A collaborative effort between two Vancouver-based organizations — Fiji Disaster Relief Society (FDRS) of British Columbia, and media partner Radio Fiji Mirchi — together with tremendous support and contributions from thousands of Fijian Canadians living in the vicinity of Vancouver and Surrey resulted in raising FJ$27,325. 25 (about Canadian $17,000) for the victims of Tropical Cyclone Yasa in Fiji last month.
Members of the FDRS worked tirelessly last Sunday, daring the cold weather as they stood outside collecting the funds and issuing receipts to the generous donors, while Vancouver Radio Fiji Mirchi throughout the day made announcements over the air and Facebook Live, exhorting people to come out and donate.
“We started to receive the donations and calls before we even commenced emergency relief efforts last Sunday,” said Kavin Chand, President of FDRS. “Cars started to roll in around 10 a.m. and occasionally we could see the line-up of cars with people willing to donate towards towards this great cause, which continued till 8 p.m.”
FDRS members were dispatched for the collection to seniors who could not make it to the site.
Local sports associations and community-based religious organizations also joined in to actively donate towards the cause.
Donors were allowed to select their preferred charity: Fiji Prime Minister’s Relief fund, Habitat Humanity (NGO) and Red Cross Society. The majority overwhelmingly decided to donate towards the PM’s relief fund.
On behalf of Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) responsible for U.S and Canada, Dr. Satyendra Prasad, thanked and acknowledged the members of the FDRS, the Radio Fiji Mirchi crew and the Fijian community in Canada for this generous and timely support.
Dr. Prasad in an email to ‘Fiji News In Canada’ said: “Through this Fund, the Fijian Government is ensuring that food, water and other emergency rations can be distributed by road and sea to all families affected by this Monster Cyclone.”
Dr. Prasad thanked Kavin Chand, Chairperson of FDRS Kamilla Singh and all other officials of the FDRS in British Colombia for their exceptional effort in mobilizing Fiji’s communities across BC and Canada in a short period of time to support this effort in such a generous way.
He said it was “heartening that so many Canadian residents rose to the occasion even when they themselves were facing such difficult times and generously contributed to Fiji’s effort to build back better and stronger.”
Kamilla Singh said: “I am very grateful to the Fijian community in Vancouver and Radio Fiji Mirchi listeners for their contribution and support. Mmy hearty thanks to each and everyone who supported this great cause.”
– By IRSHAD KHAN