because the FIJI Water Foundation staff live in these communities, we were able to continuously evaluate needs as they arose and make agile decisions to best support our employees, their communities, and the brave frontline workers.
Through the Basa Exchange, FIJI Water Foundation touched the lives and pockets of hundreds of remote families in Ba, Ra, and beyond.
Founder, Rise Beyond the Reef
Between 2020 and 2021, the FIJI Water Foundation donated over $1 million (USD) for COVID response initiatives, such as:
- Assisting nine children’s homes and eight elderly care homes by covering their grocery and utility bills.
- Donating 300 computer tablets to the Ministry of Health so they could digitize their vaccination tracking program across the islands of Fiji.
- Assisting over 900 households from around the Yaqara Valley in lockdown with multiple food and hygiene packages.
- Supplying monthly deliveries of PPE and other health supplies (thermometers, sanitizer, gloves) to all villages in the Yaqara Valley to mitigate the spread of COVID.
- Partnering with nonprofit Rise Beyond the Reef’s Basa Exchange Program to purchase FJ$88,783 of produce from communities in quarantine zones and distribute over 87 tons of fresh fruits, vegetables, and root crops to persons, families, and frontline workers in zones deemed food insecure by government officials.
- Distributing Vinaka Vakalevu (“Thank You Very Much”) gift bags to frontline health care workers.
- Sourcing 35,000 antigen tests for the Fijian Ministry of Health to aid in their COVID prevention efforts.
- Creating a virtual tutoring program for our employees’ dependents to support their continuous learning while schools were shut down.
- Delivering food assistance to health care workers on the front lines of COVID.
- Providing essential medical equipment to hospitals such as hospital beds, mattresses, and clean linen.