From Alacoque and Crystal
Final Report for  Rotary Club of Lautoka Covid 19 Response Grant
From Rotary E-club Greater Sydney 2020 2021
This is the final report for this generous grant, and it has helped over 270 families and approximate 1200 people in the Western Division of Fiji. We are sincerely thankful for the assistance of the members of the Rotary E Club of Greater Sydney.
Fiji’s first Covid 19 case was confirmed in March and the country went into lockdown March 20 2020. Fiji did not have an Unemployment Insurance/Benefit Scheme in place and almost 50 percent of the GDP and workers made up the workforce – which then had NO Jobs and NO income. It was really a panic situation and families who generally live below or on the edge of the poverty level, where faced with starvation situations, and the Government was struggling to respond to this emergency state of being, with no end in sight.
Initially thinking 3 months of border lockdown and hygiene protocols would do the trick in ridding Covid19; now has turned into 15 months of economic crisis. Now with a recent outbreak of the more contagious strain in April 2021 (after 355 days of community covid free), and rapid infection rates and deaths – the grants funds that we held back have assisted families in surviving with some dignity and assisted in creating a more peaceful, violence free country.
We started with a target group of individuals working or connected to the tourism industry, and then issued a 2nd and 3rd essentials food parcel. The first round had vegetable seeds and garden tool assistance, to motivate the concept of self-sustainability beyond aid programs. There was some investigation into building greenhouses, however, the logistics of building and monitoring we such that we decided as a club not to do this. Fiji can grow vegs without greenhouses, and we focused on immediate needs.
During this time, our members struggled with their own job losses and sustainability, and some logistical challenges with deliveries occurred. Members experimented with the best way to source and pack the food parcels – sometimes packing themselves, and other times having the supplier put the packs together for us with the items we listed.
Community partners assisted in identifying candidates, and in delivering to families (Lautoka Rate Payers, Friends of Rotary). We obtained quotes for best rates and products and worked with 2 main suppliers: Punjas family and RB Patel Group Lautoka.
The tracking was a challenge with several members keeping names and receipts and there was a change of directors; however, it has come together now with efficiency at the end.
This Rotary year has been the greatest challenge for our small club with very new members. It was one of the worst Tropical Cyclone seasons on record with the 2020/21 season bringing in 2 level 5 cyclones within 6 weeks of each other, then a TC level 1. With Covid 19 among us and travel and volunteer restrictions, we were all stretched in looking after ourselves plus responding to aid in different Islands and communities in Fiji. From clothing collection and deliveries to communities with no roofs, clothes or and food; to School Uniform drives for those children who lost all uniforms in storms, or whose parents could not afford the new uniforms for back to school; to Covid 19 24 curfews and lockdowns recently where the government was terribly slow to respond with emergency rations, particularly in the rural towns.
Proud, and exhausted we managed to grow our club from 8 to 15 members this Rotary year. We have implemented online club meetings and board meetings, held in person meetings when we could, and just all did ‘what we could, when we could’, in a safe manner.
We were able to deliver the 2020 food parcels in person, however, the to ensure safety of Members and recipients and abide by the Fiji Covid Lockdown and curfew rules, we decided to issue Food Vouchers for the final round of food and sundry aid for this project. The vouchers only allowed for food and house sundries at the RB Patel in Lautoka and the store manager was greatly helpful in confirming identification and having a signing system at the store. With the lockdown of the Lautoka Hospital in May, over 400 patients and staff were left with not enough. We tailored several of the packs to provide adult diapers and newborn baby and mom supplies with the grant funds – and so grateful for the ability to respond. Without these generous funds our club and members would not have the ability to help and feel despair.
Hundreds of photos have been taken and many posted on our Facebook, however, the confidentiality of some had to be respected. We are hoping you were able to see these posts and will share more as we distribute the final round of aid from this project.
We have attached the financial reporting summary and receipts for your records. Please ask for any clarifications and accept our apology for the late reporting. Note. Receipts in Fiji tend to fade quickly due to the ink used, so some are faint. With unexpected covid lockdowns and curfews, our members have been separated from work, computers, and documents and have not had reliable internet service etc.
There is so much more to say about the experience we have had during this Covid 19 virus pandemic and Tropical Cyclone events of 2020 and 2021 – it has been the challenge of this Presidents’ life. On behalf of our club members and our community – BULA VINAKA- THANK YOU SO MUCH. Bless you all for your generosity!
Yours in Rotary, Crystal Bouchard
President - Rotary Club of Lautoka Fiji 2020/21
For full details see in Read more
RC Lautoka / RC E-Club Greater Sydney Grant May 2020 to April 2021
28th May 2020                   :               Donation COVID 19 E –Club of Sydney    :               $8431.40
29th May 2020                   :               Donation COVID 19 E-Sydney club            :               $8406.80             
Total                                      :                                                                                                               $16,838.20
Expenses:                           :               Total Expenses                                                                 -$16,705.29
Balance                                                :                                                                                                               $      132.91
Incoming Grant Funds from Rotary E Club Greater Sydney
E G Sydney Funds
E G Sydney Funds
total Grant Income
Outgoing Expenses
Punjas - Boxes
split of 393.50
Punjas - food/sundry 30 packs
Universal Gr - Logo Labels. Split
Punjas - food/sundry for the 30 pks
RBPatel - food/sundry for the
RBPatel - food/sundry for the
Punjas - Boxes
Punjas - food/sundry for 40 packs
RBPatel - food/sundry for the
Punjas - food/sundry for the 40 pk
Milika Marshal - Delivery Cost
Punjas - Boxes
RBPatel - food/sundry for 40 packs
RBPatel - Food/sundry split
split of 2711
RBPatel - Food/sundry for 100 pk
total expense
Balance as April 30 2021
Details of food packs bought:
27th May 2020    :               30 packs
5th June                                :               30 packs
19th June              :               30 Packs
29th June              :               40 Packs
8th Oct                   :               40 Packs
13 April 2021       :               100 Packs/Vouchers
Total                      :               270 Packs
Thank you so very much for this generous donation to Rotary Club of Lautoka and the people of the Western Division of Fiji.