ACHIEVEMENTS - LARGER PROJECTS -
January 2000 We returned to England following our first five week stay helping at St Christopher's Children's Home in Fiji (a children's home catering for some 45 or so children of ages ranging from a few months to late teens. Several being orphans or victims of domestic violence) we began a fund raising campaign.
In March 2000 the first consignment of about 150kg of clothes was flown out to the children's home free of charge by a courier firm.
In July 2000 we took some 450kg of books and stationery to a shipping company depot. This company then transported the goods very cheaply on a six-week sea journey to the port of Suva in Fiji where they were stored prior to our arrival.
In August 2000 we delivered 250 kg of toys to Heathrow airport where an airline company flew them to Nadi airport in Fiji at a very much subsidised rate. They were stored at the airport for us to collect when we arrived in the country.
September 2000 'Children of Fiji' becomes a registered charity in the UK (reg. no. 1082331)
In September 2000 we flew to Fiji (at our own expense) and used a hire vehicle to collect the goods from the sea port and the airport.
We used St Christopher's Children's Home as a base. At the home we spent our first few weeks teaching the children and decorating parts of the home. We were able to help equip a library with several of the books sent over from England and we repainted the nursery and brightened it up with mobiles, posters and toys. We also converted an old storeroom (having first got rid of the rats and cockroaches!) into a quiet activity room. We put up shelving, pin board, blackboard and provided storage units, which we filled with a number of games and craft activities (We therefore completed the pledge made to ITV year of promise).
Several weeks were spent visiting schools where we were able to begin to meet some of the immediate needs. We provided exercise books, paper, pencils and reading books. Many of the schools had few resources and in a large number of schools children were still using slates to write on. We spoke at length with teachers and educational authorities to prioritise the needs.
We visited many remote villages (some only accessible by horse!) and were able to provide clothing and toys for the children.
February 2001 Children of Fiji is Vijay Singh's nominated charity for the President's Cup 2000 and receives a substantial donation
April 2001 To mark the charity's provision of a learning area at St Christopher's Children's Home in Fiji a plaque was placed on a seat at Snowdon Mountain Railway station, Llanberis, North Wales.
April 2001 Plans are now being drawn up for the construction of our first ‘Sunny Smiles’ kindergarten in Fiji.
June 2001 The kindergarten plans are approved by the Ministry for Education and Town planning
July 6th 2001 Prayers and celebrations at the school to mark the digging of the kindergarten foundations.
August 16th 2001. Almost one ton of charity supplies is flown to Fiji at a greatly subsidised rate, thanks to the generosity of Qantas and Air Pacific. These supplies are to directly benefit the children of Fiji (stationery, books, toys and clothes).
September 1st 2001 to October 13th 2001. We left England ready for the next 6 or 7 weeks trip to Fiji. We visited 35 rural schools, many almost inaccessible. We provided stationery and books, and shared our teaching experiences with the staff. We visited villages and were able to distribute clothes and toys. We were there for the official opening of the kindergarten built with Children of Fiji funds.
October 10th 2001. This was the official opening of the Sunny Smiles kindergarten that the charity funded ($42,000). The opening was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Muslim, Hindu and Christian faiths, the British High Commission and the school management team. A truly multicultural day!
November 5th 2001 We had a very informative meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the British High Commissioner for Fiji.
March 10th 2002 The results of the initial survey are received from the surveyors of the Labasa Lions Club for the site of the proposed bridge across the Qelemumu River.
August 19th 2002 About a ton of supplies was flown out to Fiji by Qantas and Air Pacific at a greatly subsidised rate. These items (stationery, books, clothes, toys) will soon be distributed to disadvantaged children in Fiji.
August 29th 2002 Children of Fiji applies to become a registered charity in Fiji
Sept 1st 2002 to October 19th 2002 We spent about 8 weeks visiting and equipping about 35 schools. We also visited and provided resources for 2 special schools, 2 children's homes and the children's wards of 2 hospitals.
Sept 11th 2002 Children of Fiji becomes a registered charity in Fiji (reg. no. 630)
Sept 2002 We manage to equip the science lab of Nakasi High School.
October 10th 2002 Children of Fiji is invited by the Minister of Health to attend the World Health Day Conference on 'The effects of Trauma and Violence on Children'. Along with 'Children of Fiji' were representatives from the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and Save the Children
October 16th 2002 Japanese engineers begin to draw up plans for the Qelemumu Bridge
January 29th 2003 Children of Fiji sends out a consignment of emergency resources to schools hit by Cyclone Ami (thanks to Bankline Shipping for free transport)
March 7th 2003 BBC South - Community Champions 2003. Award presented by Esther Rantzen at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton (see photo)
March 20th 2003 Final plans and detailed costings for the construction of the Qelemumu Bridge are produced
July5th 2003 Voted in as honorary members of the Fijian Association (EU) at a meeting held at the Heathrow Park Hotel, London (see photo)
July16th 2003 A ton of resources sets sail from Tilbury Dock to Fiji (thanks to Confreight UK for free transport)
August 25th 2003 A ton of resources is flown from Heathrow to Fiji (thanks to Qantas for free transport)
September/October 2003 We spent about 8 weeks visiting and providing resources for 42 schools, 4 children's homes and the children's departments of 4 hospitals.
October 25th 2003 Somerset WI's carried out a shoe-box campaign for Christmas gifts and we collected over 250 of these for distribution to children in Fiji.
November 1st 2003 Thanks to Children of Fiji, Navitilevu District School now has its own fibre-glass boat with outboard motor to transport children across the bay (instead of them having to swim)
November 19th 2003 The shoe-boxes donated by Somerset WI were delivered to Tilbury Docks for shipment to Fiji (free transport by Confreight UK). These will bring Christmas happiness to many disadvantaged children.
January 10th 2004 Construction of the Qelemumu Bridge begins
January 29th 2004 The shoe-boxes arrive in Fiji and are distributed to disadvantaged children.
March 10th 2004 The construction of two 5000 gallon water storage tanks at Qelemumu Primary School is completed and the children now have access to safe, clean water.
April 20th 2004 We guest on BBC Radio to promote the work of Children of Fiji
July 2004 Three tons of resources are sent out to Fiji ready for us to personally distribute to schools, children's homes and hospitals.
September 2004 It is decided to upgrade the Qelemumu bridge to a vehicular crossing. This will enable children from Qelemumu school to have access to secondary education. It also opens up an area of land for development.
September 2004 Children of Fiji sponsors the provision of 25 copies of the Kaila weekly newspaper to both Wainibuka Junior High School and Nayala High School. This sponsorship will be renewed annually.
Sept/Oct 2004 Two 5000 gallon water tanks at provided at each of 4 schools (Mali Island District School, Ratu Ilaisa Memorial School, Nalova Sangham School and Lomawai Secondary School. All these children now have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Oct 2004 We provide 30 lifejackets for the children of Navitilevu School.
November 2004 Qelemumu bridge is completed and children now have a safe crossing over the river.
February 2005 The construction of a library at Vatuwaqa school is completed
March 2005 Construction of the Kaleli crossing begins
August 2005 Fresh water is provided at Nacaci Hindu School. Furniture is provided for Adi Eleni Primary School and outdoor play equipment is provided for the 7 kindergartens.
September 2005 We begin to distribute over three tons of resources to schools, children's homes and hospitals.
September 2005 The Kaleli crossing bridge is officially opened.
September 2005 We provide much needed resources (tactile toys and books, Braille schemes and books, talking calculators and tactile/Braille games for the Fiji School for the Blind. A Braille machine, musical instruments and other resources have been promised for September 2006
October 2005 A play area is developed at the children's ward of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital. It is brightly decorated and we provided play items, blackboard, book shelving, toy cupboard, mats and cushions and a mobile book trolley.
January 2006 A bore hole is completed at Sigatoka Valley Junior School to provide fresh water.
February 2006 Provision of a 19ft fibre glass boat and outboard motor for use by Rewa Secondary School and Nailili Catholic School. This will enable children from outlying islands and other communities along the banks of the Rewa to be able to get to and from school safely.
August 2006 Construction of a sanitation block at Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School begins. Due to be completed around November 2006
Sept/Oct 2006 Over 3 tons of resources distributed to schools and children's homes. Specialist equipment provided for The Fiji School for the Blind (Braille machine, books, toys, games and numerous musical instruments). Shower chair provided for the Frank Hilton School for handicapped (plus a second shower chair for the hostel). Cots provided for the Treasure House Orphanage
Sept 2006 The new dormitory at Navitilevu school is completed
October 2006 We have identified a site for our new kindergarten construction. The land has been negotiated and permission obtained from the mataqali. We await clearance from the Native Land Trust Board before construction can begin.
Nov 2006 Provision of 28 lifejackets for the children using the Rewa River boat
January 2007 The Ahmadiyya sanitation project is completed.
January 2007 The project to pipe water down the mountainside and provide Navolau No. 1 school and village with fresh water is completed. Children now have clean water readily available and the school is able to remain open. We are presented with a 'whales tooth'.
January 2007 Fresh water storage tanks are constructed at Bouma School to provide these children with a supply of clean water for drinking/sanitation.
February 2007 Construction begins to utilise solar energy at Ahmadiyya Muslim School
February 2007 Emergency relief is provided for the Northern Division because of the recent major flooding in the area.
February 2007 Construction of Sunny Smiles II begins at Naduri on the island of Vanua Levu
February 2007 Copies of the new 'English Dictionary for Fiji' are supplied for 10 rural schools (and distributed on behalf of the charity by the Fiji Times)
March 2007 Solar project at Ahmadiyya Muslim School is completed. They now have light!!
March 2007 We are pleased to have been short-listed to the final three for the Institute of Fundraising National Award 'Fundraisers of the Year' and look forward to the final results at a ceremony in London on July 9th. (Update: We came 2nd)
June 2007 Construction of our second kindergarten (Sunny Smiles 2) is completed at Naduri, Macuata, Vanua Levu.
June 2007 Construction of water storage tank at Vuna District School, Taveuni, is completed.
July 2007 Construction of water tank at Koroinasolo Village School in Bua is completed.
Sept/Oct 2007 We spent two months in Fiji distributing 3 tons of resources to schools, hospitals and children's homes. We visited Ahmadiyya School and saw the solar power project working. We also saw the freshwater and sanitation projects and the huge differences these are making to the children in terms of health and education. We spent a lovely day at our recently completed kindergarten 'Naduri Sunny Smiles' We visited our 3 recent freshwater projects at Bouma, Vuna and Koroinasolo
Oct 2007 We have identified a need for freshwater and sanitation at Rakiraki Primary School and fresh water at several other schools- See current appeals
Nov. 2007 Work begins on the upgrading of water availability at Lomaivuna Primary School
Dec. 2007 After 13 months of uncertainty, we are pleased to say that we have been able to organise surgical reconstructive surgery for a 14 year old girl suffering from a severe genetic facial deformity. Surgeons here in the UK will give their services free of charge and the charity 'Facing the World' will provide free return flights to the UK for the girl and her mum and also pay for their accommodation. It is envisaged that the surgical procedures will take up to 8 months. We are currently organising the visas. We will keep you updated on the progress of this wonderful project.
January 2008 Shayna and her mum have arrived in the UK and Shayna has had all her medical tests. Surgery starts on Jan 19th (12 hour operation). This is the start of 6 to 8 months of intensive surgery. January 19th: The surgeons have just come out from theatre and are happy the way the surgery has gone. She is recovering from the first round of surgery and awaiting the second phase (April)
February 2008 We spent 6 weeks in Fiji distributing more resources. We visited our latest kindergarten and made plans for the next one (on the island of Ono). We finalised the plans for the sanitation project at Rakiraki.
March 2008 Construction begins for fresh water supply to Joan of Arc School, Sigatoka.
Work begins on the provision of fresh water for Rakiraki Primary School and construction of their new sanitary block
May 2008 Fresh water storage tanks are completed at Joan of Arc School and at Rakiraki School
June 2008 Shayna has the last of her operations.
July 2008 Shayna and her mum fly back to Fiji
Aug 2008 Construction of the sanitation project at Rakiraki Primary School is completed
Sept 2008 The official opening of the Rakiraki sanitation / fresh water project
Oct 2008 The plans are finalised for our third kindergarten on Ono island
Nov 2008 The construction of Narikoso Sunny Smiles kindergarten begins
Nov 2008 We have been short-listed for two community awards, one in Fiji (Dec 08 ) and one in the UK (Feb 09)
Dec 2008 We are thrilled to have been awarded a trophy, certificate and a cheque in recognition of our service to the community in Fiji
Jan 2009 Fiji experiences some of its worst flooding in generations. We launch an emergency appeal. We send out 2 tons of medical and other supplies
Feb 2009 More emergency aid delivered personally.
Specialist resources for the Fiji School for the Blind
Mar 2009 'Baby boxes' with resources for new mothers supplied to hospitals in Sigatoka, Lautoka and Nadi
Apr 2009 Text books provided for Nausori High School
Sep 2009 Construction begins of our third sanitation project. This one is at Waibunabuna School on Vanua Levu
Science equipment provided for Dr Ram Lakhan Memorial School
Musical instruments donated to Hindi Youth Group, 200 brightly coloured customised T shirts donated to Raiwai Sunday School
More specialist resources for Fiji School for the Blind
More resources for new mothers at Lautoka Hospital
Oct 2009 The official opening of our third kindergarten 'Narikoso Sunny Smiles' on the island of Ono, Kadavu. We are presented with our
second 'whales tooth'
Plans are finalised for provision of dining facilities at Uluinakorovatu School on Beqa Island.
Contruction of a study area at Nausori High School is started
Dec 2009 We provide 50 bunk beds for the boarding children of Waibunabuna Primary School on Vanua Levu
Feb 2010 We attended the official opening of our latest sanitation project at Waibunabuna Primary School on Vanua Levu
Mar 2010 Medical equipment and baby monitoring equipment taken to Bouma Nursing station on Taveuni
First Aid boxes provided for 10 kindergartens/schools
Another Braille Machine and other specialised materials for the Fiji School for the Blind
The official opening of the study area at Nausori High School
Baby boxes for Lautoka hospital
Sept 2010 After severe damage from flooding, we organised for the Early Intervention Centre (looking after young children with severe mental and physical disabilities) to be tiled and to replace resources damaged
Provision of greenhouse facilities at Nausori High School
Oct 2010 We attended the official opening of our 4th 'Sunny Smiles' kindergarten this time at Nabukelevuira on the island of Kadavu
We donated large quantities of medical equipment and medical books to various health facilities on the island of Ovalau
We provided storage facilities for science equipment previously donated to Ram Lakhan Memorial School.
Feb 2011 We returned to Sunny Smiles Nabukelevuira kindergarten and painted butterflies on the toilet block, in memory of little Iva
Mar 2011 We provided 50 desks and chairs for Vunidawa Primary School
We provided 50 athletics shorts and vests for Nausori High School
We provided a covered play area for the children of Kavanagasau kindergarten
We provided kitchen / dining facilities and the introduction of loloma lunches at Uluinakorovatu Primary School, Naceva on the island of Beqa
Oct 2011 We provided a sanitation block for the kindergarten at Kavanagasau
We provided a kindergarten at Rukuruku on the island of Ovalau
We provided 10 computers, scanner and colour printers to Rishikul Primary School on Viti Levu
We provided water filtration units to DISMAC for use in emergency situations
We donated medical equipment, toys and baby boxes to Naqali Health Centre and Vunidawa Hospital
We took 5 boxes of children's books (translated into Braille by the inmates of Wakefield Prison in the UK) to the Fiji School for the Blind
We took Rugby Shirts to the John Wesley Rugby Academy (donated by Dorchester Rugby Club in the UK)
Dec 2011 We visited the Braille unit at Wakefield Prison in the UK and personally gave feedback to the 25 prisoners who had translated the children's books for us. We also took videos, photographs and a Braille letter of thanks from the Fiji School for the Blind
Feb 2012 We purchased and delivered kitchen equipment (pots, pans, cooking stoves, urns, cups, dishes plates etc) to Uluinakorovatu Primary School, Beqa
Mar 2012 We attended the official opening of the Sunny Smiles kindergarten at Rukuruku on the island of Ovalau and also provided outdoor play equipment
We attended the official opening of a covered, fenced play area at Korotari Arya Primary School, Vanua Levu
We provided outdoor play equipment for Nabukelevu District School and Levuka Primary School , both on the island of Kadavu
We took more Braille books (translated by the inmates of Wakefield Prison UK) and tactile wall hangings
We up-graded and networked the computers for Rishikul Primary School and provided new printers and cables and upgraded the RAM
We delivered 'baby boxes' to all the new mums of Lautoka Hospital (including those still in the labour ward !!)
We organised medical examinations by a team of specialists from New Zealand and Australia for 3 year old Pooja of Fiji who is in need of potentially life saving surgery
We organised for copies of the Fiji Times (both in English and Fijian) to be supplied daily to 2 rural schools (Naiyala High School and Wainibuka Junior High School)
Aug 2012 We heard from surgeons in Melbourne, Australia that they are willing to carry out the necessary surgery for the 3 year old and we are currently organising visas etc
Sep 2012 An outdoor play area is completed for the kindergarten at Jasper Williams School, Lautoka
Oct 2012 We delivered more 'baby boxes' to all the new mums of Lautoka Hospital
Pooja and her mother fly to Melbourne ready for several months of surgery
Construction begins on our latest kindergarten. This kindergarten is at Tabia on the island of Vanua Levu
Dec 2012 Construction of our new kindergarten at Tabia is now complete
Jan 2013 We have provided Nylatax wraps to help the posture of children in wheelchairs at the Hilton Special School and Early Intervention Centre
Jan 2013 Pooja returns to Fiji. Surgeons have managed to alleviate her breathing problems and have promised to carry out re-constructive surgery on her jaw, when she is older
Feb 2013 We took curriculum text books (translated by prisoners at HMP Wakefield
Mar 2013 We distributed solar lanterns to families with young children in remote communities with no electricity
Mar 2013 We provided baby boxes to new mothers in Lautoka maternity unit and language resources for the Hilton Special School
Apr 2013 We provided outdoor play equipment for Naduri kindergarten in Macuata
May 2013 In a joint project with the Fiji government (who paid the air fares) we got a young boy, Timoci, over to Hawaii where surgeons have agreed to operate (free of charge) to repair leg muscles enabling him to gain leg movement and the potential to walk. A second child will be going to Honolulu for a similar operation in the near future
July 2013 Dining area project 'Longs Shady Cool Project' at Jasper Williams High School, Lautoka is opened on our behalf by our charity patron Alexia Rae Costello
September 2013 Timoci returns from surgery in Hawai and is able to walk
October 2013 Lots of baby boxes delivered to Lautoka maternity hospital
A memorial garden is opened at 'Sunny Smiles Bainivalu' kindergarten in honour of Mr Chengaya Naidu, head teacher of the school at the time
November 2013 Outdoor play equipment is supplied to 4 more rural kindergartens (Naivicula, Sote, Daku and Votua)
February 2014 Rugby equipment (donated by Dorchester RFC) delivered to John Wesley Sports Academy
March 2014 Medical equipment and other resources delivered to Rakiraki Hospital. More baby boxes for Lautoka Maternity Hospital
Many meetings with Fiji government and other agencies to plan our Korotari Bridge Project
Sam Traill (7 year old with a hole in the heart condition) is seen by a paediatric cardio-surgeon from India. He agrees to carry out surgery in India (at no fee). We have just a few days to sort out passports, visas and air tickets for Sam and his dad
April 2014 Sam Traill and his dad fly to New Delhi. Sam has a successful operation on April 11th and his heart rate is now normal.
September 2014 We meet up with Sam and his family. What a thrill when Sam ran to greet us. He starts school in January
October 2014 We attend the official opening of our 7th kindergarten. 'Sweet Smiles, Buruwa' in the remote Nausori Highlands, Nadi
December 2014 Plans are drawn up ready for our most ambitious project to build a bridge across the 30 metre wide Korotari River, enabling over 100 children safe access to school
June 2015 We are each awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List
September 2015 We provided medical and other resources for Rakiraki and Lautoka Hospitals
We provide preschool resources for 8 kindergartens and a school bag (containing exercise books, pencils, crayons, pens, ruler, maths set, lunch box and drink container) is given to every child attending Uluinakorovatu Primary School and kindergarten on Beqa and every child attending Daku Village Primary School, Tailevu.
October 2015 The work of Children of Fiji is officially recognised with an Honorary Order of Fiji Award, by the President of Fiji His Excellency Sir Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
A formal signed agreement is drawn up between the Government of Fiji and Children of Fiji for a joint 552,695 FJD project to construct a 55 metre suspension bridge across the Korotari River, giving 100 children and around 80 adults a safe crossing
Children of Fiji provides immediate help to 4 families with young children where each family has recently suffered a major catastrophe ( death, fire, and medical emergency)
December 2015 We were honoured to each receive an MBE from Prince William, at Windsor Castle on December 8th 2015. This was in recognition of our work to help disadvantaged children in Fiji
February 2016 We are pleased to announce that construction of our bridge across the Korotari river has commenced
We were pleased to be able to supply shoes for many of the children of Veisaru Primary School and walking long distances over rough ground to attend school
We provided new desks for classes at John Wesley Primary School, Raiwaqa
February 2016 On February 20th Cyclone Winston struck Fiji. This was the worst cyclone ever in the southern hemisphere and the second worst in the world. Many lives were lost and thousands of homes were destroyed. Some villages were completely flattened. Children of Fiji responded by supplying tarpaulins for shelter, mosquito nets and water purification systems. This was followed up by provision of vegetable seeds and multi-vitamin tablets
March 2016 In light of the record-breaking effects of cyclone Winston we have had to extend the bridge to an 84m span and make it 1m higher. This has increased the cost by around 30,000 FJD
October 2016 We provided lots more children's books in Braille (translated by inmates of HMP Wakefield) for the Fiji School for the Blind. We also donated several more Braille machines
February 2017 We provided lots of 'large print' books for partially sighted children at the Fiji School for the Blind.
The work of Children of Fiji is acknowledged by a second 'Honorary Order of Fiji' award, this time presented by the new President, His Excellency Joji Konrote
March 2017 Our sanitation project at Dogotuki District School is completed and 148 children and 8 teachers now have proper toilet and washing facilities. We also provided an additional 10,000 litre water storage system
Lots of children on the island of Qamea have not had access to school. We have provided a 25 foot high bow fibre glass boat, outboard motor, life jackets and safety equipment. Children can now attend school every day
Our 123 metre suspension bridge over the Korotari River (joint project with the Government of Fiji) is completed. Children now have safe access to school instead of having to wade through the dangerous river. We have been working on this project since 2014
April 2017 We have organised solar lighting for the Korotari bridge to ensure the safety of those using the bridge. The bridge has become a local tourist attraction and a newly formed 'Bridge Committee' is taking on the role of 'beautifying' the area and of day to day maintenance
October 2017 The sanitation project at Marist Convent School kindergarten is completed and in full use !
We provided several 'audible' balls (football, rugby, basketball and soft balls) for the Fiji School for the Blind, meaning that the blind children can now participate in ball sports. We are looking forward to them now being able to participate in the Special Games.
We have organised a new kindergarten for Dogotuki District School and construction is about to begin.