We’ve reached December 2022 and what a year it’s been!
There were a range of challenges in our community this year as Fiji continued to feel the impact of COVID. Unemployment remained high as the tourist industry collapsed and this impacted education and Girls’ access to learning. We’re so pleased to see tourists returning and things beginning to turn around.
Your support during this time meant none of the Girls’ dropped out of school which is a huge win!
Our BIG news this year is that we now have tax deductibility!
This has been a lot of work and while we have always been a registered Australian charity, registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission, the ACNC, means you can now claim your donations as a tax deduction.
We’ve continued our valued partnerships this year. William Angliss made our Christmas cakes in their teaching kitchens in November and we sold nearly 200 and sold out in 2 weeks! We are so grateful for the generous support from their team!
The University of Western Sydney supported us with interns who created social media posts and blogs, and with plans towards solidarity and learning visits that we are excited to progress in the new year.
Our friends at the German International School Sydney continued to generously fundraise for us despite not being able to take a group of students to Fiji for their annual immersion trip.
Others have given faithfully to our $5 Friday fundraising campaign, some a little, others a lot – it all counts and makes a real difference.
We supported 10 families to recover from significant flooding in January that cut them off from power, water and food supply. Girls had a staggered start back to school due to ongoing COVID restrictions in January and many continued to study remotely until April.
67 Girls went back to school during this year and 2 additional Girls were supported to continue or start University. Both are the first in their families to do so. We also continued to support the 4 Uni Girls from 2021.
As always, our Fiji Co-Ordinator Urmila Prasad has outdone herself with pastoral care and support for the Girls, with her family and local team she has gone above and beyond in really difficult circumstances.
We rounded out the year with a wonderful 10th-anniversary celebration at Restaurant Rubric, hosted by hospitality students and chefs from William Angliss Institute, one of the leading hospitality training restaurants in Australia and Asia-Pacific. We not only raised significant funds during the event, we also forged new partnerships for 2023 and beyond. The most significant announcement on the night was that our partner Cahoot Learning will provide a three-year commitment to support our team to learn and grow in Fiji.
And lastly, we are so thankful for an engaged community of people who support us to make a difference to Girls’ education in rural Fiji, including local school staff and the Ministry of Social Welfare in Fiji. In such uncertain times, it has been a gift.
Wishing you all some well-deserved downtime and a very happy new year.